Some of the best-tasting food you’ll ever eat can be grown in your own back yard. Think of the variety! A ripe, juicy watermelon or a fresh, crisp carrot, can add to your meal. Not to mention the money you can save growing your own, verses the grocery store. In addition, you can grow you produce naturally, without enhancers. Following are some tips to help you become an organic gardener:
When watering plants use recycled water, but avoid re-using water from sources such as baths, washing machines, or dishwashing. These water sources may contain harmful chemicals that can be absorbed into your vegetables such as nitrates and phosphates. This water may even contain pathogens that could harm you or your plants.
When starting your organic garden, a great tip is to figure out which vegetables you should pick to plant in your garden. Some vegetables are better suited for home germination than others are. Some great vegetables to consider planting include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, peppers, onions, tomatoes, basil, and more.
Be sure that you have earthworms in your soil. Earthworms are vital to good organic gardening, because they aerate the soil. Also, the by-products of earthworm digestion are actually great plant food. Earthworms encourage soil bacteria that provide needed nutrients to your plants while competing with harmful insect pests, reducing the need for chemical pesticides and fertilizers.
Why buy new garden covers when you can use your old blankets to cover plants in the winter time? If you don’t have any old blankets you can buy used ones at thrift stores cheaply. Use tomato cages to support the blankets over your plants. Individual bricks or garden rocks can be used to hold the blankets and down and insure good coverage for your plants.
Are you busy with your organic garden? Remember, before you replant your flowers or vegetables outside in cooler weather, you need to get them ready for the change in temperature and light! For a few weeks, move your plants to a colder spot with no light for a few hours. Gradually increase the amount of time you leave your plants in the cold. After a few weeks, your plants should be ready for the cooler outdoors.
A great tip when starting your own organic garden is to sprinkle milled sphagnum moss on your seeds in order to prevent damping-off. Damping-off is a fungal disease that will cause your seeds and seedlings to rot. If your seeds need light, you should sprinkle this moss before dropping your seeds in the moss.
If you so choose to organic garden your trees, flowers, and shrubs, it is very important that you surround them with at least 2 to 3 inches of organic material. This will provide your plants with the organic nutrients that they need. As rain falls, it will release the nutrients to the plants.
Be careful when you are moving your plants from plastic containers to the soil. Plants often will end up with bound roots when they have spent too much time in plastic. Turn the plastic container upside-down slowly and tap gently to remove plant. Avoid damaging the plants delicate root system.
If you want to have great organic produce but are unable to grow it yourself, then you should be sure to check out your local farmer’s market. These places always have a different rotation of produce but typically have great prices for some of the best products that you can find in the area.
If you are new to organic gardening, start with disease resistant plants. Some plants are just hardier than others and because of this they will require less maintenance. A plant that survives well on its own will encourage you in continuing your organic gardening practices. Ask at your local garden store, as different varieties are hardy in different areas of the country.
When you are ready to mulch, choose an organic mulch. Cocoa hulls or weed-free straw are great examples. The mulch will eventually decompose and add rich, organic nutrients to your soil. Just add a couple of inches to your garden each year and you will see the long-term benefits.
Choose the correct spot for growing organic vegetables. An organic garden needs to be self-sustaining, with the ability to defend itself from damage. This defense is promoted by four factors: water, sun, soil and air circulation. Choose a sunny spot, preferably with both morning and afternoon sun. In humid areas, morning sun is important to dry dew quickly, avoiding fungus. If your soil is clay or sandy, amend it with peat to improve water retention and drainage.
Follow the above suggestions to help you with your organic garden. Think of the benefits you get by gardening the natural way. Maybe the nutrition is your primary concern, or perhaps you are looking for a way to cut cost. Whatever the reason, enjoy taking a bit out of that ripe, juicy watermelon or a fresh, crisp carrot!