Friday, 4 May 2012

Going Green With Chillies, going Dutch or pure logic?

Subtitle: Cradle To Cradle with plants, or simply going green?

I love organic vegetables, fruit and herbs, the more pure the better I’d say. Over the years I have been growing potatoes, carrots, beetroot, beans and lots of other things.
 In time I have had various pests and diseases that did some or a lot of damage. I even tossed potted plants away or even removed them from the garden in order to get rid of the pests.

And how much time I have wasted with chemicals and rubbish; up to a point I got fed up with it all. Too bad, as it drains your energy, instead of bringing it and kills the joy of gardening.
 Gardening should be about good products and lovely flowers and all, not bugs and other negative things.
Gardening should be fun!

Going green with gardening, does not mean spending loads of time to work around chemicals in order to find a new and novel way to be green. Most of the solutions have been about for years.
In my mind most solutions are mere logic, or old wisdom that has been discarded as being old-fashioned. Going green is logical, so may I introduce you to a new term? Bio-waste was already a word; bio-weapons is a word, so I want to introduce the word Biologic.

Biologic will be about using logical sense to keep things bio or green, as easy and simple as it could be. Some new things, lots of old things, and using brain over what has been said by then industries for years, of pesticides.

So I learned a few things that might be nice to share, and would make your gardening easier, that is biologic!

Waste is merely waste if it is regarded as such.

An old grower of roses that kept a show garden in Boskoop Netherlands, told me a very old secret: Some tea roses are known to attract aphids a well known problem. The way to get rid of them or rather to not get them at all, is to put a banana skin around the stem of the rose, and it works wonders, worms love the skin, so it will be eaten in about 2-3 months, simply add a new skin very 2 months or so and your roses will be fine all year. Start with it before the winter, so the aphids won’t like the plant in spring. You can use them for chilli plants as well, but not too much, so a spoon full of shredded skin per plant will do.

Coffee grounds are full of Nitrogen and still has some caffeine left in it as well.
Cats hate them, so they won’t use your garden as much for doing a big one. . .
And snails and slugs get heart problems from caffeine and die fast.

Once I had an infestation with slugs, so I went to the local car dealer. He had this fancy espresso machine and tons of ground extra fine coffee, I spread it all over the garden and the next morning the garden was full with dead slugs and snails. Again, worms love that, and eat it away in a matter of weeks.

So that brings fresh food for the plants, as all the goodies in the grounds are made to perfect compost on the spot.

New biologic combined with old: make a spray against aphids and creepy crawlies - chilli and garlic spray!

Take a ultra-hot chilli, or some drops of extract, and simmer with some cloves of garlic, filter to use for spraying, and Bob’s your uncle, aphids do like chilli plants, but don’t like hot feet, nor do they like garlic. If you add a little dish washing soap and a dash of methylated spirit, the ones that are there will be killed, and the ones that wanted to come loose their appetite.
Last but not least, worm compost or vermicompost is the perfect fertilizer with loads of extras. Worms eat garbage, or bio-waste from anything green, or that used to be green. The best worms for the job are not the normal ones, but you should get manure worms or Eisenia Fetida. They eat manure, preferably horse manure, but anything else rotting will do as well.

All our kitchen waste is fed to worms, red wriggler worms or compost worms or simply redworms, and they love it, even coffee grounds, tea bags, cardboard, grass clippings or flowers they love. This is called vermicomposting or composting with worms.

It is way faster than the normal compost bin, even faster than a tumbler composter and gives less to no greenhouse gases such as Methane. Both can be combined, if you just add some worms to the bin, or tumbler. You can find the right worms at shops that sell worm bins, or you can find them in old manure.

If horse manure is over 1 year old, it has bound to have some nice little red worms in it.

I will not get deeper in the worm composting at the moment, but will give you some benefits.
Worm compost enriches the soil with micro-organisms; adding enzymes such as phosphatase and cellulose. The microbial activity in worm castings is 10 to 20 times higher than in the soil and bio-waste the worm ingests.
Wormcompost is 100% free of pathogens it is even tested and proven that worms can clean a layer of sewage waste in a matter of 7 days. . .

For your plants it enhances germination excels plant growth and crop yield, improves root growth and structure. The micro-organisms are adding plant hormones such as auxins and gibberellic acid to your potting soil, and the best part, aphids hate the smell of plants grown in soil with 10-15% worm compost added.

So enough of this difficult patho auxin gibberish.

Go green with your plants, go biologic!

More biologic to come.

Yours truly,

Bart J. Meijer

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