Wednesday, March 23, 2011

green finger tips - mulch the city organic garden

ban on exposed soil

soil should be covered at all times. Mother Nature is insistent on covering the soil with foliage or decaying matter. this simple rule should be observed and mimicked. the soil should be covered and fed all the time. exposed soil becomes infertile and will erode. the golden rule of the organic garden – cover the soil.



making mulch for the city organic garden

I sprinkled eggshells, a bit of tea leaves out of the bag, a few bread crumbs, sweepings from the floor and bits of dried up herbs (garlic chives and lucerne) to act as mulch in the developing city organic garden. I have added some herbs, leaves and ash additionally as well as green manuring the chickweed.



make the soil fertile with mulch

when you mulch the soil, you ensure that the soil becomes more fertile. the organic matter decomposes right in the area where you need it. this increases the soil fertility. keep adding mulch to the soil at every opportunity.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

green finger tips - first bed of my city organic garden


Compost rescued from the roof

Adding compost to the first bed in the organic garden

I have added compost to the bed just outside the little courtyard in my city organic garden. It is a small bed, but the soil seems reasonable. I have not loosened the soil as yet. I have decided to create a no-dig bed. I have added a layer of compost which was cleaned off the roof and out of the gutter. It is half-decomposed and decomposed leaf material. It smells sweet and I managed to save it from being thrown away by being at the right place at the right time.


Penny Royal Mint and Jasmine with the stepping stone

First plants in the city organic garden

I placed a stepping stone to clearly mark where one should step and have planted jasmine (as it is a favorite of mine) and it will cover the wall that is stark. The piece of jasmine is looking good after the first 3 days in the soil. I planted penny royal mint into the area to start forming a creeping ground cover. The first two plants, jasmine and pennyroyal mint, in the city organic garden are thriving and starting to take hold.


Jasmine

Penny Royal Mint

Each small step leads to the bigger picture

I am in the process of mapping the area that I have available for my city organic garden, so i can plan exactly what must go where. I know I want to have a good selections of edible and herbal plants growing, including lettuce, chives, radish, fennel, carrot, parsley, coriander, beans and peas to name but a few. I am enjoying every moment of thinking, observing and planning .

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Farmin' in the HOOD

This video show how the urban guys are creating sustainable small scale fish farming, vegetable production and methane production in their own backyard and how they are integrating with their community and world at large. watch and be amazed.

Starting my city organic garden



Celebrating my city organic garden creation

Today I have cause to celebrate. I am starting my very own little city garden using organic and permaculture techniques. I recently have returned to the Eastern Cape and have a stunning little cottage, which is to be my new playground for creating my city organic garden using companion planting.

Assessing what I need to start my city organic garden

So far I am assessing what I have to work with, what plants I can gather from friends in the area, where I can tap water from, where to find organic seedlings…really looking at how I can transform this little place into a tiny paradise. I love my fresh veggies and herbs and I hope you’ll enjoy watching how the garden unfolds.

As the area is mainly concrete, I am going to have to be innovative and use what I have at my disposal. I will be using companion planting in my city organic garden.

Join me on a city organic gardening adventure

Autumn is almost here. We are lucky to have mild winters and can still grow a great variety of fresh food to keep us thriving and healthy through the winter. Come along on this mini city organic garden adventure.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

earthworms



Earthworms

Earthworms are simple creatures that do a lot

The simple beauty of the earthworm is that it produces compost that no gardener can do without. The actions of earthworms are so critical creating organic soil fertility. Earthworms act as cleaners of the decomposing matter in your garden. As a gardener, you will come to cherish the work that they do.

Earthworms work creates perfect conditions for growth

These hermaphroditic worms work and breed at night, taking organic matter into their burrows, and convert it into soil food. The humus (compost) they create has a perfect pH. Their burrows create air passages in the soil and when it rains, the burrows allow for extra water penetration.

Are earthworms immortal?

Earthworms are thought to be immortal, as no worm has ever been found dead of natural causes. Usually garden forks chop them or birds, moles and other creatures eat earthworms. They breed prolifically. Just a handful of worms inoculated into your soil or compost heap will go a long way to improving soil fertility.

Make sure you leave enough organic matter covering the soil to feed your earthworms. They will reward you by digging and loosening the garden soil, creating compost and allowing for moisture to penetrate the soil. Earthworms truly are a gardener’s best friend.