Gauteng Smallholder October 2015 - Page 32

PLANNING From page 27 a long time and you will inevitably have forgotten what is what next season if you don't. Nature's bounty is such that for normal purposes the seed harvested from one flower or at least plant should be enough to provide for one's requirements in the following season, but if in doubt harvest seed from more than one plant. Do not, however, hold seed over for more than one season as it will deteriorate and fail to germinate satisfactorily. Also, choose only the best, most vigorous plants, No smallholding should be without some method of turning its spent organic matter into compost and mulch and the best, most vigorous flowers, for seed harvesting. To harvest seed from fruits such as tomatoes, pumpkins and squashes choose good quality specimens, scoop out the seeds, separate from the flesh and allow to dry before storage. Choose a coolish, dry spot in which to dry the seed, rather than full sun, and allow the process to take place over a few days. With your seed saving in place the other area in costsaving is in plant nutrition. If you can avoid buying fertilizer by feeding your plants with manure, compost, worm tea, bokashi or one of the many now-popular methods of natural recycling of organic matter you will save a packet each year. Compost-making, worm farming and bokashi making are subjects of their own, but suffice to say that no smallholding should be without some method of returning its spent organic matter (eg lawn clippings, dead flowers, vegetable peelings etc) to the garden, and each process has its unique benefits. At the same time, a knowledge of the chemical characteristics of naturallyoccurring substances found on one's smallholding is useful. For example, the different e