Thursday, November 25, 2010

green finger tips - transformation of the soil



You can see that the soil is very poor and rocky into the deal. A quick tip when you build a vegetable garden is to enrich the organic content of the soil to achieve incredible results.
Adding loads of compost, using mulch, green manure plants and liquid manure allows you to rapidly increase the fertility of the soil.
Getting the soil prepared to produce food, especially if the soil is poor and very rocky can be tiring, but the results are rewarding. Once you have the soil in good condition, you simply need to maintain the fertility by adding more compost, mulch and growing green manure plants.
The results as you can see three months down the line...phenomenal.

Monday, November 22, 2010

green finger tips - building a vegetable garden from start to produce




Five months ago, Jackie, the Melojak gardener said:
"this project is a huge learning curve but well worth the time and effort. it is going to be good eating some fresh veggies for a change. fingers crossed xx"

in the end she was so overwhelmed by her produce she had to go out and buy a freezer.

you can build your own vegetable garden with a little knowledge, patience and persistence.

look out for more green finger tips about how to get things going and how to create fresh food abundance in your garden.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

green finger tips – plant transplants and avoiding transplant shock



Transplanting seedlings

When you transplant plants, they can look a like they’re dying. Transplanting seedlings will cause transplant shock in the plant. When your plants are ready to be transplanted, you should keep a few things in mind to help minimise the trauma of plant transplant.

Harden plants for transplanting

When your seedlings are ready to be transplanted, you should leave them in the sun for a day or two to harden off. Hardening off is when plants are left in the sun to toughen them up after being in protected nursery conditions. Step 1 in plant transplant is to toughen the seedlings up.

Time of day is critical when transplanting seedlings

Choose the time of day carefully when transplanting. In the summer it is best to transplant in the late afternoon or evening. This gives the plant the whole night to accustomise itself to its new position and it doesn’t have to deal with the hot sun on its first day in the new environment.

In the winter, in milder climates, do your plant transplanting in the morning and no later than 3pm in the day. The water will freeze in the soil and the frost will kill the seedlings overnight should you plant them later in the day.

Protect the roots when transplanting seedling

Always avoid disturbing the rootball of the plants you are transplanting. Keep the soil protecting the roots of the plant you are transplanting, as much as possible. Having the soil the plant was growing in around the rootball helps to lessen the transplant shock.

Some plants can be trimmed back to reduce the amount of leaves on the plant. Plants, like mint, can be stripped of leaves, but others, like baby swiss chard, need their leaves to grow well.

Give extra nutrients when transplanting seedlings

Have some liquid manure or plant feed ready to help relieve the symptoms of transplant shock. Throw a little compost into the hole you are placing the seedling into. The plant transplant will go smoothly with extra nutritional planning for the plants.

May your green fingers flourish.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

green finger tips - mulch


What is the role of mulch in your organic garden?

Mulch is such a superb word and it plays such a vital role in creating an organic garden. Mulch material is generally easy to come by.

Soil must have organic matter on it to keep it in place, feed it and hold the water in the soil. Mulch helps to control weeds, stabilizes the soil temperature and prevents soil water loss through evaporation.

Mulch saves you the time and energy you would spend making compost. Really mulch material laid directly onto the soil is the simplest way to create fertile soil, quickly. Some mulch materials you can get for free from your garden. Grass clippings, fallen leaves and old plants are examples of free mulch material.

You can use a more permanent form of mulch, like gravel or small stones.
Usually you would have to purchase this type of mulch. The advantage of this kind of mulch is that you don’t have to replace it often.

Mulch goes a long way to improving your organic garden. Look for the best mulch solutions for you and your piece of earth.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Green finger tips - Compost


Compost is a vital ingredient to maintaining soil nutrition and stabilizing the soil. Organic compost can be made in the kitchen, the back yard or bought from your local gardening supply store.

Luckily for us, there are incredible helpers, who volunteer for the job of making the best organic compost to be found. We just have to give them the ingredients and they happily chomp away, creating compost for us to use – free of charge. And who are these little miracle workers, you may ask. It is the earthworms, the royalty of organic compost creators.

Compost smells sweet and rich. It is usually dark brown to black in color. Organic compost helps stabilize the soil, preventing soil erosion.

Making compost is simple, but can be tricky. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind:

- You have to get the moisture level right. If it is too moist or too dry, it will not decompose properly.
- If it is too hot, and you inoculate the compost heap with earthworms, you will kill them.
- If you add rancid food, it will make the pile rancid.
- Oranges and potatoes are not good compost materials.

Feeding the soil correctly is the backbone of good healthy organic crops.
Make you organic compost and feed it to the soil.

here is a link to a informative brochure:
gardenafrica compost leaflet

Green finger tips - Natural soil builders

Soil is the most precious vital part of any garden. Most people however think of the soil as dirt. Meeting earthworms drew me to understand that the organic soil is alive…teeming with life unseen to the eye. As earth dwellers we have the choice to use natural soil builders to keep the soil in good shape.

Natural soil builders are like feeding the body with correct nutrition. Optimal nutrition yields optimal harvest and giving the best nutrition to create organic soil will yield untold benefits. Natural soil builders include compost, liquid fertilizers and mulch.

Organic soil is enhanced by earthworms that produce “humus” which is the finest kind of compost available. As a gardener you can boost the earthworms work by adding mulch materials, compost and liquid fertilizers for the earthworms to turn into humus.

Growing Green mulch is useful if you live in an area where organic materials are not freely available. Plants like buckwheat, mustard and clover are fantastic natural soil builders.

Earthworms are a gardener’s best friend. Green mulch is a hugely helpful was to build an organic soil. Stabilize and build your organic soil by using natural soil builders in your organic garden.

Here is a list of natural soil builders:

(Compost Activators / Green Manure Plants / Soil Improvers)

N = Nitrogen P= Phosphorous K=Potassium

Alfalfa / Lucerne (N)
Banana skins (K)
Bean (N)
Buckwheat
Caraway – loosens soil
Chamomile
Comfrey (N,P)
Clover (N)
Dandelion
Elder
Flax/Linseed
Golden Rod
Hyssop – fights bacterial disease
Lovage
Lupin (N,P)
Mustard (N)
Nettle (N)
Oak (Acid Mulch)
Oats
Pine (Acid Mulch)
Salad Burnet
Soya bean
Sunflower
Tansy
Thistle
Valerian (P)
Yarrow