With a stash of rotten, organic matter (OM) to hand, you can easily make your own seed raising mix and continue to feed your garden no matter what happens in the world outside your gate. OM is your guardian angel.
Thing is, you need to get ahead of yourself because it takes time for organic matter to breakdown. Make this your new, best garden habit. Start this spring. Gather, harvest 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
Forage. Respectfully – goes without saying. 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. Manure, seaweed, autumn leaves, woodchip, sawdust, pond weed – use this month to discover safe + abundant natural resources that your garden/ farm/ neighbourhood offers up. Stuff them within a wheelbarrow’s radius of your place. This sets you up for future lockdowns. It’s local and puts you + the planet in pole position.
Pile your OM colllections on the earth in the shade, filed by type (eg: manure pile beside woodchip pile not mixed with). I’ll dive into this deeper in next month’s newsletter.
Recycle foodscraps. Such a good, diverse source of fertility! It’s mad to throw foodscraps away. Whether you use a worm farm, bokashi buckets or trench direct in the soil – do what works for you. If you cannot, find an outfit who’ll collect them or perhaps trade food scraps for vegetables with a vegie-growing neighbour. Find a way!
Grow nourishing, vigorous herbs. These bring such a lot to our gardens. Above ground they’re an ongoing supply of mulch and compost ingredient as well as keeping beneficial insects fed. Below ground, they’re housing beneficial soil life and cycling nutrients through the soil.
Though vigorous can sound scary in a plant – vigorous is good here, because that means beneficient harvests, easily. Include weeds (herbs in disguise), in your spectrum here, the nutrient storehouses that already grow courtesy of mother nature – like plantain, dandelion, chickweed, nettle for example. Plant out your faves – the ones you use and love like – yarrow, borage, comfrey, lemon balm, valerian. Choose herbs that grow easily at your place.
Jam these garden companions in wherever you have space – around the edge of the vegie patch or beneath fruit trees or turn the lawn into an easy no dig, companion garden, or in containers. Plant a mixture close together so that when you harvest you gather a mixed armload and because plants grow better as a mash up. If you lack space – be creative – use the berm or your neighbours unused plot or make over your amenity garden into a wild meadow of soil nourishment, beneficial insect fodder + joy.
Yours in the earth,