‘No Dig’ Gardening
A ‘no dig’ garden is a quick and easy way to establish a garden on your property. It simply requires building the garden bed up in layers to form mounds using organic matter such as animal manure, composted material and other mulches. These types of gardens can be built over existing garden beds, lawns or hard rocky ground as temporary or permanent garden beds, are relatively low maintenance and provide excellent drainage.
Waste Management and Soil Improvement
Kept in a worm farm, earthworms are a great way to manage small amounts of green waste, such as food scraps from the kitchen. Best of all, they produce highly fertile worm castings to use in the garden or orchard. Earthworms can also be introduced directly to garden beds to improve the water and nutrient properties of the soil. Earthworms thrive in soils with high levels of organic matter and good water holding properties. Composting organic material on your property is an effective way of reducing your organic waste and providing high quality organic matter for your garden or orchard. Refer to Managing Waste - Reducing, Re-using and Recycling in this Guide for more information on how to recycle organic matter and the benefits of this for your property.
Organic and Permaculture Gardening
Organic gardening aims to avoid the use of chemicals, whether fertilisers or pesticides. Nutrients are provided through adding mulch and compost, rather than synthetic fertilisers. This also has the added benefit of reducing weed growth and associated maintenance. Pests can be managed through a combination of techniques, including mechanically removing pests and encouraging predators. Organic gardening acknowledges the function of soil organisms (such as earthworms, insects, bacteria, and fungi) in maintaining soil health. It also recognises that adding chemicals to the soil to destroy insects and weeds also harms beneficial organisms.
Permaculture gardening takes organic gardening a step further, aiming for the integration of the relationships between food production, and other aspects of lifestyle, such as housing and appropriate technologies (including renewable energy technology) to create a productive and sustainable lifestyle which compliments the functions of the natural environment.
Native Lawns and Alternatives to Lawns
Native grasses, herbaceous species and gardens incorporating native groundcover species all provide an alternative to traditional grass lawns. There are numerous benefits to establishing these alternatives that include:
- Much lower maintenance - native lawns need less fertiliser, mowing and weeding
- Require much less water, and are more resistant to drought or frost
- Many species have showy flowers or seed heads which attract native wildlife
- Conventional lawn species, such as Buffalo or Kikuyu, will spread and invade areas of natural bushland
- Native lawns and alternatives grow well in problem areas which are too dry, wet or shady for conventional lawn species