Going au naturel – Daniel Suggitt, our general manager, explains how using organic matter in your garden can improve your plant’s growth, your soil’s fertility, and reduce your carbon footprint. Because, after all, mother nature knows best.
What is organic gardening?
Organic gardening is using nature’s products to feed and protect your garden. It’s all about learning ways to use nature, as intended, to get results you may not think are even possible.
How does it help the environment?
Using all-natural products helps reduce the number of chemicals released into the atmosphere. When you use a chemical pesticide, it can harm more than just bugs. When it rains, chemicals are washed off the soil and drip into a nearby drain. They then make their way into local rivers and creeks, polluting the water. Organic gardening can also reduce the amount of waste you produce. Create compost by recycling your food waste. It’s also beneficial to source natural products that are sustainably produced. We use anaerobic digestion to make all our products. It breaks down natural ingredients – crops grown on our own farms – and we feed the excess energy back into the electricity grid to make green electricity.
How can organic gardening improve the health of my soil?
Only recently, have we recognised the damage that decades of using chemicals has done to our soil – it’s destroyed its natural structure and depleted vital nutrients. Fortunately, the damage can be reversed by replenishing the soil’s essential microbiome – a complex network of micro-organisms including bacteria and fungi that your soil needs. You can use the no-dig method to add a layer of green manure, decomposed plant matter, or our soil conditioning fertiliser to the top of your soil. Worms and other beneficial creatures will break down the matter, releasing the natural goodness, enriching your soil, and replenishing its lost nutrients. Maintaining your soil’s health is essential for better plant growth and helping your garden to look it’s best for longer.
What can I change about my gardening routine to be more eco-friendly?
Start by using an organic plant-based liquid feed to replace any chemical fertilisers or feeds. Build a compost heap. Collect leaf mould and food waste in a bin or medium-sized container. Over time this will decompose, leaving you with an organic compost that you can use to feed your soil. Pull your weeds out by hand, instead of using pesticides or other harsh chemicals. Use plants as a natural pest control, instead of a spray. Plants like marigolds and garlic can deter practically any pest. Plant them liberally around the garden. Or encourage more predator or pollinator insects to visit your garden and keep other pests in control. Herbs like dill, chamomile and rosemary are great for attracting an array of predator insects such as beetles, dragonflies and praying mantis. You can also use our natural, non-toxic slug and snail barrier.
Should I use organic gardening if I want to create a wildlife garden?
Definitely. Work with nature to encourage more visitors to your garden. Avoid using any harsh or toxic chemicals – these are dangerous for wildlife and will discourage bees, birds, and butterflies. Using natural, organic products can reduce your worry, help maintain a healthy eco-system and is much safer for wildlife, pets, and children.
Do you have any advice for beginning organic gardeners?
Whenever you buy products, always check the label. Read ingredients carefully to fully understand what chemicals you’re using on your plants. Try growing some of your own fruit and vegetables – this helps lower the emissions created when transporting food. Tomatoes and strawberries are an excellent choice for beginners. They’re hardy and can be grown in plant beds, pots or hanging baskets. If everyone makes even just a few of these changes, we can we help transform the future of gardening and farming and do our part to help the environment and make the planet a better place for future generations.
Follow us on Facebook or Instagram @plantgrowuk for more organic gardening tips. Call 01953 525001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to chat with a member of the team. We’re always more than happy to answer any questions you may have