I have the laziest of approaches to gardening. Why wind up at the osteopath’s with your back in spasm when there are easier ways of doing things? Weeds get smothered with anything which blocks out the light. Months later, it is surprising how much clearer things are! Cultivating a new piece of ground for a vegetable patch gets the same treatment. I do not dig but construct a raised bed frame and then smother the centre with a cardboard base topped with compost.
This works well if you have quality compost, but this was not necessarily so in 2020. With the apocalyptic panic buying at the Covid lockdown, and its accompanied re-eruption of the Dunkirk spirit spurred on by thoughts of starvation and abundant furloughed free time, the country was turning into a giant allotment plot; meaning compost was in short supply. Even with myself and my lodger literally peeing for England to aid decomposition, our own compost still yielded only small amounts of suitably broken-down material. The only compost we could source locally was like shredded straw ie. Not broken down and not nutritious.
Scenes of long queues and empty shelves on the news meant I had bought seeds for Armageddon and so we soon ran out of space for all our seedlings, and a new patch begun for our pumpkins became subject to rubbish compost. Poor Pumpkins!
The plants took on an anemic hue and minimal growth. Cristian Maute to the rescue! She is my newly found expert, who wrote ‘Homeopathy for Plants’. Doses of Calcium Carbonicum 6c brought a greener and more robust appearance, which hopefully will mean pumpkin soup is on the horizon.
Spider mites and aphids:
In the spring with Camelias which were turning yellow, and their few flowers soon turned brown and fell. My lodger who is a horticulturalist warned, ‘They need fresh compost – ericaceous!’.
‘Well that is what I planted them in!’
‘Oh well, they have red spider mite, too.’ An infestation! Considering this victimisation, I used Staphysagria 200c . Later I discovered from that Cristiana recommends Psorinum and Sulphur, but nonetheless Staphisagria worked, even without replenishing the soil. Staphysagria also worked on roses with aphids.
July brought a profusion of cabbage whites, when thankfully Sulphur came to the rescue. What happened to the minute caterpillars that were setting up home I am not sure, but the only sign left of their habitation after a few watering cans with a Sulphur 200c was a few lacey holes and some fallen leaves, whilst the core of the cabbages, cauliflowers and broccoli remained standing tall.
After one of my basil plants had been mysteriously eaten, I brought another indoors to keep an eye on it. Eventually I realised that there were tiny pearls of snails consuming my plant, and they were probably also responsible for the disappearance of a fennel plant earlier in the year. I consulted Cristiana Maute found that Helix Tosta would provide an answer. Before long, the little pearls began to fall off the leaves and into the water. I swished the water away and my plant was rescued!
The procedure is simple. One pill of the right remedy in a watering can. Keep an eye on how the plant is progressing. Treat daily until you feel the plant no longer needs the remedy.
Maute, C., 2019, Homeopathy for Plants, Narayana Verlag, Kandern.