How To Save Our Soil

What Happens when you don't mow your lawn

Over the last few decades, commercial farming has been put under immense pressure. Food production has had to find ways of increasing its output to meet demand and as a result more innovative ways are being implemented to try and deal with this growing problem.

One of the options being used involves synthetic chemicals such as commercial grade fertilisers, fertilisers that contain harmful chemicals and toxins that damage our bodies.

Not only do our bodies not cope well with these toxins, the microorganisms in our soil don’t like them either, in fact, they are so bad for the soil that they kill all life within it. These harsh chemicals serve only one purpose, and that is to make crops grow quicker, to eradicate pests, and to eliminate weeds whilst at the same time making the chemical producing companies a lot of profit.

In doing so, these chemicals cause immeasurable damage to our soil, the life within it, and the wildlife that live off it.

Commercial agricultural farming chemicals kill off almost everything but the plant it has been engineered to help grow faster, taller and larger.

Swaves of land across the globe have become unworkable. The soil is lifeless and has no nutrients, no water retention, and no life. This results in heinous destruction of our ecosystems, poisoning of our waters and fish, our aquifers, the wildlife and the crops we eat.

The knock on effect to this is clear to see. More and more people are becoming ill, some with serious illnesses such as cancer. Many will die and will continue to do so. Even our domesticated pets are dying from cancer due to the amount of chemicals being used in gardens.

Our cat sadly died, having developed cancer from drinking rain water from the saucers of plant tubs, where chemical fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides had been sprayed or watered into the soil. Over time, the chemicals destroyed the cells in the cats organs and resulted in organ failure, much like what these chemicals are doing to us.

vermiculture

You may be wondering why they would use such chemicals if they cause so much harm?

Sadly we are in what I describe as the consumer revolution, meaning, people are obsessed with buying products they have little understanding of what it is they’re buying, because the marketing has done a wonderful job on convincing them, by way of subliminal messaging, campaigns and colours that convince people they need these products for a better, healthier, more productive life, or in this case, a beautiful garden.

What is a beautiful garden?

Is beauty defined by how few weeds we have, or the fact our flowers are bigger, bolder and brighter than our neighbours because we use chemicals to enhance thier growth?

Or is a beautiful garden a haven for nature, unpolluted, free of toxins and one that allows wildlife and nature to do the one thing on this planet that it will always keep doing, thriving, whether we exist or not.

Gardens have become creations of art, a place to show off, desperate to make them prestine and pruned, an area of so called beauty, maybe even a few square meters of synthetic grass finishes the overall design, which also finishes off all living life beneath it whilst adding to global warming issues?

We have become greedy, selfish and self obsessed with how we look, how our homes look and how our gardens look. We care less for nature than we ever have and as a result our existence is under serious threat, unless we change our mindset.

How do we regenerate our soil?

The first thing we need to do is stop using harmful chemicals. It’s that simple. Weed and feed style chemicals for grass, and weed killers, especially those with Glyphosate, such as Round Up, fertilisers that use chemicals such as arsenic, cadmium and lead or any other myriad of toxic chemicals that should never be allowed on the market.

soil regeneration

Stop using these chemicals immediately, especially if you grow food and use them. Many people grow tomatoes for example and will happily pour synthetic tomato feed into the soil or compost to boost their growth but sadly they’re just damaging their own bodies when consuming the fruit that has absorbed the toxins.

No Dig Methods – How To Save Our Soil

The no dig method is nothing new. It’s a simple way of regenerating soil and introducing a natural ecosystem of nutrients with little effort. You start by placing paper or cardboard on top of the soil where you want to plant. Then adding straw, hay or mulch on top, you can add a sprinkling of organic food waste but it may attract rats. You can use manure, such as chicken, horse, deer manure. Water it in.

Then to plant you simply cut a small slit or hole in the card and plant your plants.

Microorganisms will thrive beneath the cardboard as it provides the ideal environment and will suppress weeds. Worms will come and multiply. The cardboard will eventually break down along with the mulch, manure, hay or straw. This is food for the Worms and the microorganisms who will all be producing balanced nutrients needed for excellent plant growth and no chemicals in sight!

All the nutrients you need will be provided for you free of charge! You won’t, or shouldn’t see weeds popping up because weeds only turn up to tell you somethings wrong, like sending you a text saying, “hey, there’s not enough nutrients in the soil so we’re going to hang out here for a while and fix that for you!”

There are organic fertiliser options.

If you don’t want to buy organic fertilisers, make your own, it’s easy.

Seaweed, weeds, organic food waste, animal manure, mulch, and vermicompost, all make excellent fertiliser. Start spreading this onto the soil, don’t dig it, any life that remains in the soil will be disturbed and exposed causing it to die off.

All the natural fertiliser mentioned above can be spread around your no dig area. Improving the soil further and boosting plant growth. Spread it below your fruit trees for an amazing crop of fruits.

There are lots of ways to make your own delicious fertilisers that your plants and your friendly helpers in the soil will thank you for. We will cover this later in more detail in another blog.

One method is to collect all your weeds and some grass cuttings and place them in a bucket that has a lid. Ideally you want a 10ltr bucket. Half fill with weeds and grass, add water to fill and stir, Place the lid on and make sure its tightly sealed.

Then leave for 3 days, at which point give it a stir and again every 3 days thereafter. Leave for two weeks and you’ll be ready to use the mix at a ratio of 10/1 (10 parts water to 1 part of the fertiliser tea.) if you leave it longer (say another 2 weeks or more) it will be more concentrated and you may need to increase the ratio of the mix, say, 25/1 or 50/1.
Always test an area first before dowsing everything with it and don’t water over the plants, only into the soil.

Weeds contain nutrients the soil and plants need to thrive, hence why weeds begin to develop. They are messengers, telling us our soil is lacking the goodness it needs, which is why we don’t dig up our weeds, spray them with chemicals that kill the soil or burn them, we catch them before they seed and “chop and drop”, cutting them at the base and leaving them where they fall so they can put the nutrients, such as nitrogen, back into the soil as they break down and decompose.

Most of what gardeners call “waste” is goodness for our land or soil. We let plants and trees do their thing! So, that means ensuring we catch them before seeding and then chopping them and letting them fall to the ground below and stay there doing there job. They work for us, saving us the hard work and look after out soil.

The same for trees, we don’t cut stray branches or allow more light only to then shred it. We mostly let it fall to the ground wherenit becomes a haven for wildlife, insects and microorganisms that will break it down to create nutrient rich balanced lush soil.

Sadly, and I reiterate, consumerism has jaded our minds, we believe a fancy looking bottle of poison is better for our garden, it makes it tidier and more presentable. Walk into any woodland and you see an abundance of life, an ecosystem bustling with energy, nutrients and organic matter, wildlife and microorganisms all working in a symbiotic fashion to nourish the woodland. It may not like as pristine as next door neighbours garden but it’s doing the work for you!!

Before you go… Weeds are herbs, herbs are medicine, packed with natural goodness, herbicides are weed killers, the definition of herbicide is Herb – a leafy plant, often in an unwanted place, or a medicine.
Icide – An old English phrase meaning, to kill something.

Herb-icide – to kill medicine!

More coming soon as well as 10 ways to create free fertilisers.

 

 

 

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