THE MODERN MINT BLOG

Feb22

How To Be An Organic Gardener

How Do I Become An Organic Gardener?

The boy walked up to his mother, who was slicing into the tall compost heap with her spade. Dotted around the sides of the heap were a few daffodils, about to unfold themselves and shine brightly as the heralds of a warming spring.

“Why are you always moving that mud around mummy?” asked the boy.

His mother smiled, wiped a glove across her forehead to remove the sweat.

“It does look a bit like mud, doesn’t it? But can you see how it crumbles when I pick it up? And can you see the worms? Smell it too, go on.”

The boy, encouraged by his mother, took a great sniff.

“It’s gone up my nose!”

“Well it will do if you inhale like that,” she laughed, “wipe your nose… not on your sleeve!”

The boy giggled. His mother laughed too.

“This is called compost. It is made from all the leaves and all the flowers of the plants we had in the garden last year. Did you like the smell?”

The boy nodded, eyes wide.

“This compost is so important to how we look after our garden. It’s as important as gold to an organic gardener like me.”

“An organic gardener?” said the boy, “how do I become an organic gardener?”

The Two Essentials of the Organic Gardener

First of all, being an organic gardener is about what you don’t do.

You Don’t Use Pesticides, Weedkillers or Synthetic Fertilisers

Got it? No more popping to the garden centre, buying some and then thinking these are ok to use. They are not, not even in small amounts… and you will no longer be able to consider yourself an organic gardener.

Now we are clear on what you don’t do, what one action CAN YOU TAKE to become an organic gardener?

Look after your soil.

Your soil and its ability to be easy to handle, hold just enough water and oxygen to grow a range of plants, and also be filled with nutrients is of the utmost importance to strive for as an organic gardener.

How can you make this happen?

Try not to dig or disturb the soil too much, don’t leave it naked to the sun and rain (even if it is covered with weeds, that is better than nothing!) and add as much organic matter to its surface as you can.

This is where the compost heap comes in. By storing all of your organic matter, all your waste and arisings from the garden in one place, you capture all the goodness in one position and get it ready to be re-used.

A compost heap is the beating heart that drives your garden and the health of the plants you grow.

The Organic Gardener

By refraining from using poison in your garden, whilst concentrating on the health of your soil, you will be creating the strongest possible foundation you can for being an organic gardener.

If you add to these endeavours a few more great practises like saving rainwater for re-use on thirsty plants, growing a wide and diverse range of flowers and shrubs, planting trees, fighting the sale of composts with peat in, growing your own vegetables and cut flowers, making a pond and doing all you can to provide habitats and food for wildlife, you will soon be a master organic gardener.

Simple, isn’t it? We hope you will become an organic gardener too…



May15

Garden Talks Via Zoom

I do lots of garden talks to clubs and societies all over the UK. You can see my subjects and how to book here – How to Book A Garden Talk. But obviously life has changed hugely, with Covid-19 and the fact we are all in isolation. This has not stopped a few intrepid garden clubs from asking me if we can still meet and discuss gardening – this time via Zoom. To Zoom Or Not to Zoom? I have weighed up doing talks via video link before. In the ‘for’ category, it would reduce my carbon footprint. I do …

READ MORE

Apr16

The Impact Of Not Clipping

not clipping

The Impact Of Not Clipping Your Topiary Or Hedges This question has been on my mind recently, as we appear to be heading into a fourth week of lockdown due to Covid-19 (how extraordinary I hope this blog post reads, in a few months time, as we look back and remember what sad and strange happenings these were… at least I hope that this will read strange, as soon as possible, as if almost like a bad dream…) It is early spring and so there is no need right now to be clipping hedges. Leave them for the common UK birds …

READ MORE

Apr15

Capture Carbon In Your Front Garden

residential front garden

I was asked recently whether I could give advice on how to use a small front garden to capture carbon. A great question and certainly one worth answering. So if you are keen to reduce your environmental impact, and have a little front garden space that you can transform, read on below for a few bits of advice – I hope it helps you make a beautiful front garden that improves the landscape, the air quality, the planet and the joy in the lives of everyone who walks past it! Carbon Capture In The Front Garden Using your front garden as a carbon sink …

READ MORE