Unfortunately, fashions have unfortunately reached our gardens and some people are trying to use water, fertilizers and insecticides to grow unsuitable species… The climate and the region is one determining factor, the nature of the soil is another. A local nurseryman will be able to advise you. A soil analysis laboratory will give you the proportions of clay, silt, limestone, organic matter, the degree of acidity, the quantities of phosphorus, potassium…(from 60€).
Arrange your space
Its alleys will be made of a few paving stones or logs, crushed branches, pine bark, conifer needles, walnut shells, sand or gravel.
The vegetable garden
The fruit of his vegetable garden is the gardener’s supreme reward: flavour, freshness, derisory cost… We count 100 m² per person to eat all year round; the ideal place will be an open area to the south and protected from the winds, made up of soil rich in organic matter (black and light). It is important to plan a rotation of vegetables to allow the soil to regenerate, some plants being particularly greedy in nutrients (eggplant, cauliflower, tomato, …). For example, plants of various families (leguminous plants, curbaceous plants, cruciferous plants), developing different organs (root, bulb, leaves, seeds, fruits, etc.) can be rotated.
By varying the species of plants in the garden, we also multiply the insects. They are precious allies of the gardener and have nothing chemical about them. It is known that an amateur gardener uses on average 2 to 5 times more chemical substances per m² than a farmer, thus actively participating in the pollution of the water tables and producing vegetables loaded with pesticide residues. All they need to do is surround themselves with ladybirds to fight aphids, shrews to fight larvae, slugs to fight orchard mites, earwigs to fight apple worms, chickadees to fight caterpillars… To bring them in, we leave about ten square meters of fallow land for them to colonize; we plant pollen-rich flowers and a diversified hedge. You can even buy ladybird larvae in garden centres.
As a natural insecticide, you can combine plants to repel the enemy (e.g. the roots of marigolds secrete a substance toxic to nematodes, responsible for the decline of tomatoes), put wooden planks on the ground and recover the slugs that will take shelter there or leave them saucers of beer or they will drown, use insecticides based on plant extracts (e.g., the roots of the marigold), or use insecticides based on plant extracts (e.g., the roots of the beetle, the roots of the beetle, the roots of the beetle): nettle manure against rose aphids, coffee grounds against mosses around carrot plants, … ).
To prevent soil depletion, it must be maintained and chemical fertilizers should be avoided. Compost is the most complete fertilizer; made up of vegetable waste that will degrade naturally thanks to micro-organisms, then by a very small fauna of earthworms, sowbugs, beetles… We can deposit all kinds of waste in it: Garden waste (crushed if too large), peelings, eggshells, leftovers from meals, coffee grounds, paper towels (not coloured), wood ash, … to meet specific deficiencies, we can use “natural” fertilizers from the recycling of organic waste; nettle manure (1kg of nettle in 10 l of water, fermented for 2 weeks; filtered and sprayed it becomes soil fertilizer or insecticide against aphids), dried blood (rich in nitrogen), wood ash (against a lack of potash), algae (rich in trace elements), ….
Mulching, based on wood shavings, mowing residues, straw, dead leaves,…allows you to protect your land between plantations against bad weather, sun, drought, evaporation, weed proliferation,…
Watering must become a thoughtful gesture. Water is precious and plants often don’t ask for as much as they are given. Garlic, carrots and potatoes do not need watering; geraniums of South African origin cannot stand being constantly soaked…
It is also necessary to water at the right times: in the late afternoon in the middle of summer, but in the late morning in autumn; maintain the soil well by hoeing and mulching. If the plants lack a little water, they will develop a less superficial root system and will go deep down to draw water.
Watering should be done as close to the roots as possible; a conventional watering can or hose wastes large amounts of water due to flow and runoff. A sprinkler causes 80% of the water sent into the air to evaporate.
Drip devices connected to a faucet are best; evaporation is almost nil. Some models are pre-punched every 30 to 50cm for crops, others, micro-perforated, are suitable for hedges.
It allows you to obtain vegetables very early in the spring and later in the fall, allowing you to double your production by capturing the sun’s energy. The greenhouse helps to limit evaporation losses and requires a soil rich in organic matter to meet the nutritional needs of your vegetable garden.