Commonly asked organic gardening questions!

Small Plant

Send in your organic gardening questions anytime or feel free to email with some of your own useful organic gardening tips.

1. Question: Is there a safe weed-killing option that I can use to stop the weeds growing in between my brick garden pathway and patio area?
Answer: I have found that good old fashioned pure white vinegar does the trick for me. I simply place it in a 1 litre spray bottle and spray directly onto the weeds. It kills them off for quite a while.

2. Question: How can I clear blackberries growing wild at the back of my property? I don’t want to use any chemicals.
Answer: I think the best option is to remove them manually wearing protective clothing and ensuring you remove the root system. I don’t think using any type of natural fertilizer will be very effective. I have also heard that goats contained at a certain density will clean up all vegetation so that too could be an option.

3. Question: Which fertilizers can I use to ensure they are acceptable in organic gardening?
Answer: If you want to go “totally organic” then only use organic fertilizers as they will do a great job and condition the soil as well. Some examples are using pellatised chook poos, milled cow manure, blood and bone and seaweed based fertilizers. Ensure you ask staff at your local garden centre for advice.

4. Question: Do you need to add soil and lime to the compost?
Answer: Lime does not need to be routinely added and is rarely added in compost heaps unless very acidic materials such as pine needles or sawdust are being used. You also don’t need to add soil. Concentrate on putting together the right combination of materials with the correct level of moisture so that worms, fungi and bacteria will come.

5. Question: Will my compost attract rats?
Answer: Adding cooked foods or meat to a compost can attract rats. If you have rats in your area they will most likely pay a visit to the compost so keep a lid on it. A pet cat can be great too!

Tip: Click here to learn more about Organic Gardening Compost

6. Question: Any organic gardening tips on growing roses effectively?
Answer: Make sure your roses are free of mildew and blackspot before you buy them. Roses need to be heavily pruned every year early spring. Always deadhead roses. Feed them regularly with good quality compost and mulch them.

Tip: plant garlic beneath your roses to repel aphids.

7. Question: Can you use sweet potato as a colonizing groundcover to improve poor soil.
Answer: Yes as planting sweet potato provides a protective cover to the soil. It helps to retain soil moisture and builds up levels of organic matter by creating its own mulch.

8. Question: Organic gardening seems to be rather old school in an age of growing modern technology. Isn’t there a high tech solution?
Answer: Many organic organizations are using the best of cutting edge technology in their assessments of appropriate techniques. Going back to nature may seem idealistic but it does provide what our world agriculture needs: sustainable farming, safe food and using methods that nurture the environment.

Please send in your organic gardening questions. I will endeavour to include them on my site for all to read, contribute and learn from.

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"Plants give us oxygen for the lungs and for the soul", Linda Solegato.

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