Why You Should Not Be Too Tidy in Your Garden

Rose hips are one of the yields you can miss out on if you are too ‘tidy’ in your garden.

There is a natural human instinct to want to control our environment. But in an organic garden, imposing too much control can be a negative thing. If we keep things too tidy and orderly, this can have a detrimental effect. It can reduce biodiversity and fertility over time.

Don’t Remove All Brush/ Vegetative Litter

Clearing all brush and vegetative litter from our gardens will deprive the soil of important building material. It is important that we leave layers to break down over time and replenish the fertility of the soil we rely on to grow our food.

Some new gardeners make the mistake of clearing material from lawns or from beneath their trees too zealously. Leave plenty of material lying around to keep soil healthy, and leave wilder corners undisturbed so wildlife can thrive.

Don’t Whack All Weeds

Weeds are not ideal where they compete with annual crops. But while we will want to get rid of them in certain growing areas, we should not try to eradicate them from our gardens. Weeds can often be very useful – not just for garden wildlife and to boost biodiversity – but for us too. There are plenty of edible weeds and wild plants. And common weeds can also be used around your home in a wide range of other ways.

Don’t Deadhead Too Much

One other thing to think about is deadheading. Deadheading is often recommended to prolong the blooming period on flowering plants, and to keep your garden looking good. It can be beneficial in many situations. But don’t deadhead too much. For example, don’t deadhead all your roses. If you do, you won’t get the rose hips. Rose hips can be beneficial for wildlife, and can also provide you with an additional edible crop later in the year.

Take a relaxed approach and don’t be afraid to let things get a little wilder in your garden. Natural ‘chaos’ does sometimes need to be tamed to a degree for maximum yields to be achieved. But working with nature rather than trying to impose control and be too tidy is always the best option in an organic garden.

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