Many well established gardening practices such as composting, mulching and crop rotation are the basis of gardening natures way. Organic gardening is a technique that avoids the use of all synthetic fertilisers and pesticides. However this page follows a more pragmatic but environmentally friendly approach.
Preparation is the key to successful organic gardening
Recently the boundaries between ‘conventional’ and ‘organic’ gardening have become blurred as ‘conventional’ gardening adopts more of the sustainable principles of the organic way and ‘organic’ gardeners recognise that some natural pesticides are more toxic than synthetic ones.
Hence today’s natural organic gardeners use all the proven, good garden practices of composting, mulching, crop rotation and use animal manures for extra nutrition. They also select plants and varieties more suited to the soil, climate and season to ensure best results.
The key to organic gardening success is a good soil. The main function of soils is to hold a reserve of nutrients and water for plants. A good soil is one that holds nutrients and water in a manner in which plant roots can extract them easily. To do this soil should be open, aerated and drain freely of surplus water. However at the same time it should hold ample water for plants.
Compost can be purchased in bags or you can make your own. Making your own not only provides an ongoing supply of compost but it also gets rid of most garden and kitchen waste. See our growing guide on ‘Composting’ for full details.
This is an old, well proven means of avoiding disease build up in the soil. It is used in the vegetable garden and the annual flower garden. If the same crop e.g. tomatoes is grown in the same soil every year the plant health and yield will decline to a point where it is not longer worthwhile. This is because soil fungus diseases specific to that crop, build up to a high level and suppress growth. This problem can be avoided by rotating crops around the garden, so that any one type of crop is only grown in any one area for one year in four.
The plant groups are:
The following products are recommended for organic growers. Generally they are less effective than conventional sprays and more frequent spraying is necessary.
Many organic remedies sometimes recommended, are not registered or proven. Some are extremely toxic, like Neem Oil which we do not stock and do not recommend in any circumstances.