Dr Bronner’s Gardening Tips

With the sun shining in the UK (and hopefully here to stay), now is the perfect time to get out in nature and enjoy taking care of the garden and its plants, especially as National Gardening Week approaches at the start of May!

We source all of our major raw materials for its biodegradable, non-synthetic products from certified organic and fair-trade projects around the world, supporting thousands of smallholder farmers in Ghana (palm oil), Palestine and Israel (olive oil), Sri Lanka (coconut oil). Our commitment to our fair trade and organic supply chain is demonstrated through working directly with farming communities to increase knowledge and skills for the implementation of regenerative organic agriculture practices to increase soil fertility, such as minimal tillage, diverse crop rotation, composting, and cover cropping.

So if this farming technique is so good at mitigating CO2 and maintaining healthy soil, can we practice this method on a smaller scale in our home gardens?

The answer is yes! Lisa Bronner says “whether you’re the home gardener or the thousand-acre farmer, the focus must be on the soil. Healthy plants come from healthy soil. The soul and life of the garden is in the soil”

In short, here are the five tenets of soil health and how to apply them at home:

  1. Keep the soil covered – Protecting soil is a key component of regenerative organic farming. Covering the soil prevents soil erosion, keeps weeds from gaining a foothold, and limits water loss through evaporation.
  2. Limit tilling and soil disturbance – Tilling is the practice of turning over and breaking up the soil. The purpose behind tilling is to loosen the soil so that roots and water can penetrate. The drawback of tilling is that a lot of the beneficial microbiome thrives in the dark seclusion under the earth. Instead of disturbing this, put a layer of organic matter over the top of the soil then he uses a broad fork to break up and aerate the soil with minimal disturbance.
  3. Maximize diversity – This is the opposite of conventional agriculture where you find vast monocultures, with the same crops grown on the same land, year after year, stripping the land of a narrow range of nutrients through overdemand, and attracting wave after wave of pests eager for that one crop. When crops are comingled and rotated, it keeps the pests on the move as well. Rotate crops from season to season to maintain soil health, even if you’re growing in pots.
  4. Maintain a living root – Don’t pull all organic matter out of the ground, which leaves the living microbiome nothing to feed on. Leave roots of spent plants in the ground, cutting down the plant near ground level. The roots provide biomass and nutrients for all that life underground.
  5. Integrating animals – Recognising the contributions of animals is part of the full cycle of regenerative organic agriculture. Even for farmers who do not raise animals of their own, well-composted manure, bone meal, blood meal, and fish meal are all fertilizers that bring nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium into the system. Source organic compost or manure from a farmer near you. Farmers are often looking to get rid of it and it is super valuable to your garden! They may sell it or donate it.

For Lisa’s full post on how to execute this effectively go to her blog post here https://www.lisabronner.com/gardening-regeneratively-at-home/

If you need a few more pointers on how Dr. Bronner’s soap can help perfect any plant sanctuary (whether indoor or outdoor) in a planet friendly and cost-effective manner, here are some easy tips and tricks on how to use our soap effectively in your garden today!

Problem: Garden pests are eating my plants

Solution: Mix 15ml of your favourite liquid castile scent (we recommend peppermint, citrus or unscented) with 1L of water into a spray bottle and apply to plants in the cool of the morning or evening – don’t forget the stem and under leaves.

Problem: Indoor ant infestations from houseplants

Solution: Mix 60ml of liquid castile soap (any scent) with 1L of water in a spray bottle and use on target areas.

Problem: Sustainable plant pots

Solution: In true Dr. Bronner’s style, repurpose old liquid castile soap bottles by safely cutting of the top and planting new life inside. This is great for small herbs like basil, mint and rosemary and can be reused time and time again!

100% natural Dr. Bronner’s soaps are completely safe to use on plants. The sprays won’t harm pets, other wildlife, the plants themselves (even edible ones like herbs) or beneficial bugs like bees and ladybugs.