How to plan an organic garden – the secret to growing delicious food

Biodiversity has been on my mind lately, as I have continued to grow my knowledge in a location where every single part of the ecosystem has been connected to create a perfect, self-sustaining cycle. For those of you that don’t know, I have spent a week recently at the Kyusei Effective Microorganism (EM) Farm in Saraburi, Thailand to further develop my skills and understanding of this incredible natural technology.

Here at the highly productive 70-hectare farm, teaching centre and school, everything is grown from the seed up and all the waste is processed on site using bokashi and EM. All the carbon is collected and inoculated with EM before being put back on the soil. After one year of feeding their clay-based soil with bokashi, they had at least 60% more water holding capacity than the previous year when the land had first been dug and turned. Such inspiring results!

Discover more about the EM Farm from my blog last year.

Biodiversity is literally when you plant many things to create a culture that benefits the ‘whole’ in your garden.

The bizarre thing is that, in many places in the world – back gardens and commercial farms alike – you will see only one species sown. This is called a monoculture, which goes against the grain of nature and fails to enhance your plantings, as there is nothing to protect them from pest and disease.

Nature takes care of itself – harnessing nature is the optimum way to grow. This is the very ethos of Grow Inspired.

The aim of the game in successfully growing food is to have variety, and this means not only vegetables, but flowers and companion plants too. Grow food as nature intended. Nowhere in nature do you see just one variety growing, even if it is only accompanied by weeds.

If planting from scratch, it is important to make a plan to include many different plants in your garden, including flowers and herbs. If you follow this principle, you will create amazing biodiversity within just three years.

Therefore, my top tip when growing food or developing bare land is to plant many different things and replicate nature to bring your garden alive with beneficial insects.

Your goal is to create a very healthy garden that attracts beneficial insects which will help keep pests and disease at bay for you. When you have a good mix of plants, you create a haven for the good insects which in turn will eat the bad.

In the coming weeks, I will be sharing more about beneficial insects to help you attract what your garden needs for harmony. Next week however, we will start with the importance of creating healthy soils to grow healthy plants, as this is the very foundation of your garden.

As ever, keep your questions coming and please feel free to submit them for the weekly Knowledge Bed in my newsletter – sign up here to Grow Inspired. If you’re in the planning stages of your garden and would like some help, consider my Winter and Summer Garden Packages, which include a consultation with me, a tailored six-month plan and all the organic products you need to get your garden flourishing. Find out more here.

Happy gardening!

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