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Knowing the nature of the soil, working the land gently, associating the plants and protecting them without fertilizers or pesticides, helps keep a garden organic and healthy.
- Read also : easily identify the soil in your garden
Feed the soil rather than the plant
Feeding the soil, rather than the plant: this is the basis of organic gardening. To begin with, you have to get to know your soil. Kits sold in garden centers make it possible to test its hydrogen potential, the famous pH. It can be acidic, calcareous or neutral. The earth also has different characteristics. Poor, it contains few nutrients. Fat, it is fertile and rich in microorganisms. Clayey, it is heavy to work with but is resistant to drought.
The organic gardener strives to preserve the balance of the soil, without the addition of chemical fertilizers or pesticides. It adapts by working the clay soil before the cold weather then lets the frost crumble the clods.
He weeds by hand using the cooking water of potatoes, rice, pasta or with boiling water. He avoids intensive digging which impoverishes the soil by burying organic matter and prefers to loosen it with a light tool such as a grelinette.
Whatever the season, the ground is never bare but covered with mulch or a combination of plants. In the vegetable garden, the mixture of vegetables and aromatics allows them to defend each other against devastating attacks. For example, marigold protects tomatoes from downy mildew and basil repels aphids.
The carrot has beneficial effects on leeks, lettuce, peas and radishes. Wisely diversifying species in the same garden square has the effect of stimulating them. However, you need to be well informed beforehand as some are harmful to others. This is the case, for example, with potatoes, which do not mix well with carrots and cucumbers.
Not destroying small animals also has a favorable impact on the garden. Although not very tasty, the earthworm is essential for good soil aeration, while the pretty ladybug eats aphids. To keep slugs away, simply spread sand or ash around the plant to be protected.
> To read also: attract useful animals to the garden
To fertilize, nothing like the compost made at the bottom of the garden with organic waste (vegetable and fruit peelings, coffee grounds, etc.).
Nettle manure also works wonders and also acts as an insecticide.
Finally, to keep a lawn in good shape, just don't mow it too often, or too close to it, and don't pick up clippings using the mulching position of the mower.