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  • Gardening organically on a balcony is not complicated. You only need to stay attentive and try to recreate the conditions of a living soil, as for a garden in the ground!

    Before anything else, a good soil
    The secret of an environmentally friendly garden is that the soil must be living and active in order to provide a favourable environment to the plants. In pots and window boxes, you must therefore try to stimulate the soilís life. Let the worms proliferate as they please as they are the rootsí lungs of your plants! If there are no worms in your pots, do not hesitate to introduce at least two in a 5L and more pot. Good to know: if the earth ball dries out completely, they die. Apply also to your potted plants the same good practices of organic gardening, starting with mulch. Cover the soil at the plants base with a layer of 5cm thick of small pebbles for example. This encourages the underground microorganisms to develop and offer a favourable environment to your plantís roots.
    Likewise, do not pay attention to bugs which live underneath the pots such as the woodlouse and millipede. They do not attack plants and help towards the decomposition of the green scraps. It looks suspect when you see them swarming under pots but they only reproduce an ecosystem (simplified): To garden organically in pots means liking woodlouse!

    Less diseased plants
    In pot, plants are often more disease-resistant than when grown in the ground as air circulates well in between plants. Furthermore, insects which try to create a colony such as aphids will not so easily find their favourite plant. And even in case of attack, the plants being separated, it limits contagion. In all cases, take a close look at your plants regularly and dislodge the unwanted guests at the first signs of attack. Act without delay: the plants have less vigour than when ground directly in the ground. If you follow this principle, you wonít need any treatment, even an organic one!

    Aphids can cause problems:
    You can remove them by hand; Mealybugs which form minuscule cotton balls or small shells against the leaves are more annoying. Place the plants outdoors facing summerís bad weather, which harms these insects and this after having removed most of them with a cotton-bud soaked with alcohol.

    Fertilise but without excess
    If the soil is good and living, there is no need to apply a lot of fertiliser. An organic fertiliser is not readily, easily digestible by plants. Indeed, it is made up of materials which need to rot in the ground before being digested by roots. If the plant stops growing because it does not find the nutrients it needs in the soil, an organic fertiliser is not going to arrange the situation right away. The risk is to think that you have not given enough fertiliserÖ and to supply too much of it which could lead to burning the roots. It is better to repot or prune the plant if it has a tendency to get too bulky compare to the potís size. Furthermore, too much fertiliser encourages diseases and the presence of biting insects.

    Buddy-buddy plants
    Plants which are grown in the same pot will see their roots get entwined. The concurrence is likely to be severe to the less vigorous plant. So make sure that you do not grow together plants which have identical requirements. A greedy plant is better associated with a sober one, or grow several sober plants together, but only place one greedy plant per pot. Besides, plants can also secrete harmful substances to the neighbouring plants. We are mainly talking about bush (garrigue) plants: Lavender, Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, Cistus and Mugwort. Grow them on their own.
  • Photos (5)
  • Pots and window boxes in organic version
    Pots and window boxes in organic version
    An environmentally- friendly pot houses more than just plants!
    Author: B&G Media
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    Pots and window boxes in organic version
    Pots and window boxes in organic version
    Worms are a good sign at the base of a potted plant!
    Author: B&G Media
    Copyright
    Pots and window boxes in organic version
    Pots and window boxes in organic version
    In a pot, a small attack of biting insects (here aphids) is easily and quickly managed.
    Author: B&G Media
    Copyright
    Pots and window boxes in organic version
    Pots and window boxes in organic version
    Author: B&G Media
    Copyright
    Pots and window boxes in organic version
    Pots and window boxes in organic version
    Author: B&G Media
    Copyright


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