How To Create An Ecological Garden
gardening in harmony with nature
Gardening is one of the world's oldest professions; there are older activities hunting and gathering come to mind, but about ten thousand years ago, humanity realized that food could be obtained by working the earth.
The process of gardening has traveled far since the days when we put the first seeds in the ground and tended them till harvest time, however, over the multitude of generations much has been lost.
We have strayed far from the garden and there are times when it seems as
though we are lost and have no understanding of which way to turn to get back
to that garden.
What is more we do not seem to understand or know that it is the garden we need to return to, not technology nor traveling to distant planets but the garden that is all around.
I am referring to the bounty that Mother Nature so generously provides.
Ecological gardening is working with Nature not fighting her. Ecological gardening does not use synthetic chemicals. There are natural ways to promote growth and deal with pests and diseases.
The ecological gardener knows that the soil is what matters; what you grow is a matter of choice as long as the soil is healthy the plants will be healthy.
Feed the soil, the organic gardener’s mantra. One of the most effective ways
to feed that soil is to add organic material, such as compost to the garden.
Another is to add compost tea.
Before you even buy a plant or a seed pack, you need to determine, how much
space you have or are willing to dedicate to your garden. This depends upon one
Lawns to Edible
Marjorie Harris, in her recently revised, book, Ecological Gardening: How to Garden with the Planet in Mind, in the book’s introduction says the following:
We know that the earth is one vast living, breathing system where everything relates to everything else…The ecological garden is a metaphor for planet Earth- it is itself an ecosystem that reflects this finely tuned, integrated whole.
Harris adds that an ecological gardener understands his or her place in this whole and how the garden functions within its own ecosystem; being aware of the relationships between soil, light. Insects, air, microbe and the plants the gardener picks.
Harris’s book is a great guide for anyone who wishes to garden ecologically.
If you are a new gardener and this is your first garden; you can get it right from the beginning. It does not matter what you grow, it is the how that counts.
The first step is to decide how much time you have to tend your garden because the gardener-garden interaction is most important. If your time is seriously restricted make the garden small, a few containers or a four by three foot garden will allow you to interact with Nature, build soil and grow an awareness of your role in the greater picture, plus you will get some flowers or food for your table, perhaps both.
If you do not have a compost bin, buy or make one. You can also consider worm composting which can be useful if you do not have space for an outdoor compost bin. Worm compost works well for container gardens.
Seeds are where the process begins and ends; use heritage and heirloom seeds and learn how to save them.
Remember the cardinal rule, you are building healthy soil, and when you do this, whatever you decide to grow will prosper.
The ecological gardeners does more that grow herbs, flowers, fruit or vegetables, the ecological gardener helps reduce the negative effects of pollutions and climate change, while the scale may be small when one gardener is involved, it grows as the number of ecological gardeners grow.
We do make a difference even if it is one backyard at a time.
There is another benefit to gardening ecologically, you are creating habitat for native butterflies, birds and bees as well as many other beings when you do. Your backyard ecological garden also helps restore native plants which form the backbone of the garden.
This is indeed a win-win way to garden. The benefits are many and we have not even touched on the physical and metal well being that flows from spending time in yoru garden.
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I am not talking about growing hydroponically which is an option but using natural light to keep your family supplied in some fresh produce all year round.