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How we need to prepare


Categories

Chemicals or natural gardening

I’m a believer in the modern ways and that technology will be the saviour of mankind. Despite its use so far to suppress and control us. I believe that the advances we make will enable us to feed the world and allow us to progress whilst going back to the old ways will result in stagnation and starvation.

In saying that however I am of the opinion that some of the chemicals we use are not doing us any good. Sure, they kill the pests but they are also poisoning beneficial bugs, poisoning us and weakening our systems. Also they may make plants grow many times the size they used to before but they also change the taste. Because of this I think they should not be used quite as liberally as they are now although it is almost impossible to avoid them because of the number of people we need to feed. Veg in shops today are grown with modern techniques and it saves paying a fortune for something half the size you are used to. OK, it doesn’t taste as good as it could but needs must with today’s prices.

When it comes to my own garden though I only use natural products, chicken manure, compost, horse manure and I try and use companion plants to keep off the bugs although snails and slugs always seem to get there. I spend some time getting rid of them. I’m going to try eating snails one day and see if their invasion may actually be a benefit. Not heard of anyone eating slugs though so maybe I could be opening a brand new market here.

Anyway, my view is no chemicals on my home grown fruit and veg. Now, fast forward to an event. I’m going to be reliant on my home grown foodstuffs and I cannot go to the shops if there is not enough. I want to manage that risk and ensure that I have enough crops to feed us. This gives me two choices;

  • Increase the crop to ensure that I have enough
  • Use chemicals to ensure that the crop I have has a greater chance of succeeding.

As you may tell from my previous articles on other subjects I’m very much risk averse and so my first thought is I will do both. I will plant more seeds, grow more plants and I will also treat them to aid their survival. But taking a bit of care without increasing the risk.

This means that I need to put enough seed in my stores so I can plant more and I believe that is already covered by my seed lists. If you are in any doubt add some extra. The next is to ensure that I have the chemicals I need to ensure I don’t suffer from my inexperience as a gardener. At this point I consider the mild poisoning I am getting to be a lesser evil than starving to death. Diatomaceous Earth seems to be an ideal additive as it is non poisonous to humans and pets, in fact, eating it kills internal parasites. Spread around the soil after planting to keep out bugs. It washes away though so use when needed. I have also noted that using a tree bark mulch layer over the soil keeps out some bugs and weeds. I’m going to add that to all my pots next year.

I’m looking at putting these in my stash;

  • Miracle Grow: Apparently this lasts for decades.
  • Chicken Manure
  • Diatomaceous Earth
  • Any rapid acting quick dispersing bug killer for spraying directly on bugs
  • Tree bark mulch

Due to legislation most of these bug killers are pretty much the same now. Pick one you are comfortable with.

There are also several concoctions that are used as bug sprays. Have a look online for more. I’ll also put some in the downloadable file areas.

In addition I’m going to ensure that the time is invested in removing weeds by regular weeding and larger pests such as pigeons, crows etc. will find an air rifle waiting for them. Also I’m going to target the bugs and ensure that instead of using a chemical I am choosy about the bugs I will kill. To do this I need a bug identification guide for the UK. I also include Collins Field Guide – Insects of Britain and Northern Europe and use this to decide if I want to use the bug killer.

Of course as you run out of the chemicals you will eventually end up gardening organically and if you are a good gardener, I’m not, you should consider not using the chemicals. Of course, a bad winter and a late start to the growing season and you may wish you have the chemicals to hand. In my view it is better to have something and not need to use it than need something and not have it all because you want to be environmentally friendly. Being focused solely on being environmentally friendly won’t help you feed your family. Better safe than sorry.

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