Tui has put together some useful tips for easy and cost effective ways to keep your garden naturally healthy…
- Put a filter on hose taps to avoid using chemical filled water on your natural garden.
- Use Saturaid Granular Soil wetter on lawns, garden beds and in pots to reduce water use by up to 50%.
- Collect rainwater in barrels for use in the garden.
Choose native varieties
- Native plants have adapted to local soil conditions over thousands of years and have few problems with pests.
- Attract wildlife and birds into the garden. Flax, kowhai and kaka beak will draw many nectar loving birds including our favourite, the Tui.
- Native plants are easy to grow, requiring less fertiliser and water.
- Use native grasses in your lawn.
- Compost your vegetable waste instead of taking it to the landfill. Compost enriches soil fertility with a shot of plant-loving nutrients and improves water retention. Top up your supply with Tui Compost when required.
- Speed up the process with earthworms. Anyone can create a worm farm, all you need is a suitable container, bedding material and, of course, worms.
- A five percent increase in organic material quadruples the soil's ability to store water. This is a significant amount especially in hot, dry landscapes.
- Keep a bag or barrel of dry leaves next to your compost pile to cover up kitchen scraps - this will prevent the attention of critters and flies. If they persist, bury the kitchen scraps deeper inside the pile.
Natural pest control
- Control slugs using beer! If you can give up a small amount of your favourite ale – leave a wide jar in the garden that will attract slugs that will crawl in and drown. Alternatively use Tui Quash slug & snail control as this is the safest pelletised slug and snail bait, and is very effective on slugs and snails.
- Spray aphid infested stems, leaves, and buds with very diluted soapy water, then clear water.
- Mites and other insects: Mix two tablespoons of hot pepper or cayenne pepper with a few drops of soap into two pints of water. Let stand overnight and then spray.
Natural disease and weed control
- Use one tablespoon of baking soda dissolved in a litre of water to attack powdery mildew and oxalis.
- Rotate crops on each garden area between seasons, so diseases won’t build up in the soil.
- Spot-spray weeds with common full-strength household vinegar, on a sunny day.
- To get rid of weeds in hard-to-reach places like between cracks in concrete by pouring boiling water over them.
- Create your own soil pH! Mulch acid-loving plants with a thick layer of pine needles each autumn. As the needles decompose, they will deposit their acid in the soil.
If you have any natural gardening tips that you would like to share –please contact us email@example.com