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:
Make your own compost. If you create your own compost at home, you can be absolutely certain of what goes into it, unlike if you purchase bags of compost from a gardening store. In addition, composting in your yard will attract helpful native wildlife such as insects that will balance the ecosystem of your garden.
Instead of pulling weeds, turn them into nourishment for your garden. Some weeds, like Lamium or Chickweed, are tough to remove one at a time. Instead, using a sharp shovel or spade, cut under the weeds and turn them over, making sure to bury all of the leaves. The weeds will rot, providing the soil with nourishment like composting.
Make mulch spreading easier with the right tools. After laying out the mulch, use a flat-headed rake to efficiently spread the manure around. The tines of the rake help pull the mulch and spread it, while the flat side of the rake evens out the area. Use the rake with a pushing and pulling motion.
Learn to water your garden efficiently. A soaker hose can be laid in the garden and left on with low water pressure. This frees you up from having to hand-water the plants, so you can do other gardening work. Take care with seedlings, though — they are still delicate and need to be watered by hand.
You should organize your garden and plan everything. Do not buy seeds if you do not know where you will plant them. You need to plan on the long term for certain plants, and on the very short term for short-lived plants that will need to be replaced very quickly.
To conserve water when you’re gardening, be sure to use three inches of organic mulch. The mulch will help your plants to absorb the water slowly over time, allowing you to use less water than you normally would. Many natural materials make great mulch, including pine needles and many types of leaves.
Use plants that work together. Some plants take nutrients away from the soil while others fixate those same-lost nutrients. Traditionally, vegetables are planted with a crop rotation because of the ability of certain crops to replenish the natural nitrogen in the ground. However, you may be able to take advantage of this knowledge by pairing up “companion plants”.
If your backyard soil isn’t conducive to an organic garden, try installing a raised bed. Within the raised bed, you can create your own mix of soil and compost to achieve the ideal soil for raising your crops. Just be sure the bed is at least 16 inches high so that roots have room to flourish.
When it’s harvest time, you should utilize a basket that you put laundry in to carry your veggies. The basket will make a great strainer when you wash your vegetables. The produce can be rinsed off as it sits in the laundry basket, and extra water will drain out through the sides.
If you have a problem with aphids, consider using ladybugs. Ladybugs are natural predators to aphids, and they are very effective in keeping the aphid population under control. You can buy them in bulk from a garden center or online. This is a much better solution than spraying your plants with pesticides.
When starting an organic garden, test the pH level of your soil. You need to know the pH level of your soil in order to choose the appropriate plants that will grow in it. For example, plants that favor an alkaline soil will not do well in acidic soil. Test kits can be purchased to test the pH level of your soil.
Use a soaker hose to water your garden. A soaker hose allows the water to be absorbed directly in to the soil, rather than disbursed in to the air. This helps to conserve water, a valuable resource. Plant leaves also stay dry, which means you get to avoid pesky fungus problems.
When planting your organic garden, wear a carpenter’s tool belt around your waist and fill all the pockets with your gardening gloves and tools. Not only will this keep your tools organized and handy for use, it will also minimize trips back and forth to your shed to retrieve tools you have forgotten to carry with you.
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!