You Reap What You Sow

Karma Gardening

You reap what you sow

You get out what you put in

And so on

I keep reading about how good compost makes good soil, and feeds your plants. PH testing, acidic and non-acidic soil and all that stuff.

But the bottom line really is that you get out of it all what you put in. So if you want lovely healthy succulent fruit and vegetables, you feed your plants a good balanced diet. All seems to be common sense really.

 

What then makes a plant happy?

Sprouting Peas
Peas

To put it really really basically.

Plants need nitrogen, phosphates and sun shine to grow strong and healthy, and here’s why.

We are told that a good balanced diet is important, this includes protein for strong muscles and bones and unprocessed sugars for energy. Well it turns out that plants are the root source of these compounds.

Did you know that plants make protein from nitrogen? It’s part of our DNA and 78% of nitrogen comes from the air around us, bacterias in the ground and water absorb the nitrogen and feed it to the plants as they drink, because plants and animals don’t have the mechanisms to absorb it directly from the air.

Plants also need photosynthesis to survive and grow, but why?

Photosynthesis is the process by which plants take energy from the suns rays and converts it into sugar using the phosphate molecule. Phosphates come from the soil and organic matter. It’s like a mini explosion that creates sugar on a molecular level.

I stress that this is a really basic explanation and I’d recommend you head over to BBC Bitesize if you’re doing research for your homework.

Anyway, so we now have protein and sugar in our plant. It’s the beginning of the great food chain.

So in a nut shell, quite literally, this is how we and other animals, fish and birds obtain energy and protein, by eating plants. I’m quite blown away by that.

We therefore need to make sure our plants get fed good rich soil full of rotting organic matter to make phosphates and bacteria to absorb nitrogen, then just add plenty of sunlight. Without these three key elements, we just don’t survive.

So the moto to this little biology tale is quite simply, to look after your soil, rivers and oceans first and foremost, because what you put in them dictates how healthy your plants will become, and how healthy you and all other life in the food chain feels after eating them.

Worship your compost, feed it as you would prepare a good wholsome recipe and your harvest will be glorious.

For further reading on the fundamentals of biology and other stuff, check out this schools research and revision website. You’re never too old to learn.

www.khanacademy.org/science/biology

Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe below to keep up to date on my ambition to home grow as much of Christmas as possible.

About Keep It Green 19 Articles

A passionate organic gardener and advocate of green living ideas and ethics being taught in mainstream education. A blogger, photographer & website designer. A food lover and believer that quality and smart healthy eating doesn’t have to cost the Earth. Always learning, always searching.

4 Comments

  1. Hi,
    I couldn’t see a general comments section (might be an idea) so I’m using this area. Firstly, love the blog! Perfect for me, in that it is informative without being pushy and not too technical. I’m hoping you take requests for blog article ideas:-
    1/ Wild animal (particularly rabbit) deterrents – friendly/humane of course.
    2/ Raised vegetable gardens.

    Thanks and keep on blogging.
    Darren

    • Thanks for the message Darren,
      Always great to hear feedback, and so glad you like the blog.

      To answer your questions, yes the raised beds will be featured soon, I have two on the go. One is based upon the Hugelkultur method and the other is more traditional. But more on that to come.

      As for Rabbits, I have an enclosed space so I’m not not exposed to wandering bunnies, however I am familiar with methods involving fencing of course. Although this can be costly and less aesthetically pleasing to the eye, depending on the size of your plot.

      Other more natural & popular solutions involve spraying a crushed garlic & water solution on the more vulnerable plants, it’s the smell that does it, although this washes away in the rain so more applications will be required. A garlic infusion added to the sprinkler system perhaps?
      Another is to spread Fish blood & bone fertiliser, I hear rabbits aren’t fond of the smell of this either, and it’s also good for the soil and all that grow in it as a slow release natural fertiliser. There are loads of organic suppliers out there online. Reckon I’ll be getting some myself soon as well.

      So it’s pretty much down to fencing off or create a stink if you’re really worried about an invasion. But as they’re only doing what’s natural to them and If it’s only a few wild rabbits though, some live traps with succulent tasty greens to tempt them in, and let them loose somewhere compatible but further away of course.

      Hope this has helped Darren and I’d love to hear how you get on.

      Thanks for the ‘general comments area’ idea. I think a community space could be incorporated, I may not have all the answers, and there’s certainly strength in numbers. Perhaps even a linked Facebook Community Page, I’ll look into it and get back to you on that one.

      Keep it Green 😉

      Roj

  2. Hi roj
    Have you ever thought of having a seed/plant swap? Our local market in dovercourt have stalls for local community groups, we used to do one for Friends of the Earth, a great way to get rid of surplus stuff if you only have a small garden.

    • Hi Rachael, you’re right, community market stalls are a great place to share ideas, and I know the local allotment groups sometimes have plant sales and seed swaps. I’ll definitely build up to doing this, I’ve started collecting seeds and would be happy to pass them on, I certainly don’t have the space to sow them all 🙂 It would be even better if local charity shops were allowed to offer them as well. I’ll have to follow up that idea as well.

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. I’ve lost my onions, they're Bolting! - A Greener Life UK

Please leave a comment and sign up for more updates