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 use of a ground cover, such as mulch or hay. Be sure when you are purchasing your ground cover, that it is also organic, as any chemicals contained in the mulch or hay can be absorbed by your plants. Organic ground coverings will protect the roots of your plants and help prevent water evaporation.
Hang shiny silver objects throughout your garden. These can act as natural pest deterrents; no need for chemicals. The reflections can disorient flying pests such as aphids that require the sun to direct their flight, and may frighten off larger pests such as birds, and even rabbits or deer.
A great first step to having a successful organic garden is to test the acidity of the soil in your garden. The ideal number is 6.5, if your soil is on the low end, it’s too acidic and if it’s on the high end it’s too alkaline. Neither of those situations lends itself to a successful garden. So by purchasing a soil testing kit before planting, you will assure yourself a beautiful organic garden in the summer.
Your plants need to be fed properly as soon as they start sprouting leaves. If you did not use compost in your soil, you have to fertilize your plants. You can mix water with a liquid fish or sea weed solution and spray it on your plants, or add this mix to the water in which your trays and pots are bathing.
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.
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 compost to feed your crops. In organic gardening, compost is necessary for the survival of your plants. A home compost pile is a great, inexpensive source of compost. Many food scraps, grass, and dry leaves can be used in your compost. However, avoid cooked foods, ash, and animal waste in an organic compost pile.
If you have low-growing weeds, such as lamium or chickweed, use a fast method to remove them. If your weeds have grown into a mat, you can use a sharp spade to slice beneath the weeds. Once the weeds are cut, you should turn them over which will bury the leaves. The leaves will rot and nourish your soil.
The best time to water your organic garden is early in the morning. By watering at the start of the day, you are allowing any moisture that accumulates on the leaves to dissipate. This helps to discourage the growth of any mildew or fungus on the leaves that cold air and water would combine to create.
If you are preparing to move your indoor organic garden outdoors, a great tip is to start preparing your plants one week ahead of time. Move them to a shaded area in your home for a few hours on a warm day. Your aim is to gradually increase your plants’ exposure to light. Then, leave them outside overnight at the end of the week. This will ensure your plants survival.
Although there are many organic weed killers available on the market, it is often best and a real money saver to pull weeds by hand. If you keep up with it regularly, you can easily pull weeds before their roots are established. Wear gloves and be sure to pull out both the foliage and roots.
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.
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!