Sunday, July 25, 2010

Gardening Like a Pro, With Modest Means

Gardening like a professional with modest means.

It is easy and very possible, indeed.

You don't really have to be a professional gardener to grow quality, vibrant, healthy and full of life vegetables. You need a desire to learn, to experiment, and apply in practice what you've learned.

Mother nature is so rich, and so freely giving, that we could never exhaust her of the never ending resources she has. The only thing we need to learn is how to receive and take from her, as long as we do not try to destroy her.

And we need to give some of it back, too, by composting the leftovers, and helping the soil to get fertile again, through natural means.

Sometimes the plot we intend to grow our vegetables in, is depleted of the best nutrients it used to offer, or the soil clay, or too sandy, and it is not as we would like. The soil needs to be darker, with composted matter. The first impulse would be to apply some chemically based fertilizer, but that's obviously not the best solution.

Since the land is so over fertilized in the lands where the produce is grown, and we buy it from the supermarket shelf at the produce section, they are hardly safe to eat anymore. You don't know what kind and how much fertilizer and pesticides and fungicides was used to increase their bottom line for their productivity!

So what are we going to do? We have to eat fruits and vegetables, we've got to feed our families. But thank God there is an alternative to it: start your own Garden and grow your own fresh fruits and vegetables, if you don't have one already. That's the smart thing to do. Especially today, when most of our produce is coming from imports, traveling long distance and we don't have a clue how were they grown!

You don't know how old they are, if they have any nutrition value, as most of them are picked green and forced riped, to look good by the time they are delivered to the stores.

We certainly don't need to poison our bodies with chemical fertilizers and pesticides, that we don't even have any idea how much was there applied. And besides that we don't know how was the produce handled.

So the solution again, is to create and grow your own vegetable garden. Make it fertile, first, if it's not fertile already.

In my humble opinion, the best way to make the soil fertile is through natural means if we want to stay healthy. Let's think of the forest, where the trees have grown and survived for hundreds of years. They even survived fires, and revived again stronger then before. Why?

Because of it's ability to replenish the nutrients by its natural means, without the intervention of the humans. The trees are dropping the dead limbs, and the leaves that decompose, and turns back into the soil, with the help of rain, wind, sun, heat, earth worms, and our little invisible friends, the micro organisms that feed on them, and thus turn the decaying leaves into humus. That's exactly what the plants need to help them continue the cycle of life. Humus, fertile soil.

And that's exactly what we should do for the soil in our own garden. Collect the leaves from one year to another, have a pile in a corner of the garden, and give it time to decay. Just turn it now and then with a pitch fork, and you'll have the best natural fertilizer possible. For Free!

A lot of people are burning the leaves. Well, if they don't have a garden it's OK, I guess. But if they do have a garden, and they burn the leaves, and then they go to the supply store to buy that expensive chemical fertilizer, in my opinion that is a mistake. But, hey, who knows, maybe they have money to burn!

As for you folks, who are passionate about gardening and are willing to save the leaves, that's like money in your pocket, as well as prime quality fruits and vegetables, much safer to eat, than a lot of other people do, who maybe do not care.

If you have also access to some cow manure, that's perfect. But the leaves are the cheapest and smart way to make your own compost free.

Now there are a lot of ways to make your own compost, of course, food leftovers, sea grass, seaweeds, ground oyster shells, peanut hulls, grass clippings, etc. Absolutely, I don't doubt that. But what I'm saying is that the leaves are the cheapest and the most readily available for almost anyone.

Spread your compost on top of the soil in your selected sunny spot, till it in, and plan for your planting. Choose the vegetables that you like the most. A good time to prepare your garden is in the fall, so during the winter time, the compost will have extra time to decay, and make the soil fertile and ready for the spring planting.

Once you know what kind of vegetables you want to plant, search in your prefered seed Catalogs, and buy your seeds, start them indoors early enough to have the little plans ready to be planted in your garden, right after the danger of late frost is over.

Then it is time to get your hands dirty, but it is worth it! You will be glad you did.

Now relax and sit on a bench, watching the birds singing, and the little butterflies dancing happily in the air, and your vegies growing bigger and full of vitamins and minerals! Reap the benefits of an abundant crop of fresh, vibrant, healthy, and happy fruits and vegetables of your own garden.

Create your own paradise and live smart, healthy, and well.

Until next time,

Happy Gardening!

Mike Borlovan

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