“It was such a pleasure to sink one’s hands into the warm earth, to feel at one’s fingertips the possibilities of the new season.” – Kate Morton, The Forgotten Garden
Edible landscaping is a hot new trend for the health-conscious, enthusiastic gardener.
Herb and vegetable gardening is not only fashionable, but also affordable and healthy. There is also an incredible sense of pride that develops when you harvest fresh produce from your very own garden! Vegetable gardens don’t need to be big or tucked away in some far-off part of the garden. It’s time to grow your vegetables with pride! Include them in your flowerbeds or, if you do have space, create a beautiful edible garden using a selection of the colourful varieties available each season. You can even grow a selection of your favourite culinary or medicinal herbs in a large container.
Modern trends are moving away from monocultures, where only one or two different vegetable varieties are grown.
Current trends promote mixed plantings; these are visually more appealing and also beneficial to growth, as mixed plantings are less likely to be attacked by one specific insect. For this reason, vegetable plantings in among flowers are less vulnerable to attack in comparison to a ‘field’ of one particular crop. Companion planting – mixing plants and edibles intentionally – is another practice that promotes and enhances plant growth. Herbs and many garlic-scented plants deter pests and diseases, and also improve growth and yields.
Success with edibles
The use of organic products and natural fertilisers is particularly relevant to this section of your garden. Here are some tips to prepare your veggie garden:
Nurture your vegetables
It’s easy to achieve a bountiful harvest of herbs and vegetables – simply prepare the soil well, fertilise correctly, ensure sufficient water, and control any pests or diseases as soon as they occur.
Before you plant vegetable seedlings, make the soil water-wise as well as nutritious by digging in Stockosorb water-retaining polymers. Re-energise the soil by incorporating generous amounts of compost and a fertiliser such as Wonder 2:3:2 (14) + C (8) SR* Bio-Carbon Boost. Apply 30-60 g per m2, raked into the top layer of soil, and water well.
After planting your vegetables, water well, and add a layer of mulch to reduce moisture loss and suppress weeds. Then sprinkle Efekto Cutworm Bait around the young seedlings.
Water seedlings every day – and even twice a day in hot regions – until they are established.
Every four weeks, apply Wonder 2:3:2 (14) + C (8) SR* Bio- Carbon Boost at a rate of 30-60 g per m2, and water well. The organic alternative is Wonder Organic Granular Fertiliser Vita-Boost + C (8).Alternatively, use organic liquid plant food such as Wonder Kelp or Seagro every two weeks as recommended.
Balance the soil annually
Wonder Dolomitic Agricultural Lime can be worked into soil that is too acidic. Wonder Ammonium Sulphate can be used as a source of nitrogen in soil that is too alkaline.
Control attacking insects or diseases as soon as you notice them. For greater adherence, add Efekto G49 Wetter to spray mixes.
- Fruit flies
Start spraying in August. Use Efekto Malasol and for natural protection use Efekto Eco Fruitfly Bait GF120.
- Aphids, scale and other insects
Apply Efekto Aphicide. Another alternative is Efekto Oleum which is highly recommended for application when fruits are ripening and almost ready to eat.
- Powdery mildew and black spot fungal infections
Apply as per instructions.
Plant your own herb garden
Herb gardens are easy to grow and provide you with fresh herbs for your kitchen. Herbs have a variety of uses but are most commonly grown for their culinary and medicinal benefits. Start your garden with the herbs you enjoy using the most and follow these basic guidelines:
- Plant herbs in soil enriched with organic matter to improve texture and drainage.
- Choose a site that receives at least six hours of direct sun each day.
- Avoid ground where water stands or runs during heavy rains.
- Compensate for poor drainage with raised beds and added compost.
- Apply balanced fertilisers such as Wonder Vitaboost Organic Granules or Wonder 3:2:1 (28) SR regularly.
Herbs can be grown in containers. Be aware of the growth habits of the plants before you purchase them; select small annual varieties for small containers, and larger, perennial varieties for larger containers.
Referenced from Efekto , Green Fingers : Your gardening and product guide from Efekto
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