Keeping Things Going: Building Long-Term Resilience in a Garden

Many people have taken to gardening during lockdown in a big way. Seed sales etc. went through the roof and I have been approached by many people who are gardening and growing food in earnest for the first time.

But now that lockdown is easing in many areas, it would be easy to let that momentum slide. Many people, disheartened by their first failures, or short on time, may loose the initial enthusiasm they had, and neglect the gardens they have created. I don’t want to let that happen.

Understanding that it is normal to make mistakes, and accepting that, is one issue I have already covered. But another important thing to think about and let people know is how to keep things going. How do you build long term resilience in a garden?

Understanding the basics of maintaining a garden is essential in preventing common pitfalls, and in keeping up levels of enthusiasm about gardening beyond just sowing seeds and watching plants grow until harvest time. So here are some essentials that it is vital to have in place:

  • Good soil management practices. (No dig gardening methods are great ways to protect, preserve and enhance the soil we depend on in our gardens over time. These include, crucially, a composting system – nature’s recycling – to return nutrients to the system.
  • Rainwater harvesting and good water management practices in the garden.
  • Organic gardening practices. (A holistic approach to fertility, weeds and pests, as well as avoidance of harmful substances.)
  • The right plants for the right places – that will not just give us a yield but also protect and welcome wildlife and boost biodiversity.

Earth (soil, ecosystems), water, sunshine and plants (EWSP) are all crucial to our gardening efforts. We must think about all of these factors when working to ensure long-term health and fertility.

There is a lot to learn about gardening, and we obviously can’t learn it all overnight. But focussing on the basics can help us to find a pathway forward. It can help us avoid feeling overwhelmed by it all, and keep us enthusiastically tending our gardens.

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