The crowning glory of any home, ideally, if people could always manage one, would be its garden. Whether you live in an urban flat and have succulents, potted herbs, and terrariums, or live on the fringe of the city where you have a porch or small backyard... keeping a home garden with edible produce is well worth the effort. It's also the quickest way to teach children about the cycle of life and how organisms benefit one another in an ecosystem. Here are four effective home gardening tips from a gifted local farmer-slash-plant whisperer our family trusts—C. Nalda cares for a local garden we own and there's no one wiser I know when it comes to caring for animals and a home garden.
1. Don't plant leafy vegetables, tomatoes, eggplant, and corn in August to the middle of September in an open garden. These are the months with lots of worms and larvae. It is the hatching period of butterflies and other insects. In this season DO plant onions, coriander, arugula, and rocket lettuce, worms don't like these plants in particular.
2. Don't plant peanuts immediately after they're shelled. When it comes to planting peanuts be aware that red gatherer ants love to eat them. First put them in a big open container and wet the peanuts and allow to germinate for 3-4 days before planting.
3. Enrich your soil with compost created with organic biodegradable waste. Gather fruit peelings, decomposing twigs and leaves, rotten vegetables, and coffee bean/granule waste (very good soil conditioner) to make compost. Even the charcoal crumbs and powder at the bottom of the charcoal sack are vital additives, don't throw that away! Mix that charcoal/uling residue in with your compost and you'll have more potent fertilizer for your garden.
4. Make sure your field or planting terrain is free of any old batteries that might have accidentally been disposed of in the area. The toxins and mercury from those batteries can be absorbed by plants through the soil and make edible plants unfit for us to consume.
The belief stemming from a faith shared by many in this nation is that human life preciously began in a garden surrounded by a plethora of species, some of which probably don't exist anymore today. Some plants grow to become an essential part of a balanced diet. It's important for us to plant and maintain gardens that nourish and teach us, they give us better air to breathe and beautiful spaces for our children to play. Seed, time, and harvest is a survival cycle. We ought to appreciate and cultivate every small space we choose to make a thriving habitat; after all, it's these little spaces all stitched together that make up the planet we call home.
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