Here at Grim’s Dyke we’re big advocates of organic gardening. Not only does it help us grow produce to contribute to some of the amazing dishes in our restaurant, it’s also great for the environment.
If you’re looking to go organic, here’s our top ten tips to help make your organic gardening easier.
#1: Water in the morning
This give the water a good chance to soak into the soil, helping plants to grow deeper, hardier roots. Importantly, it also prevents high humidity fungal diseases and powdery mildew.
#2: Coffee-grounds are great for the garden
Got acid-loving plants? Mulch them with coffee-grounds – they’ll love it!
#3: Rotate your crops
Don’t plant the same type of plants in the same place each year – particularly tomatoes and potatoes. It’s better to rotate them, so you can give the soil chance to replenish and balance nutrients, whilst also reducing the risk of disease and pests.
#4: Make your own compost
Not only is it easy and cheap, it’s convenient too. You can recycle your leftover food, peelings and tea bags – just make sure not to include bones or meat products.
#5: Weeding the natural way
Mulch is a natural way to prevent weeds from growing. The best way to naturally treat weeds is to pull them by hand. Pulling them after a good downpour will make the job easier and getting rid of them before they flower, will help prevent them spreading.
#6: Use companion planting
Have a plan in place to utilise different plants. For example, some will work as an insect repellent to other plants, whilst others help replace nutrients taken by others. Chives are great at protecting carrots from carrot fly and aphids, borage attracts bees to your strawberries, whilst also protecting your tomatoes, and daisies and marigolds will bring in the helpful bugs!
#7: Natural pest control
As mentioned above, you want to attract helpful bugs into your garden – but it’s not just bugs you want to attract. You want to bring in frogs, bats, birds and toads, as they can all benefit an organic garden. Use herbs to attract the insects, provide water for the birds, frogs and toads, and the bats will love an influx of insects.
#8: Encourage the worms
Worms eat organic material, turning it into liquid feed. Worms will love a compost bin, so if you’re planning to create your own, they’ll come. Alternatively, you could create your own wormery or even buy worms from a garden centre!
#9: Keep your garden clean
Debris around your garden can be a home for disease and mildew, so clear up after yourself. Also, regularly inspect your plants, picking off any dead and infected leaves, to prevent diseases spreading.
#10: Look after your soil
Well maintained soil only needs a thin layer of compost to maintain its quality. Look after your soil by mulching it well and fertilising if necessary.
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