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Garden Focus - Dec/Jan 2022

Self-sustaining gardening is the way to go

Self-sustaining gardening is the way to go

Imagine having a totally self-sustainable garden, looking totally after itself – fertilizing, watering, pruning, pinching, staking, pest control and even growing its own perennials. This sounds like a fairy tale but one does read about people being away for four months at a time leaving behind an edible garden which sustains itself for the whole period of their absence, simply by the way they designed it, or the plant choices etc. However, it is not as simple as it sounds, especially when you find yourself in an arid and harsh country like Namibia. I always encourage the Namibian gardeners with the words: “Gardening in Namibia is not for sissies.” Believe it or not, with our extreme conditions, having a decent garden is something to be proud of.

Self-sustainable gardening in Namibian terms means extremely low maintenance and drought-resistant gardening, or simply having different types of self-sustainable gardening themes. Growing food is a way of being self-sustainable, but also to have your garden produce for itself in a certain way. Edible gardening has become more popular, being copy pasted from people in urban areas and villages away from nearby markets or towns. Modern gardening trends have returned to the original roots and ways of doing. The more natural and organic, the better.

Self-sustainable gardening in Namibia:

  • Organic gardening and companion planting, such as pairing plants that grow well together, are edible and are accompanied by pest-repellent plants. Why do we need companion plants? In organic vegetable gardening, we want to avoid using toxic chemicals and rather make use of natural options like marigolds and garlic.
  • Organic gardening also involves making your own compost from all your garden waste as well as the kitchen waste. Compost bins are ideal for smaller gardens, but a space-efficient and extremely effective way of producing your own organic fertilizer from all your kitchen waste, is Bokashi. This is a natural anaerobic decomposing process which produces a liquid concentrate containing effective micro-organisms which are extremely nutritious for your plants.
  • Mulching with your own compost or leaves from your trees is another self-sustainable way of recycling the organic material of your own garden. Mulch maintains low soil temperatures, prevents evaporation and accommodates many macro-organisms. These organisms assist in the decomposing of the organic material into absorbable particles for your plant roots.
  • Vermiculture is another great and self-sustainable way of entertaining your earth worms with organic food matter, letting them work for you to improve your soil fertility and structure.
  • A self-sustainable garden depends on the micro-climate you create in your garden with sufficient planting, offering an ecological organism-rich environment.

Eugene le Roux

AgriTurf: Marco de Wet
Cell: 081 600 9584

Pupkewitz Megabuild:
Eugene le Roux
Cell: 081 124 6965

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