Nature works in cycles and seasons; the weather, our bodies, the tides, the trees for example. Ultimately things thrive at different times, and that keeps things interesting. In a busy go go go lifestyle it can be easy to forget that, so when the changes become more apparent, such as the change in pace that September brings, it's a great opportunity to remind ourselves of those ebbing and flowing, but constant shifts. One area where seasonal changes are more apparent (she says looking out of the window at the last few efforts of the tomato plants and an overgrown hypericum shrub) is the garden.
Gardening in September is all about harvesting summer fruit and veg, deadheading flowers and tidying up perennials in beds, and feeding the soil to prepare for the next planting, whether that is going to happen straight away or in the spring. Here's a few ideas of timely tasks to undertake in the garden during September and October:
- Put a net over ponds and water features to capture the falling leaves.
- Plant springtime flyers such as daffodils and crocuses.
- Deadhead flowers such as roses and hanging baskets.
- Harvest your fruit and veg (pickling or freezing is a good option if youâre overrun!)
- Bring less hardy herbs, like mint, inside as it gets cold.
When we dig deeper, literally and figuratively, we get to the foundations of our plant life. The origin of life on Earth, microbes, are beneficial at essentially every stage of any natural process. Not confined to the area of human gut health via probiotics, we have seen some amazing results by introducing more microbial life into the garden too. An often overlooked area, but one that we think is utterly vital on a global scale is that of soil, or specifically the health and nutrient richness of soil, the effects that it has on crop growth and climate control are staggering.
The key is in the fascinating world of the rhizosphere; a strange word which describes the area of soil directly around the root of a plant and which is where the community of microscopic bacteria, or root microbiome, is situated. It is similar to the gut microbiome in as much as there is a two-way relationship between the microbes and the subject. They form a symbiotic relationship with the plant; the plants feed them, and in return the microbes keep the plant from stress and hold vital nutrients in the soil.
Healthy, microbe-rich soil also retains water, regulates the Earth's temperature, absorbs carbon from the environment and increases the nutritional value of the food grown from it. You can investigate the effects of soil health on a smaller scale at home, by improving it you'll notice the benefits in your plants and produce as well as a return of wildlife.
The products we develop at Microbz are 100% natural and contain live microbes to put directly onto your garden to boost the variety and quantity of good bacteria.
Soil Conditioner would be the most appropriate product to put on bare soil. If you are a gardener who likes to leave spent plants or roots on top of or in the soil then spray with Compost Activator to encourage the breakdown of plant material into the soil, and feed it with nutrients over the winter as it decomposes.
Using Microbz to deliver billions of beneficial bacteria is a good companion to what is known as 'no-dig' gardening, when you leave soil undisturbed and pile on mulch (organic matter) so that the existing web of fungi and soil structure isn't broken by rotavating or digging. This method helps the soil to grow strong healthy plants, naturally. One thing we're thinking about at Microbz HQ is having a wild garden, or even a wild patch, where plants and wildlife can be left a little bit more organically to thrive.
Microbz founder Sue has been enjoying books by Dave Goulson: "Goulson argues that gardens could become places where we can reconnect with nature and rediscover where food comes from. With just a few small changes, our gardens could become a vast network of tiny nature reserves, where humans and wildlife can thrive together in harmony rather than conflict. For anyone who has a garden, and cares about the planet, this book is essential reading." If you have a garden, no matter how small, and if you care about the planet, then Microbz garden range offers chemical free solutions for healthy natural soil and plants.