Life is definitely too short for the perfect lawn. Relax and enjoy the buzz….
During my training with the Royal Horticultural Society, I became increasingly perplexed by the conflict between being passionate about the natural world whilst fighting it with chemical sprays and artificial fertilisers. I decided that organic gardening was the way to go, creating the conditions for every element of nature to work together in a rich and diverse setting. Straightforward to set up, easy to maintain and no nasty chemicals, here are the basics to get you started in gardening organically .....
Gorgeous gardens begin and end with decent dirt. All types of soil will benefit from being dug over to at least a spade’s depth whilst incorporating generous amounts of organic compost or manure. Add more compost annually and the earthworms will take it from there
Make your garden a haven for beneficial wildlife. In place of synthetic chemicals, they are your allies in the control of plant-munching beasties. Provide bird feeders, log piles, ‘scruffy’ corners, ground cover, water sources and all manner of nooks and crannies and your garden will be teeming with life
Check your garden regularly (in the evening with a glass of wine is always good) to monitor for disease. Many nasties can be halted by snipping off the grotty bits and giving the plant a good feed and water. In persistent cases, nature is probably telling you to give up and try something else
Select a wide range of plants to attract insects, to provide a habitat for beastie predators and to look fabulous. A naturalistic, rambling look is what you are after – great for those with limited time or terminal laziness. Try companion planting to deter beasties from your roses and vegetables
Conserve water and use it sparingly just to get plants established or to water containers. Apply a thick mulch to retain soil moisture and suppress weeds. The grasses, herbs and wild flowers that most suit this approach are drought tolerant in most cases