Thursday, June 17, 2010

who hates dandelions?

You know that dandelions are “weeds” and probably hate them. You can, however, use dandelions as a trap crop to draw aphids away from your cabbages. Aphids are generally fond of Brassica (cabbage family) species. Aphids are also partial to dandelions. The idea is to do companion planting with dandelions and Brassica species and you have a solution to your aphid problems. Dandelions are beneficial “weeds”, so grow them to your advantage to have successful cabbage crops. (In fact the young leaves are great in salads and can be cooked as spinach.)

Thursday, June 3, 2010



Observation is the key to beginning a garden. When you start out making a garden for the first time, you do not want to make mistakes like planting a tree so close to the house that the roots disturb the foundations or lay an irrigation system in place, where gravity feed would have worked better.
You need to spend time observing your surroundings to better understand what would be required to make a successful garden. In order to do this you should open your mind and ask questions that will make create a sensational garden.
Bearing this in mind, take a leisurely stroll around the site you are thinking of using for your garden, several times! The more often you do it, the more you will get to know the nuances and the subtle promise of abundance of the land in question.
Take in everything about the place. Look at the slope of the land, look at the kind of ground cover. What plants are there? Do you know them by name? Are the plants useful or merely ornamental? Do you have trees around? Make an itinerary of all the plants you see!
Examine the type of soil you have, how does it smell and taste, what does it look like. Is the soil rich and fertile or have you got a rocky outcrop that needs a ton or two of topsoil? Is it sticky clay or sandy sand? Do you have a source of compost close by?
How about water availability - is there any erosion? What happens to your rainwater, the bath water?? Do you have a tap or an irrigation system in place? Is there a spot to place a small pond?
What about the wind? Does it blow a gale through the yard and whip everything around? Do you have gentle breezes? Does the wind blow harder at any particular time of the year?
What wildlife is around? Do you have a good selection of birds? What animals or insects can you see? Are there frogs, lizards or snakes around? Can you identify the insects in the area?
All these observation you think may be irrelevant, but honestly it is important to take all the factors into account when you are starting a garden from scratch, naturally. Taking all the extenuating factors into account means that you are better able to recognize what is in your garden and how to create an abundant oasis in the middle of your own life. Observation is the key. Once your observation is done thoroughly, it is a key you can turn to create a natural garden that will feed you abundantly.