Saturday, 1 February 2020

Introduction.


Latest Update 11th October 2020.

This blog shows you how I developed no-dig organic systems in my garden which :-   
  • Minimise water use for growing fruit and vegetables in a warm temperate (drought prone) climate. I use Ecobed (wicking bed) and drip line technology to irrigate all my plants.
  • Capture rainwater from my roof and use it to irrigate my Ecobeds and propagators. Rainwater is free of the chemicals used in municipal water supplies to control microbial build up on the walls of water distribution pipes. I would not like to see these dangerous chemicals build up in my Ecobed water tanks.  It would seriously compromise soil biology and plant growth.
  • Provide an abundant supply of homemade compost and its derivatives for use on my soil and on my plant's foliage. I use these materials to feed the beneficial microbes that live there thus providing nutrition and health care for my plants.
  • Propagate seedlings all year round in a protected environment.
  • Exclude airborne pests and adverse weather conditions from my Ecobeds in the warmer months of the year.
Although I've made compost for over 50 years with good results, its only since I retired in 2010 that I became aware of the essential part played by soil microbiology in the health and wellbeing of all plants and animals.  Their activities have enabled life on earth to prosper for millions of years without the need for synthetic chemicals, and industrial agriculture.
The systems I have adopted in my garden are designed to emulate nature in the following ways:- 
  • Homemade compost and compost extract are applied to the surface of the soil and are designed to imitate natures way of recycling the excreta and remains of dead animals and vegetation.  Natural soils are full of microorganisms and small animals that break down this organic debris and provide food for the plants.
  • I practice no-dig organic gardening to avoid disturbing a healthy soil's complex structure.  Microbes create aggregates of soil particles to provide themselves with protection from microscopic predators.  The spaces between these aggregates allow water and air to flow to plant's roots, and the aggregates can store surplus water and nutrients which plants access. 
  • I propagate seeds and cuttings in custom designed and home built propagators.  When they are ready, they are transplanted into the soil with minimal disturbance to their root balls and the soil they are planted in.
  • Check out the links in the Page Index (the left sidebar).  They take you to blog pages which cover why and how I grow nutrient rich organic food and how I built the equipment used in the process.
  • In the resources section there are links to presentations by people whose opinions I value. The subject matter is summed up in the phrase "Healthy Soils: Healthy People: Healthy Planet".