95% of surveyed consumers buy organic food because they think it is pesticide free. Organic farmers can legally use pesticides labelled as ‘organic’ or 'natural,’ but nearly half of the natural pesticides used in the US are illegal and deemed unsafe in Europe. Source
This practice makes use of dead branches, leaves and grass clippings by recycling them. To build a hugel bed, you must mound the yard waste, along with any compose, manure or other biomass you’ve got. Then, top the compound with soil and plant your vegetables in it.
One advantage that comes with this method is through the use of wood in the mound. The gradual decay of this wood provides long-term nutrients for plants. By using hardwood, a single mound can supply plants nutrients for over 20 years. The wood also generates heat, which allows for a longer, productive growing season.
As longs and branches break down, soil aeration increases, which means that the bed will be no till.
The logs also act as sponges, storing rainwater and releasing them during dry times. It’s quite common to never need to water your hugel bed after the first year, unless you live in an especially dry area. Otherwise, regular seasonal rain will provide more than enough water.
Permaculture Design PrinciplesCompanion Planting
Many of these relationships are fairly general. The best results come from creating diversity by using a variety of herbs and ornamental plants alongside the edible crops planted in the garden.
Some Companion Plants are:
Basil helps repel flies and mosquitoes
Birch leaves encourage compost fermentation
Borage in the strawberry patch will increase the yield
Catnip repels fleas, ants and rodents
Caraway helps breakdown heavy soils
Chamomile deters flies and mosquitoes and gives strength to any plant growing nearby
Chives grown beneath apple trees will help to prevent apple scab; beneath roses will keep away aphids and blackspot.
Elderberry a general insecticide, the leaves encourage compost fermentation, the flowers and berries make good wine.
Fennel repel flies and ants
French Marigold root secretions kill nasty nematodes (not the beneficial ones) and will repel white fly amongst tomatoes.
Garlic helps keep aphids away from roses
Hyssop attracts cabbage white moth keeping brassicas free from infestation
Mint repels cabbage white moth. Dried and placed with clothes will repel clothes moth.
Nasturtium secrete a mustard oil, which many insects find attractive and will seek out, particularly the cabbage white moth. Alternatively, the flowers repel aphids and the cucumber beetle. The climbing variety grown up apple trees will repel codling moth.
Pyrethrum will repel bugs if grown around the vegetable garden
Rosemary repels carrot fly
Sage protects cabbages from cabbage white moth
Tansy (Tanacetum, not Senecio) repels moths, flies and ants. Plant beneath peach trees to repel harmful flying insects. Tansy leaves assist compost fermentation.
Wormwood (Artemesia, not Ambrosia) although it can inhibit the growth of plants near it, wormwood does repel moths and flies and keeps animals off the garden.
By Angela Blackerby
How many of you have checked out Pinterest? Like most people, I initially used Pinterest to gather recipes and craft ideas. However, I’ve been using the gardening section a lot lately.