Know Your Soil
A healthy soil is full of microorganisms that make nutrients available to plants, bind soil particles together into aggregates, and allow water and air to flow freely. These organisms include earthworms, nematodes, springtails and bacteria.
Start by figuring out what your soil is made of. Moisten a handful of soil, and observe how it feels: does it form a ball easily, or fall apart?
Know Your Water
Many fresh fruits and vegetables you buy in the United States are shipped thousands of miles, arriving in trucks, trains and ships. Fortunately, growing your own food can reduce waste and give you access to exotic produce you may not be able to find in stores. By using simple tricks, you can regrow vegetables in water and grow plants that are difficult to grown outdoors without a greenhouse, like tropical fruits, obscure chili peppers and even flowers. Watch Web Story to learn how.
Know Your Fertiliser
Most gardeners know that they should fertilise, but few understand how to use it properly. Adding too much or the wrong type of nutrients can stunt growth, cause disease and even kill plants. It’s best to start with a soil test and keep records of those results, fertiliser applications and any other amendments you make to your garden. Fertilisers come in a variety of forms including granules, liquid, powder or spikes and must be handled carefully and with safety in mind.
Know Your Pests
The appearance of any pest in the garden may alarm you, but recognizing warning signs and responding quickly can prevent damage.
Learn to identify the pests and their enemies and understand their lifecycles. Doing so allows you to determine whether the losses from a pest outweigh the time, effort and ecological disruption involved in controlling it.