stuff that has worked for me
I don’t like the idea of rules because they are rigid and different things suit different people. But this is a list of stuff that has worked for me.
1. Make compost – use anything biodegradable – raw fruit and vegetable peelings, tea and coffee grounds, cardboard, old phone books, old clothes. No bought compost bin is necessary. Use shower water to keep moist. When one side is full, chuck chunky things over to the other side and use the rest for mulch.
2. Mulch thinly otherwise you run the risk of keeping the moisture out.
3. Weed as much and often as possible. Understand the weeds. With some you have to dig them up carefully so you don’t spread the little bulbs around and end up with more than when you started. And weeds aren’t just plants you don’t like. They have scarily powerful ways and means of making themselves at home.
4. Fluff up soil often. Avoid hard compacted soil.
5. Water rarely, but deeply and thoroughly when you do – if you can. If water is scarce like in Melbourne, choose plants that don’t need to be watered.
6. Fertilizer: I can’t see the point. Plants grow perfectly well in compost-enriched soil. And if some plants aren’t happy in your garden, try others. And if it’s not for serious food growing, what’s the hurry?
7. Pesticides – never use them. They kill beneficial insects as well as pests.
8. Experiment, play, enjoy.