The organic plants in our gardens are brilliant. Their brilliance is so often underestimated or even ignored, but let’s take a closer look.
They photosynthesize: they take carbon, water and nutrients from the soil and air, lounge out in the sun all day, say some kind of magic spell or something and tada — they get a bit bigger.
And then we eat them. Pretty much every animal eats plants – organic plants. They give us energy and medicine. It’s proven a successful life strategy for them.
Plants make it rain. Plants make oxygen. Plants help make soil and then they help protect it. They are alchemists, the original pharmacists making all of our drugs.
Organic garden plants are an integral part of the soil food web in our organic gardens. Their roots work through the soil, create fresh organic matter as they constantly grow and die back, and actually dissolve rock to form soil. Their bodies turn into organic matter every autumn when the leaves fall, and also at the end of their lives.
Plants know when a storm is coming and have electromagnetic “nightmares” when it arrives. They have musical preferences. They know how you feel about them. They know when a spider is climbing up the fence beside them.
They share nutrients with each other, through the mycorrhizal fungi that not only attach to their roots, but attach to the roots of most of the other plants nearby, even miles away.
Occasionally, I write about these organic plants…
My elderberry flowering white over my left shoulder.
It’s pretty tricky to make a list of low maintenance plants when your readers live all around the world.
But I wanted to have a go at it anyway because it’s winter and I miss my garden!
Note: I’ve now started selling the organic fertilizers and microbial inoculants mentioned in this post. You can read more about that here.
You can get the jump on spring by starting plants from seeds.
Some plants pretty much need this, especially heat-loving plants like tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers being planted into cooler climates.
Are you ready to do some planting yet?
Most of us plant between March and May.
I’m towards the end of that time frame, but I think today’s a good day to give you some tips anyway.
I’m doing some seedbed preparation, then sowing seed, then planting vegetables and flowers.
You can learn more about the organic fertilizers and inoculants I use in this video right here.
For many people, it’s getting to be time to figure out how to plan a landscape design for your organic garden.
I show you how in the video below – and I’d love to get your questions in the comments section at the bottom of this page.
Your landscape design plans might mean putting in new gardens entirely, or maybe just coming up with a planting plan for this year.
You could just go out, buy a bunch of plants, and then decide where to plant them when you get home.
But doing some good old fashioned proper landscaping design planning will result in a much better garden.
Here are 6-ish steps to getting it done…
A garden inoculant is really just anything we use to bring beneficial microbes into our gardens.
These microbes are often deficient for various reasons, but if we can get more of them back in there, they:
- Make nutrients available to plants and even feed them nutrients and water directly
- Protect plants from disease both in the soil and above ground
- Improve the structure of the soil so it has the right amount of air spaces, water spaces, nutrient availability, pH, etc.
Plus there’s a whole list of other services they provide for plants and soil. Pretty cool…
In my part of the world, the vegetable garden is winding down for the winter. Actually, I’m always amazed how some of these plants can withstand the cold and continue producing. We’re still harvesting hardy herbs and vegetables from our organic garden in late November.
The wintertime plant defenses are starting to be apparent this time of year in my organic garden. Many plants are exceptionally good at surviving, not just temperature changes but many environmental threats.
Philodendrons like the one below often have big leaves. That’s probably why Cleve Backster used them in a number of his experiments. Ultimately, he showed that plants can read your mind.
Backster was one of the most well-known lie detector examiners during the 1960s. One day, he was sitting in his office, bumming around on Facebook (okay, this was before computers, so he was probably staring at his typewriter or something). Basically, he was bored.
The 1973 book The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird shares many anecdotes (some more believable than others) about the fascinating relationship between music and plants.
Apparently, the right sounds can produce tremendous improvements in growth, and the wrong sounds can do just the opposite.
I’m not sure how much of this to believe, but I do believe that plants are more aware of their surroundings than we think, conceivably much more so than we are.
Here, I want to give you a taste of what some researchers have observed with respect to plants and music, and sound and plants.