Organic gardening is not as easy as some may think! There is a lot more to it than just watering some seeds or digging around in the dirt. It is truly an art form. It has requires many techniques and products that require a green thumb as well as some hard work to achieve a great organic garden. Here are some tips to help you with your own:
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.
Start your organic garden with a good strategic plan. This helps you know exactly where each plant will go in your garden so that you can maximize the few hours you have to garden each day. As part of your plan, take notes on what plants you will use to replace short-lived crops such as spinach and lettuce.
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.
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.
If your yard’s soil isn’t as healthy as you want, or has been contaminated in some way, you can still grow organic produce using raised beds. You can use wood, brick or stone for the border. Make sure that it is at least 16 inches high so that there is room for the roots. Fill it with organic soil and compost.
The best way to weed your organic garden is the old-fashioned way, pulling the weeds out by hand. Even though organic herbicides sold at the store are tempting, they aren’t nearly as effective as getting on your hands and knees and pulling the weeds out by hand. It’s also very invigorating to do it yourself. It gives you a sense of accomplishment.
Keep track of your organic garden’s progress in a gardening journal. Make note of everything – the dates you plant, the dates you fertilize, pests that arrive, which repellents work, when you begin harvesting, and how fruitful your garden is. This information will be valuable to you as you plan your garden in the years ahead and will help you to be a successful gardener.
To insulate the soil and protect against weeds, you should consider different types of mulches. Use things like wood chips, leaves, hay, and lawn clippings. Protecting plants with a mulch helps them in many ways, such as guarding soil against erosion. You can even look into living mulches, which are plants that serve the same purpose as a mulch.
If you have plants that love acid in your organic garden, especially tomato plants, then coffee grounds make great mulch. It’s simple to scatter the coffee grounds around your plants and then sit back and let the high levels of nitrogen help your acid-loving plants grow to great heights all summer long.
To conserve water and protect your plants, use a soaker hose instead of a sprinkler. A soaker hose is a hose with small holes that lies at the base of your plants and administers water directly to the soil. This deters evaporation and keeps water from touching the foliage, which can cause fungus and disease.
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.
So, organic gardening is a lot more that dropping seeds in the ground. It takes skill and hard work outside. No doubt, you want to enjoy the fruits of your hard labor! Use the handy tips above to help you get the most out of gardening the natural way!