8 April 2006 ... Garden for the Earth
This will be my second year with my tiny garden space. I plowed it a week ago, and planted some seeds. I was excited for about two days, but it had quit raining, apparently on the day that I planted. My dirt is dry and my hope for my beautiful little seeds is waning.
*shaking fist at the blue skies* Come back here, you clouds!
Well, last years garden was a failure as well, having also planted it after the rain quit. I think I got four wildflowers, and three pea plants that yeilded about 11 peas.
But this year, I started a Garden Journal. So maybe I will be able to get something right next year, by learning from my repeated mistakes!
My style of gardening is called Eco Gardening (ecological) or Permaculture (permanent agriculture). Well, I'd like to call it such, but I practice it imperfectly. heh.
Anyway, last week: I turned over the "dirt" with my brand new handheld garden tools, avoiding the plants that are already established. I say "dirt" because I don't actually have any: there's about three inches of wood-based mulch covering tree roots, under which there may or may not be real dirt. eh, there are always earth worms and bugs to be found, so it's probably good enough! And it will get better as the mulch breaks down and other compost gets added.
I spread my wild flower mix, and kind of raked it in gently. Then I dug some random holes. Peas, Purple Basil, Marigolds and Helichrysum. Still growing from last year are five Iris bulbs and two wild flower plants that I haven't identified with bright orange flowers. I also spread some seeds that I had gathered from some local "weeds".
Bah! I hate the word weed! For many people "weed" has a negative connotation. For some reason, dandelions in the lawn are labeled "bad". I love weeds! They are often beautiful flowers and they add variety and biodiversity! (As long as they don't strangle out other forms of life, of course.)
So, I don't do any "weeding" in my garden. And I won't be watering it, either, even tho the summer gets pretty dry. I figure if the plants can't survive in the natural conditions, they shouldn't be living here! That's part of what Eco Gardening is about.
Eco Gardening Tips!
Native Plants!! Do a little research and find out what grows locally. These plants will obviously thrive, and you won't have to water them or give them extra help because they have evolved to grow in your area.
Variety!! Plant some food plants, some flowers, some helper plants, some companion plants, some of everything!
No Chemicals!! Don't use any poisons, and don't use Miracle Grow type fertilizers. Yuck! There are organic solutions to all your problems. Yay!
Enjoy It!! Turn off that stupid telly and go and BE with your garden. Listen to the birds you've attracted. Watch the cute little bugs do their thing. Smell the flowers. Keep a nature journal. Know that you are doing your part to save the earth!
Ecological Gardening Course at Suite University by Bob Ewing
InMyGarden.org by Sue Sweeney
Care2 Outdoor Living Articles
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