Handy Tips To Keep Your Garden Growing Strong

Companion planting
A great way to reduce pest problems in the garden and to improve growth. Companion planting is the growing of mutually beneficial plants in close proximity. This can result in a vast improvement to your garden’s yield.

pH Balance
Slow and stunted growth can be a sign of a poor pH balance. The pH requirements of each plant varies somewhat but a good figure to aim for is between 6 to 6.5. pH test kits are available from most nurseries and usually indicate the pH via a colour chart. Blue is typically basic or “alkaline”, green is neutral, yellow slightly acidic, orange is acidic and red is highly acidic. Aim for a greenish yellow colour. The soil pH can change dramatically from year to year depending on the sorts of compost and fertilisers that are added. If your plants are not growing favourably, we recommend doing a pH test to eliminate that option. Mushroom compost is very alkaline and should be avoided for most plants. If you find you need to correct the pH, do so slowly over weeks and be careful not to over do it. Coffee grounds or elemental sulfur can be used to lower the pH (make the soil more acidic) whereas wood ash can be used to raise the pH (make the soil more alkaline). Only use a small amount at a time to ensure the pH isn’t over compensated.

Benefit of organic
If you're looking for a lower maintenance garden, you may want to consider organic based fertilizers. Organic forms of fertilizer have the ability to slowly release their nutrients. A slow release occurs as microbes breakdown the organics to a state which can be adsorbed by plants, thus plants are not required to be fertilized as often as with chemical fertilizers. Organic gardens also have reduced pH problems and reduced salt buildup problems that are typically associated with chemical based fertilizers.

Crop Rotation
Maintains soil fertility and plant health, reduces disease buildup and nutritional imbalances. Crop rotation is the process of seasonally rotating dissimilar crops.

 

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