Good soil, good plants - naturally
Central Landscapes recognises the growing popularity of gardening without chemicals, whether it’s growing organic food at home, or creating a more natural environment in the garden.
Happily, the past 20 years has seen a shift towards organic products that promote good biological activity in the soil and the growth of strong, healthy plants.
Adding the good stuff to the soil now will ensure plants do well, through the hot weather in summer and early autumn. The objective is to invigorate the soil to the extent that earthworms are present, aerating it and allowing moisture to get to the roots where it can encourage growth.
To invigorate your garden beds organically, particularly where you plan to grow food, Central Landscapes has introduced several Biogro organic certified products that offer combinations of beneficial nutrients. Where there’s a balance of goodies to feed the soil - not a just single nitrogen-based fertiliser - you’ll get a richer, more diverse soil that will cope with dry and plants that can better combat many diseases.
Our products that will help you achieve good, natural soil include: Living Earth Biogro organic certified Compost – 100% weed-free – a perfect sustainability story as it’s made from green garden material - collected from our Auckland gardens and turned into dark, rich compost. Dig it through the soil – compost properties include breaking up hard soil, aiding moisture retention and adding natural nutrients.
Adding a good source of lime to the garden is an important additive for actively growing plants. Aquaticus Biogro organic certified Soil Conditioner is made from crushed green-lipped mussel shells, abundant in New Zealand. You can apply this product liberally on garden soils, vegetable beds, lawns, compost. Just don’t use near to rhododendrons, azaleas and Vireya rhododendrons because these plants don’t like lime.
A generation ago conventional gardening meant feeding the garden with a mix of chemical-based granular fertilisers. Today our preference is to apply the organic granular version, Fertco Biogro organic certified Boost. This is our multi-purpose organic fertiliser containing fish meal and humates as well as natural phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium. Mix through the soil in the garden and apply to lawns ahead of rain.
The advantages of liquid feeding
Applying a good liquid fertiliser will encourage good soil biology and get plants thriving, giving them greater resistance to pests and disease. Our favourite is Aquaticus organic certified Garden Booster which contains fish by-products, seaweed humates and Trichoderma. Used regularly, both as a drench around plants and as a foliar spray, it promotes healthy plants, giving them a better opportunity to withstand drought-prone summer seasons.
Mulching is part of the ‘good soil’ story
Mulching is another excellent plant survival tactic to reduce water loss from gardens, helping to support plants to be more resilient through the summer months. Mulch also absorbs water when the area is watered or when it rains, keeping garden beds and plant roots cooler than the ambient temperatures for longer.
To get the best results clear the area so that only desirable plants are left. Apply a mulch layer up to 50mm deep. Leave a doughnut-shaped area free of mulch around tree trunks and plant stems to prevent stem rot.
Mulches tend to be a personal choice in terms of aesthetics and budget, but they all make a difference to moisture retention in gardens in summer.
Mulching vegetables is best using pea straw. Somerset Pea straw is straw blended with lucerne, and it’s ideal for vegetables because of its lightness and the ability to breakdown quicker after the growing season, adding extra organic matter to the soil.