Plants that are growing well are plants that look good...
Plants are beautiful and vast in their diversity yet sometimes it is only subtle differences that distinguish between plant species. A trained eye is often what is needed to spot that particularly special seedling which has just appeared, or the beginnings of something simple like stress from a lack of water. It is sometimes spotting the cornflower amongst the grass that has seeded by itself and letting it grow and bloom which can give the most pleasure.
The only problem (or delight) with gardening is that the more you learn, the more you realise you don't know. If for example one learns a new plant, there is often a myriad of pests and diseases particular only to that plant. So twelve years experience and studying horticulture at college is not just by the by.
A good organic plant care regime works from the soil up. Adding plenty of organic matter improves soil structure and nutrient content. As the earthworms break down the organic matter they also aerate the soil creating spaces for the roots to grow. All this activity also helps to break down other elements in the soil making them available for plant use. A nice thick layer of mulch keeps down the weeds too. I like to source well rotted farmyard manure from local stables and riding centres and apply liberally in the winter. The results are astounding.
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