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Wednesday
Aug012012

Water, water everywhere?

Buying plants in EgyptBuying plants in Dahab, Egypt

A recent trip to Egypt has made me realise just how lucky we are to have plentiful water here in Britain. We may not think so after the start to the summer we've had, but taking the opportunity to harvest as much water as we can and using it wisely can help in attaining a very healthy looking garden.

As rainfall is a very rare and a blessing in many parts of Africa and the Middle East other techniques - and obviously plants - are used to keep a thriving and abundant garden. From many of gardens and public areas visited in Egypt it became quite clear that a mulch, whether it be of stone (inorganic) or dead vegetation (organic), was an essential component too the survival and healthy appearance of most vegetation.

I often use an organic mulch to finish a bed as it serves many uses. Not only does an organic mulch look nice but it also helps to suppress annual weeds and in the long term feeds the soil giving nutrition to plants growing. In a permaculture sense it is essential. We very rarely leave the house without some form of clothing, and in the same sense you very rarely see bare soil in nature. Any bare soil is quickly inhabited by weeds so covering it up reduces the problem while at the same time protecting and warming the soil for the plants we wish to flourish.

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