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Important words to know

Aquaponics – is an environmentally friendly system to produce fish and vegetables using very little water

Calcium – is an element which your plants need a little of so they can grow nicely. They don’t need much of it but if it is missing they will not grow well.

Chemical Fertiliser – is plant food made from oil. It helps plants grow quickly one year but then your soil is damaged and next year you need even more of it. It is expensive and bad for the environment and your health. We don’t use any chemical fertilizer in any of our production systems.

Chemical Pesticide – is insect killers made from oil. It helps kill some pests one year but it also kills all the good bugs and next year you need even more of it. It is expensive and bad for the environment and your health. We don’t use any chemical pesticide in any of our production systems.

Companion Plant – is a plant that helps another one grow. Like good buddies. For example, Mielies, Beans and Pumpkins like to grow together and help each other.

Coppice – Coppicing is a traditional method of cutting trees down to put out new shoots from their stump or roots.

Dolomite Lime – is a natural fertilizer which your plants need a little of so they can grow nicely. They don’t need much of it but if it is missing they will not grow well.

Heirloom – a heritage seed. These seeds are not changed by chemicals or in a laboratory and they grow like they did 100 years ago.

Frost – is what we call when the air freezes. If it is really cold in winter so that water freezes in the morning, then we have frost. Most plants don’t like it and will grow slower or die back a little. Some plants need it or they will not make fruit. It is important to know how cold it gets in your area and whether there is frost every year. It is easier to grow food where there is no frost.

Greenhouse – is a large structure made from a clear plastic so the sun shines through. It protects your plants but can get very warm which is good in winter but bad in summer.

Hydroponics – is a system of growing vegetables without soil using very little water. Chemicals are added to the water to feed the plants.

Hydroponic Fodder – is a system of letting seeds (such as Barley Seeds) sprout and feeding the sprouts to animals as a high value feed. This method uses very little land and water.

Indeterminate & Determinate – some plants grow in different forms. For example you get determinate tomatoes (which grow like a bush) and indeterminate tomatoes (which grow very long).

Legume – is a plant like beans or peas which can bring Nitrogen from the air into the soil as a fertilizer. They are very important in the garden. Legumes are part of the Nitrogen Cycle which is explained in this short video.

Loam – is a type of soil which is similar to sand mixed with clay. This is a good soil to use in your garden.

Mulching – is the process of covering your vegetable beds with twigs, grass or bark. The stuff you mulch with is called Mulch and it helps cool the soil where your plants grow and it prevents the soil from drying out fast, saving you water.

Nitrate – is natural stuff found in the soil which some bakteria feed on. Nitrate is part of the Nitrogen Cycle which is explained in this short video.

Nitrite – is more natural stuff found in the soil which some bakteria feed on. Nitrite is part of the Nitrogen Cycle which is explained in this short video.

Nitrogen – is a very important element which your plants need of so they can grow well. You can put nitrogen in your soil by planting Legumes. Legumes are part of the Nitrogen Cycle which is explained in this short video.

Organic – is a way to grow food in a natural way without bad chemicals or strange methods

pH – is a way to tell whether the soil is right or whether it has too much acid (like a lemon) or too little. pH is something you can measure. We measure it from 1 to 14 with 7 being the middle which is usually good. Some plants like a pH of 8, some of 6…

Plant Family – is a family of plants that are from the same ancestors, like all the cabbages for example. They mostly grow the same way.

Perennial & Annual – is a way to explain whether a plant grows more than one season. Annual plants like most grasses and vegetables only grow one season, then they make seed and you plant seeds again next year. Perennial plants are like trees where you plant them once and harvest over many different years.

Phosphate – is an element which your plants need a little of so they can grow nicely. They don’t need much of it but if it is missing they will not grow well.

Pollarding – is a method of pruning that keeps trees and shrubs smaller than they would naturally grow. It is normally started once a tree or shrub reaches a certain height, and annual pollarding will restrict the plant to that height.

Pruning – is a word to describe how you cut the branches of a tree or plant to make it grow the way you want it to.

Shadehouse – is a large structure made from shadenet. Mostly we use grey 40% shadenet, meaning the shadenet blocks 40% of the sun. This helps our plants as mostly our sun is very hot and our plants need some shade. The shadehouse also keeps animals out.

Soil – is the earth you plant your plants in. It is not just sand, you want to have a lot of organic matter, i.e a lot of compost in which the bacteria live which feed your plants.

Stake – a stake is a metal or wood which you use to help plants stay straight. For example, most tomatoes will fall over if you don’t help them with a stake.

Sulphur – is an element which your plants need a little of so they can grow nicely. They don’t need much of it but if it is missing they will not grow well. It can also be used to keep insect pests controlled.

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