Gardening expert and author, Sarah Raven, is encouraging gardeners to use National Organic Month (September) as a time to reflect on our gardening practices and consider the profound impact they have on both our environment and our own wellbeing.
Sarah explains, “Organic gardening offers a host of benefits that ripple through our gardens and beyond. It nurtures biodiversity, fosters resilient ecosystems, and provides habitats for beneficial insects and wildlife. By prioritising living soils through composting and natural improvements, organic gardening ensures plant vitality while safeguarding the environment from harmful chemical runoff.
“Organic gardening promotes sustainability, reducing reliance on synthetic pesticides and fertilisers. Moreover, the fruits of organic labour yield superior, nutrient-rich produce that offers greater health benefits when consumed, and generally creates a more plentiful harvest. Organic gardening is a more holistic approach that fosters healthier gardens, vibrant ecosystems, and a more sustainable future.
“National Organic Month is a wonderful opportunity to delve into the world of organic gardening – a practice that not only nurtures our plants but also nurtures the very essence of life within our soils. There are practical steps that gardeners can take to move towards more organic gardening methods. When it comes to pest management, choosing greener alternatives such as companion planting and encouraging natural predators helps to create a delicate balance that minimises the need for harsh chemicals.”
Sarah Raven’s nursery in Lincolnshire does not carry out a routine spray programme and instead uses an integrated approach to pest management. Careful monitoring, good hygiene, and green solutions are used as much as possible.
“It’s not just about what we grow, but how we grow it. By avoiding synthetic chemicals and embracing methods that enhance soil fertility, we ensure that our gardens flourish in a balanced and resilient manner.” Sarah explains.
Central to the organic gardening ethos is the belief that healthy plants begin with healthy soil. Instead of relying on chemical fertilisers, which can lead to imbalanced nutrient levels and degraded soil structure over time, organic gardeners nourish the soil through the art of composting, cover cropping, and the use of natural amendments. This approach not only provides essential nutrients to plants but also encourages the growth of a diverse community of beneficial microorganisms that contribute to the overall vitality of the garden ecosystem.
Sarah adds, “National Organic Month prompts us to consider the importance of biodiversity in our gardens. When we embrace diverse plant species, we invite a tapestry of life into our outdoor sanctuaries. Native plants, heirloom varieties, and a mix of edible and ornamental species not only create visually stunning landscapes, but also provide essential habitats for wildlife.
“Organic gardening rewards us not only with vibrant, healthy plants but also with a richer and greater connection to our food. As we tenderly care for our plants and witness their growth, we develop a profound appreciation for the journey from soil to plate. The flavours of homegrown, organically cultivated produce are incomparable – a testament to the care and intention we invest in our gardens.”
To find out more about the sustainability and environmental policy at Sarah Raven, please visit the dedicated page on the website: www.sarahraven.com/environmental-policy.