CategoriesSoil Health

Garden fertilisers

The lowdown on what’s going on down low.

If you’ve decided to read past the intriguing headline, you clearly have some interest in the health of your plants; more precisely, the health of the medium they’re growing in. So, what’s the most effective way to give your plants the proper nutrients they need to thrive? Well, everyone wants healthy plants, good growth, vigorous root stock, shiny foliage and delicious fruit and veggies. But what’s best?

Pose this question to any green finger and chances are they’ll have a fairly strong opinion as to which they prefer and why. After all, there are positives and negatives to both options, which can get into some pretty hardcore science – which we won’t have time for here but we’ll add some links down below.

So firstly let’s discuss a little terminology,

Inorganic, or chemical fertilisers are manufactured from a mixture of organic and non-organic materials and refined. The nutrients the plants can use have been extracted and combined with chemicals to make a synthetic solution.

Organic fertilisers are less processed, so the nutrients aren’t refined, and are present in their natural forms. The ‘organic’ in this term is quite different from the ‘organic’ in organic foods, which means the food is grown with non-genetically modified processes.

Certified organic is the name given to products that have been grown, harvested and manufactured according to strict regulations. Not really used when talking about fertilisers but it’s important to know for later in this article (hint…Swift grow)

So a quick rundown of the positives and negatives of each.

Inorganic/chemical fertilisers.

Advantages:

  • They work quickly, and their effects can be seen almost immediately.
  • Their micronutrient ratios are carefully controlled – so you know exactly what you’re getting and can target deficiencies in your soil and plants
  • They’re relatively inexpensive.

Disadvantages:

  • They’re primarily made from non-renewable sources, like fossil fuels
  • They do nothing for the health of the soil as they don’t contain the natural microflora soils need for optimum health.
  • They can leach away from areas into unwanted parts of the garden/land
  • Can cause toxic build-ups of unwanted chemicals
  • Can upset the natural balance of soils which can be harmful to the beneficial microbial ecosystem, which can, in turn, cause an increase in pests.

Organic fertilisers:

Advantages:

  • Improve the overall health of the soil and the plants growing in them
  • As they’re slow release, it’s difficult to over fertilise your plants
  • You won’t get any toxic build-up of unwanted chemicals
  • Organic fertilisers are made of renewable and sustainable sources.
  • They’re environmentally friendly

Disadvantages:

  • They’re usually more expensive than chemical fertilisers.
  • They (mostly) follow Mother Nature’s rules, and generally take a little longer to be absorbed by your plants, so patience is a virtue. (Swift Grow gets around this problem)
  • It can often be difficult to get exact ratios of micronutrients, so it’s more of holistic approach.

An added bonus:

Choosing an organic fertiliser such as Swift Grow gives you the added reassurance that it’s production is also Certified Organic. Swift grow as been classified and approved in Australia as Input for Organic Production. It is made from the manure of sustainably farmed barramundi, who have been fed organic material. This results in the natural micronutrients being preserved through the natural circle of life and available to your plants as an odour-free, rapidly absorbed, liquid fertiliser.

You could say it’s organic organic fertiliser. Win-win.

If you’d like to know more about Inorganic and Organic Fertilisers check out these links:

https://horticulture.tekura.school.nz/soils/soils-3/ht1033-soils-3-study-plan/using-fertilisers/

https://www.aucklandbotanicgardens.co.nz/garden-advice/garden-tips/healthy-plants/fertilising/

https://todayshomeowner.com/debate-over-organic-chemical-fertilizers/2/

 

CategoriesSoil Health

Sustainable gardening is… smarter gardening.

You don’t have to be a superhero to save the world but having green fingers definitely helps. By being smarter in your garden you can not only help your leafy green friends prosper, you can reduce the impact on the environment, your time and your wallet – and doesn’t that seem like the ultimate win-win?

 

Here are a handful of ways you can be more sustainable in your garden.

 

1. Get smarter with water.

    • Pay close attention to the natural contour of your garden. Place your water source at a high point so that water runs naturally along its slope and reaches all your plants.
    • Select the right plants for where water runs to or away from. The plants will love you for it and you’ll need less water to help them thrive.
    • Use irrigation drips that absorb deeper into the soil and use mulch around your plants to reduce the evaporation (it helps prevents weeds too).

2. Go native.

  • Nothing thrives better in our backyard than the species that have spent millennia making their homes here. Natives are perfectly adapted to our soil conditions and climate.
  • Exotic species (non-Kiwi plants) won’t support the local eco-systems as well as our natives do. And there are so many amazing natives that will encourage birds, bees and other insects to visit our backyards.
  • Because natives are better adapted to the natural soils in your area, you won’t need to alter the nutrient balance of your soil as much. However, if you, like many of us love having a wide array of plants or veggies in your garden, and need to feed your soil, then why not go organic.

3. Good, organically balanced soil.
Healthy plants need healthy soil, whether they’re native or exotic, so let’s make sure they have everything they need to produce strong bright foliage, flowers and fruit.

  • Don’t send green waste to the landfill start a compost pile or a worm farm. It’s such a great way to recycle plant material and balance your soil’s nutrients.
  • Get to know the soil in your backyard. By understanding the soil type you’ll have a better understanding of the way your plants are behaving (or not).
  • If you need to feed your plants, choose organic alternatives like Swift Grow.

 

Swift Grow is an all-natural liquid fertiliser made from the waste left behind from organic aqua-culture (fish-poo). It has no smell and is chocka-block full of the nutrients your soil needs to support healthy growth in all plant species.

 

Unlike manufactured chemical fertilisers, excess Swift Grow will not burn the roots or harm the ecosystem, so don’t be concerned if you over apply – but still follow the instructions.

 

The natural floral Lactobacillus bacteria that is rich in Swift Grow attracts bees and promotes bee immunity to pathogens.

 

 

If you’d like to more about Sustainable Gardening, here are some useful links:

https://www.sculptgardens.co.nz/blog/post/55871/your-ultimate-guide-design-a-native-new-zealand-garden/

https://www.doc.govt.nz/our-work/motukarara-conservation-nursery/planning-and-planting-a-native-garden/

https://sustaintrust.org.nz/blog/diy-composting

https://sustaintrust.org.nz/blog/diy-worm-farm

https://soils.landcareresearch.co.nz/topics/understanding-soils/get-dirty/

https://swiftgrow.co.nz

New Zealand FarmCategoriesLifestyle Soil Health

Not All Emissions Are Evil And Smelly.

Now that COP26 is mostly out of the news headlines – does anyone actually know what the world agreed on without googling it?

Well, in an organically-grown nutshell, countries need to do more to reduce greenhouse emissions, urgently (no surprises there). And while coal seemed to be the Big Bad Wolf in the news headlines – there was very little said about the world’s use of synthetic nitrogen fertilisers – one New Zealand’s biggest polluters.

 

Agriculture in clean, green ‘Enzee’ makes up for 49 per cent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions – well it did in 2018 – and shows no signs of slowing down. For the last few decades we’ve been ramping-up livestock production to meet world-demand for our excellent meat, dairy and wool. And our lovely paddocks just haven’t been able to keep up with amount of feed for those big, hungry beasties.

 

And that’s where synthetic nitrogen comes in. Synthetic nitrogen supercharges the growth of grass (as well as other crops) so more livestock can feed per hectare. But that comes at a serious cost. Synthetic nitrogen upsets the natural balance of the land, creates more emissions from livestocks’ burps and farts, and actually creates another greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide, when it’s applied. Plus, around half of it is imported, made overseas using fossil fuels and the run-off into our waterways can leave our rivers fighting for their lives.

 

It’s bad news, all round. So what’s the alternative for commercial farmers?

 

Well, when it comes to agriculture – doing less is best. By putting less pressure on the environment and helping it to look after us naturally. To change, we need different thinking, like how Joseph Ayoub started Swift Grow, our all-natural organic fertiliser.

 

Joseph didn’t intend to create fertiliser, he started out farming organic barramundi. To ensure he had a 100% organic product, free of any traces of mercury, he had to move away from commercially-sourced feed, so began making his own. To his surprise, the organic fish manure that was discarded caused the neighbouring trees and plants to…well, grow like crazy.

 

This accidental discovery put Joseph on a course to enhance the manure and remove the smell of the fishy emissions. Joseph upgraded the farm to use Recirculation Aquaculture Systems which allows precise control of what goes in and what comes out. This includes the harvesting of the fish excrement as a by-product which is purified and sold as a concentrated liquid fertiliser.

 

It is available in commercial quantities, and for the home gardener. It’s an all-natural fertiliser than can replace synthetic fertilisers, help return damaged soil to its natural balance, and make crops of all kinds flourish.

 

It didn’t take the world’s leaders to achieve this – just some clever thinking and odour-free fish emissions.

 

To find out more about the impact of synthetic fertilisers and intensive agriculture check out these links:

 

https://www.stuff.co.nz/opinion/300424150/saving-biodiversity-starts-here-at-home-with-changing-agriculture

 

https://www.tyrantfarms.com/5-organic-farming-facts-you-should-know/

 

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/politics/climate-change-conference-emissions-to-be-cut-by-50-per-cent-below-2005-levels-by-2030/WRDDTBYBIRDSOTQSDP7UH6KWLI/

Woman and her young child planting vegetables in home garden.CategoriesLifestyle Soil Health

The Good Soil.

Whether you’re a casual urban green finger or a seasoned lifestyle gardener, you’ll know the only thing better than growing your own herbs, fruit and veggies is creating an incredible, full-flavoured dish with them.

Those of us in urban areas lucky enough to have found a dedicated patch to grow fresh produce in our backyards, might find soil conditions aren’t as great as they should be. This could be due to the heavy earthmoving and landscaping carried out while our neighbourhoods were being developed. Soils low in nutrients and organic matter will result in produce lacking in colour and size, and tasting a bit bland on the plate.

 

But don’t rush off to the garden centre to nuke your veggie patch with man-made chemical fertilisers. These can upset the natural balance of your soil, and be harmful to kids, pets and the multitude of tiny creatures that keep our little piece of paradise in balance.

 

Naturally occurring organic fertilisers such as Swift Grow make sure your little, edible garden gets everything it needs to produce delicious, plump and colourful fruit and veggies – while looking after the soil and its diverse microcosm of flora and fauna.

 

Swift Grow is created from the manure collected at a 100% organic fish farm. It’s founder and creator, Genetics Engineer Joseph Ayoub, has been on a personal mission to produce the full flavoured organic foods he remembers from his childhood but seem to be lacking in today’s mass-produced varieties.

 

Joseph set up a small barramundi fish farm in New South Wales in 2007 and quickly realised that to achieve a truly organic status he’d need to create the fish’s food supply too. That’s when he noticed the fish manure discarded as fertiliser on the farm nearby caused the trees and plants to grow prolifically. Their fruit yield, size, colour and aroma was so amazing that he was reminded of the produce from his childhood.

 

Joseph has since upgraded his farm to purify this ‘fish-water’ make it ‘zero-smell’ and named it Swift Grow, which has been impressing both commercial and artisan growers alike.

 

If you’re looking for the satisfaction of garden-to-table fruit and veggies then look for an organic fertiliser option like Swift Grow to keep your soil in optimum conditions, and impress your guests with outstanding looking and tasting produce.

 

For more tips on soil health and growing great plants check out these great links:

https://www.aucklandbotanicgardens.co.nz/garden-advice/garden-tips/healthy-soils/

https://www.ediblebackyard.co.nz

Farm at sunriseCategoriesSoil Health

The dangers of overuse of chemicals and pesticides in farming.

The use of chemicals in farming has been increasing over the past few years. Farmers are applying pesticides, fertilisers, and herbicides to their crops with little regard for the long-term effects these chemicals have on the environment and human health.

A study from Cornell University found that one-third of all food is contaminated by pesticide residues. The study also found that a single fruit or vegetable can contain as many as 18 different chemical residues. This is an alarming trend considering how dangerous some pesticides are to humans and animals alike.

The use of chemicals and pesticides in farming is a major issue that needs to be addressed. The overuse of these products has been shown to have detrimental effects on the environment, human health, and wildlife population. In fact, there are now certain areas in China where all living organisms have died because they’ve used so many pesticides.

The issue is that farmers use harsh chemicals to kill weeds and other pests, which causes soil damage. These chemicals can also seep into groundwater and lead to contamination.

That is why we created Swift Grow, an organic fertiliser that saves our soils and planet, whilst replacing all nutrients back into the soil.

Ready to buy our Swift Grow?