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5 Regenerative Agriculture Practices to Transform Your Garden

18th June

What is Regenerative Agriculture?

Regenerative agriculture is a holistic farming method that aims to restore farmland health by working with the entire ecosystem. It emphasises biodiversity, minimizes soil disturbance, and uses organic matter to enhance soil fertility.

Home gardeners can adopt many of these practices to boost crop yields and create a more sustainable garden. Read on to discover the five key regenerative practices and how they can benefit your garden.

Jump to section:

1. Limit soil disturbance
2. Maintain soil cover
3. Encourage biodiversity
4. Grow cover crops
5. Integrate livestock

1. Limit soil disturbance

Transform your garden by adopting a no-dig approach and enhancing soil structure with Envii Activearth.

By avoiding traditional tilling, you preserve the soil’s natural structure, protect underground mycelium networks, and promote the health of beneficial microorganisms.

Find an in-depth guide on our no-dig gardening blog post or check out Allotment Garden’s blog for some useful pros and cons.

Furthermore, adding Activearth, a soil amendment, further boosts soil fertility, increases worm activity, and enhances overall plant health. This combination leads to a more sustainable and productive garden with thriving plants and richer harvests.

2. Maintain soil cover

Maintaining soil cover through mulching significantly reduces water loss by shielding the soil from direct sunlight and wind.

Moreover, this practice helps retain moisture, supports consistent plant hydration, and enhances soil health by regulating temperature and creates a barrier to suppress weeds.

Effective mulches can be materials such as straw, wood chip, digestate or homemade compost.

To mulch your garden, start by clearing away any larger, perennial weeds from the soil surface, then spread a layer of your mulch about 2-4 inches thick evenly over the soil.

Try to keep the mulch a few inches away from the base of plants to prevent nutrient scorching and to stop rot occurring on the trunk of trees or plant stems. Reapply mulch yearly in Autumn or Spring.

How to make your own compost for mulching

 

3. Encourage biodiversity

Regenerative agriculture has a real focus on biodiversity. Growing monocultures (a single plant species), whether in a simple garden bed or in a whole field, can lead to a multitude of problems including rapid nutrient depletion and increased susceptibility to pests and disease.

To counter these issues, implementing a 4-year crop rotation plan and incorporating companion plants or intercropping are effective strategies to enhance your vegetable garden.

You might have noticed wildflower margins on the edges of farmland which have been introduced to increase biodiversity.

For a home-gardener, consider introducing native wildflowers into areas of your garden or participating in “No-Mow May,” where you let your lawn grow freely for the month.

Ultimately, this practice not only attracts pollinators for your fruiting crops but also enhances soil structure with a thriving population of worms and insects.

4 year crop rotation chart

 

  • Year 1 – Solanum (tomatoes, potatoes)
  • Year 2 – Alliums and roots (onions, carrots)
  • Year 3 – Legumes (beans, peas)
  • Year 4 – Brassicas (cabbage, broccoli)

4. Grow cover crops

Planting winter cover crops helps prevent erosion and improve soil structure. As this ‘green manure’ decomposes, they add organic matter to the soil. Cutting back the plants and leaving their roots in the ground enhances soil fertility and aeration.

Additionally, leaving the roots in place supports the beneficial microorganisms that have formed symbiotic relationships with the plants, further enriching the soil.

Green manure seeds can be sown in late Summer to early Autumn, then cut back  a few months later before flowering and then left to decompose on the surface or dug into the soil.

Varieties of cover crops:

– Mustard
– Red Clover
– Alfalfa
– Field bean
– Buckwheat

5. Integrate livestock

Integrating livestock is essential for sustainable large-scale farming, but you can also harness the benefits of animals to enhance your home garden.

For instance, using organic manure from outdoor-raised chickens or alpacas from local farms can improve soil water retention and nutrient capacity.

However, only use manure from herbivorous animals and make certain that the compost is sufficiently heated to lessen any disease risks.

Furthermore, ensure the manure is composted for over six months to prevent damage to young plants. Additionally, keeping chickens or ducks can help control slug populations.

Top tip – Speed up the composting process and enrich your compost heap with beneficial bacteria by using Envii Compost Accelerator.

Conclusion

We hope you found these 5 tips useful. Regenerative agriculture, if put into practice, will improve not only your garden but also the environment. With improved soil quality and the lack of need for harmful chemicals, your garden will be a hub for plants and wildlife alike to thrive.

Related Products

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    Soil conditioner improves health & aeration of soil.
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  • Front view of Envii Compost Accelerator

    Envii Compost Accelerator

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About the author

Rachel Greenhill

Rachel is our resident Doctor, Plant Doctor that is. She is a certified gardening lover with a Ph.D. in plant science and a published scientific author. When she’s not testing and developing new envii products, you’ll find her managing the envii social media and writing one of our next best blogs. 

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