In the face of looming, irreversible damage to the environment, many people worry, despair and say: But what can I do? Modern gardening techniques that propagate the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides have made a huge impact by poisoning and disrupting the natural eco-systems around our homes. This has contributed greatly to the current sterility of our suburban and urban environments. Remember when you used to see chameleons on your shrubs or hear the hoot of an owl on your rooftop at night? There are various ways that all gardeners can make a positive difference. In a country where water resources are scarce, it is important to conserve water as much as possible by choosing water wise plants and gardening in water wise ways. It is also important to plant as many indigenous plants as possible, and to strictly avoid harbouring alien invaders. But overall, one of the best ways to help safeguard our environment is to become an organic gardener. Making your garden organic doesn't mean that your garden will inevitably be overrun with pests that destroy your prize flowers or eat your vegetables before you can. There are proven techniques and organic products that are available for responsible pest control. As with all forms of cultivation, the soil is the starting point. Many years of using artificial and poisonous chemicals has denuded gardens of rich, sustainable, living soil. Organic gardeners make use of organic compost that is free of artificial additives and full of natural goodness to restore vital nutrients and micro-organisms to the soil. Many organic gardeners make their own organic compost using garden waste and vegetable leftovers from the kitchen. Organic gardeners employ techniques such as companion planting to either repel insects or draw them to sacrificial plants. For example, chives, garlic, marigolds, mint and coriander are all known to repel aphids, while radishes and nasturtiums will draw beetles and aphids away from other plants. As more and more gardeners become aware that organic gardening is both responsible and rewarding, so there are more and more organic products available to assist them. Woolworths has launched two such products that have been specially prepared by herbal specialist Margaret Roberts. The Organic Supercharger is a liquid plant food concentrate that contains macro- and micro-nutrients, as well as a natural growth stimulant. It does no harm to helpful insects such as bees, ladybirds and earthworms. Organic Supercharger can be used to ensure the health of house-plants, acid-loving plants and all flowering plants, as well as vegetables, herbs, seedlings, groundcovers, fruit-bearing plants and lawns. The Woolworths Organic Insecticide combines garlic juice extract and canola oil as the active ingredients. The concentrate is used as a full cover spray to control aphids, red spider mite and whitefly, and is particularly effective on herbs, fruit trees, vegetables, roses and ornamentals. The Organic Insecticide will not harm beneficial insects, and crops can be harvested and safely eaten 24 hours after the last application. While the transition to an organic garden can take time for the natural balance to be restored, there are many rewards along the way. Most of all, there is the satisfaction of knowing that you are not only benefiting your plants now, but also ensuring the health of your soil for years to come. ENDS

In the face of looming, irreversible damage to the environment, many people worry, despair and say: But what can I do?