OM is Your Guardian Angel

manure pile in the garden covered by sacking

There is nothing more resilient than having a stash of rotten organic matter (OM) to hand, at all times -to feed your garden, prepare new beds, mulch and make seed raising mix when ever you need, without shopping. Home grown and gathered, your OM will be far superior to anything you buy. Its your secret weapon. It’s your gardens guardian angel.

Thing is, you need to get ahead of yourself because on the whole, you want that organic matter nicely broken down before using.

Make this your new, best garden habit – to forage + gather and/or grow a little something each week to contribute to your supply. You don’t need a lot. Little and often you’ll find, does the job nicely.

3 easy ways

Nicely rotted woody mulch ready to plant into

Forage. Respectfully – goes without saying. Choose OM that’s regarded as waste or is in abundant supply. Leave plenty for nature + share with others in your community. You don’t need heaps cos your soil doesn’t need a lot. Truth is most of us add way too much. Discover safe, natural resources close by your place.

  • Gather seaweed or pond weed and use it right away. Lay it beneath mulch under citrus, asparagus, avocado, celery or whatever needs a booster, or add to compost.
  • Manure, autumn leaves, woodchip and sawdust – are perfect to stash away in piles and let rot. Rotten manure is perfect for dolloping beneath citrus or any heavy feeder that needs a boost. Rotten woodchip or sawdust brings heart to compost and makes the best mulch for berries and fruit trees. Broken down leaves are also a wonderful mulch and make a fabulous addition to seed raising mix with compost or vermicastings.

Pile the OM that needs to be broken down, on the earth ie not in bags or bins, in the semi shade and cover with a sack or carpet or some such. Pile it around the edges of the vegie patch to benefit from fertile run off and file by type (eg: manure pile beside woodchip pile not mixed with) is how I go. That way I can easily access the thing I need when I need it without having to muck about.


Grow heaps of nourishing, vigorous herbs eg: yarrow, borage, comfrey, lemon balm, valerian, for an ongoing supply of mulch, liquid feed and compost ingredients. Choose herbs that grow easily at your place, the ones you love and use. Keep adding to your herb supply over the years.

Plant your garden companions close together to beat out weeds and because plants grow better as a mash up.

Transform edges and unused spaces into a source of soil nourishment, beneficial insect fodder + joy. Around the edge of the vegie patch or beneath fruit trees or turn the lawn into an easy no dig, companion garden. If you lack space grow in containers or be creative – use the berm, or your neighbours unused plot or make over your rose garden or the old sandpit.

wormcastings from the worm farm

Recycle foodscraps. It’s mad to throw foodscraps away – they’re such a good, diverse source of fertility! There are so many ways – a worm farm, bokashi buckets or trench direct in the soil or find a composting outfit who collects them or trade them for vegetables with a neighbour. Find a way!


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