If you wanted to put your shovel in the ground and start gardening today, would you really know what to do? There is actually a lot more that goes in to organic gardening than simply planting a seed and watching it grow. To gather the knowledge necessary to grow your produce, here are some helpful tips and tactics.
Try not to walk in your garden unless you absolutely have to in order to care for it. Work from a distance when you can. Walking across the soil compacts it, which makes it harder for roots to penetrate to needed nutrients. If your soil is already packed down, gently aerate it without damaging root structure.
Your plants need to grow in a rich soil. You can buy bags of soil but they can be quite expensive. You can also easily create your own: you need to use perlite, vermiculite and peat in equal quantities. You should also add a small quantity of lime and compost if needed.
Believe it or not, pine makes great mulch. Some plants need acidic soil to grow properly, because of their own acid content. Pine needles to line the bed of your garden are easy to find for these kinds of plants. Spread the needles over the beds in a layer that is approximately 2-inches deep. Over time, the needles will begin to decay, supplying the soil with acid as they do.
Plant ornamental, edible plants as part of your regular yard landscaping. Good plants to start with include rosemary, thyme varieties, sages, oregano and basil. These all look great mixed with perennials, and they will supply you with enough that you won’t need to purchase them anymore – herbs are expensive at the supermarket.
Don’t harm your native critters. Some animals can naturally keep the bug population down; one such example of a good pest-predator is the bat. Bats are well-known for being bug consumers. Since your garden may sometimes look like a tasty treat to these tiny critters, having bats around can help reduce their population naturally, without the usage of harmful pesticides.
Use soap on your plants. Not much is worse than a bad aphid infestation. Your plants will look terrible, and eventually die, if the bugs continue to work on your plants. To get rid of them now, fill a spray bottle with dish soap and water. Spray thoroughly, and repeat as needed.
If your garden shed is far from your garden, try to carry your frequently used tools with you. This will save you time by helping you avoid making many trips to your shed to get tools. If you will need more tools than you can carry, you could consider using a wagon or a bucket to hold all of your tools.
Most organic fertilizers will not harm the soft roots of plants, unlike, synthetic fertilizers. A great way to use an organic fertilizer is to mix it with the top two inches of soil next to the plant. This is called side-dressing, and it is usually worked into the soil during the growing season.
For indoor organic gardening, temperature control is very important during the early phases. Seventy degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature for most seeds to start growing. You can achieve this temperature relatively easily by installing heaters and placing the seeds near the vents. You can also purchase heat mats to place under your plant containers.
Care for your compost. Cover your compost pile with a lid, tarp or black plastic. Sunlight will kill the bacteria that do the composting, so the outer layers of a compost pile that is exposed to the sun will not break down. Water the compost pile regularly, keeping it evenly moist. Do not over-water, as a soggy compost pile will rot. Turn the pile every two to five days to aerate and provide oxygen to the bacteria. If necessary, add a composting activator to speed up the process.
In your organic garden, try using floating row covers to prevent moths from laying eggs on your plants. Floating row covers, which are made from lightweight material that has been specially designed to allow light and water to penetrate it, can be used as an effective cover for your plants to stop moths from laying eggs. This helps to protect your plants from caterpillar damage later in the growing season.
If you have children and want to become more involved with them, starting a small organic garden can be a great way. This type of hobby is wonderful for family bonding but also helps your children to start to understand many of the basics of the circle of life and growth.
Understanding how to grow organically, will always require the right type of information, so you might as well take it from these expert tips, instead of putting your trust in some other information out there. Make sure to heed this advice and your next garden can be the best you’ve ever grown.