AGRICULTURAL NEWS - It is quite possible to grow your own vegetables in a patch of soil only 1m x 1m without digging.
A unique way of planting vegetables on top of paved areas or even on top of lawns was de-monstrated in George recently. Here are the steps to grow your own food in a small space:
To establish your veggie garden you need:
Carton boxes (flattened), garden soil, compost, newspaper, dry grass cuttings/straw, worm tea, vegetable and herb seedlings, watering can, spade.
1. Lay down cardboard to cover the area (grass, paving, cement surface) where your garden patch is to be. (It is best if the grass has been recently cut - just leave it where it falls. A layer of cow manure under the cardboard makes it extra fertile. Wet cardboard breaks down faster.)
2. Cover with a layer of soil and then a layer of compost.
3. Lay sheets of newspaper that have been dipped into worm tea over the compost until covered.
4. Then follows a layer of dry grass cuttings or straw (keeps seedlings warm in winter, prevents loss of moisture and eventually becomes compost).
5. Use a watering can with a rose to lightly wet the grass.
6. Using your fingers, make little holes in the grass where you want to plant the seedlings (till your fingertips touch the newspaper layer beneath).
7. Dip the roots of the seedlings in worm tea before planting in mixed order ('companion' planting helps to keep bugs away).
8. Lay a border of cardboard around the vegetable patch, followed by small bark pieces. It keeps weeds from growing and things like snails away from the vegetables. In a bigger vegetable garden these strips can serve as paths so that you can reach your veggies. It will break down over time, creating compost.
Water the seedlings regularly (early morning or after 16:00) around their roots (to minimise the chances of mildew developing).
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