I killed off most of the first plants. I had a whole tonne of different plants and was determined to be all natural with no pesticide.
I also forgot how important drainage was to potted plants.
So I lost most of them to aphids, White Flies and growth stunting.
This time around I made sure I gave each plant it’s space, drainage, enough water and a new pesticide help.
What I’m Growing Now
At the moment we have
- blueberries (not currently in season)
- Tahitian Limes
- Mini capsicums
- French carrots
- Spring onions
- Bulb zucchinis
So it’s definitely a full house but it’s lots of fun learning about each plant and being overly excited when a new flower or fruit shows up.
What pesticide I Use
After a couple of weeks of research, I landed on eco neem.
Neem targets sucking and chewing insects specifically like aphids, whiteflies and caterpillars.
Another name for the tree that produces neem is the Indian Lilac.
This tree is used in many medicinal properties and is part of the mahogany family.
Do not use eco neem for medicinal purposes. Leave that for doctors, chemists and specialists. They know what they’re doing.
The oil is extracted from the bark of the tree and when you buy the bottle from your hardware store, a small amount 5mL to a Litre of water and spray on the plant while avoiding any flowers or fruit.
While it has rid us of most other pests that were eating our plants it seems to have freed up our garden with these guys who I still haven’t been properly introduced to.
Leave me a comment with the answer if you know it, please.
The main thing I like about eco neem is that it’s a natural property with a small number of chemicals unlike more damaging pesticides on the market.
It is also a safe chemical to have run off into the drainage and further down the track, into our rivers and oceans.
Australia has a very damaging problem when it comes to chemicals in our water supply.
Particularly our mining industry who uses the major water supply from the Great Artesian Basin that is our country’s only source of fresh water. But that’s another story. Our politicians are really corrupt.
Anyway, the last thing I want to note about neem as a pesticide is that it DOES NOT AFFECT BEES!
Bees are absolutely integral to your garden and the ecosystem.
Without them, nothing gets pollinated and the health of your garden diminishes.
This season has been particular barren.
We all know there is a major problem with how we manipulate and destroy the world’s bee populations but never has it been more apparent than now.
To increase bees to our garden we got some viola flowers that bloom most of the year, and I can use them in food if I’m being fancy, and sage.
The most common way to attract bees is to grow lavender but I have allergic family members so sage and viola were the next best things.
So far we’ve had one bee in the last month.
One thing that must be brought up is the importance of land and sustainable living and eating. This point is that of oppression. The withholding or inaccessibility to land and food resources has for centuries been used to disenfranchise people. Having the ability to sustain yourself releases you from that control and your dependence.
Keep this in mind when you grow and think on the people all over the world who are food insecure due to war, man-made famine (Yemen) and greed.
Many areas in major western cities have been put there into ghetto-like situations where food insecurity becomes a major issue and getting fast food is the only option. This diminishes health and keeps people impoverished.
Maybe look into starting a community garden if you are in these areas, or just share your extra harvest with soup kitchens and food banks.
Donate extra plants so people with children can also learn how to feed themselves like we as a species once knew to do.
So what next?
At this point, the zucchini’s will have to be pollinated manually but everything else is growing really well.
By giving them the boost with lots of water nutrients, a helpful and constructive pesticide as well as the right amount of sun and drainage, your plants will grow in no time.
We have a big fat tomato that’s almost ready to turn red and every little fruit is like having a new puppy born.
The ultimate goal is to provide enough ongoing harvest so we have no reason to go to major supermarkets to get our food.
Being self sustainable is a feat that most don’t venture. This is sad and worrying for our species.
While technologies are amazing, we have gotten to the point where we have overdone technologies in agriculture.
While we have more food than we need, we dump 40% of it into landfills and people we don’t see across the world have absolutely no food.
Food security is a serious issue. If you are financially struggling, having food can be the be all and end all of your health, making it harder for you to get money.
The pride you get knowing you rely solely on your knowledge and your own resources frees you from being dependant on exorbitant prices (looking at you Coles with your $2.50 capsicum) and poor quality food.
Having a garden can be hard if you don’t have space. Luckily I live in subtropical weather so my plants have a real fighting chance as well as a large area to house them.
In the next article, I’ll be going through how we make our hydroponic lettuce using the Kratky method which will hopefully provide tips for the space challenged.
If you’re looking for new inspiration check out these Instagram accounts. I would love to have a garden area just to be able to do these.
If you have any tips or advice for me to improve my garden or what to try next, leave a comment and I’d be happy to try some of them out.
Or if you’d like to be apart of Jaskulic contact us or become a patron.
Here are my sources for further reading: