It is that time of year to start your garden. The weather is heating up and there’s no chance of frost to ruin your hard earned work.
Gardening can be a hassle as it is, between choosing the soil, top soil, fertilizer, organic or conventional. Pesticides or herbicides or do you go all natural? How do you go all natural?
Becky Ellis a veteran in gardening and associate at the London Community Resource Centre teaches organic gardening to London community gardeners, which includes adults and children.
Ellis says, “When it comes to community gardens, people can’t use pesticides or artificial fertilizers. They’re not supposed to.”
Artificial fertilizer only adds an initial boost of nutrients, but then it doesn’t have any more to give to the plants. For non-organic gardens, plants will sprout and grow quickly, but they will starve from not having the proper nutrients in the soil for them to feed off of. In order to keep a non-organic garden going, the plants would have to be consistently fed with more nutrients.
Ellis says having healthy soil consists of, “Lots of bacteria, micro-organisms, fungi, and lots of critters living in the soil.”
Creepy crawlies can be disturbing, but Ellis explains that they are a necessity. Insects, snakes and frogs are natural pesticides that keep a garden naturally balanced.
She says if there’s a problem with slugs in the garden then get toads, and if toads are an issue then snakes are your saviors.
“They have a place in our ecosystem, all these things. So, instead of fearing or disliking some things, we need to accept that we are a part of nature and they’re a part of nature and all these things have a place in the ecosystem.”