Are you starting your own organic garden for the first time? If so, you probably don’t even know where to start. It’s no secret that growing your own organic plants for the first time can be a bit overwhelming. Below are some tips that can help to make growing your own organic garden a bit smoother.
Be sure to plant some strawberries for your children and grandchildren. Ever-bearing ones are especially nice. You will find that they enjoy participating in gardening if they are allowed to pluck the fresh berries and eat them straight from the earth.
Be sure to test your soil before you plant your garden, if you want to be successful without the need for chemicals. A home testing kit can tell you the pH of your soil, which indicates the likelihood of plant survival. A vegetable garden requires a pH of about 6.5; if your soil is off, you can supplement before your plants start to die.
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.
Know your soil. Before you being planning and planting your garden, be sure to test the pH of the soil. The acidity or alkalinity of the soil has a huge impact on the types of crops that can be successful on the plot. Take readings from several different areas of the garden as pH can differ from spot to spot. Adjust the soil or your plants as necessary based on what you find.
Sometimes when you are growing vegetables or fruits, it can be helpful to cut off newly formed buds or other non-fruit bearing areas. This will stimulate the growth of heavier fruit because the plant re-routes nutrients to where its growth should be navigating. When taking care your garden, it’s important to make the distinction between harvesting the plant, or encouraging its growth.
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 organic garden uses containers, you may need to swap seedlings to larger containers as they outgrow them. When you do this, make sure to handle the seedlings by the leaves and roots. To be more specific, you should avoid touching the stems as they are extremely fragile and can be easily damaged. After you have swapped containers, it is recommended to water the roots as this will help them merge with their new environment.
Use compost to improve the quality of your soil. Compost comes from the breakdown of natural vegetation, and it is organic. It improves the structure of your soil by making it less dense, thus allowing better water permeability. Compost can also be used to balance the pH level of your soil.
Organic fertilizers are better for the soil than chemical fertilizers. The soil will absorb the organic fertilizer of its essential nutrients and natural substances which will foster growth in plants. This is ideal because you are not adding unwanted chemicals to the soil that might harm plants long-term. The key to successful organic gardening is building healthy soil so that plants will thrive today and for future seasons.
Composting is a great way to fuel your garden. You can add pretty much anything, like grass clippings, shredded paper, coffee grounds, and much more. Basically, you can use anything that was living at one time (but try to avoid animal products). If you buy some worms and keep the compost bin in a warm, sunny place it will turn into perfectly dark and rich soil in no time.
If you need to protect your plants in your organic garden from frost either early in the season or at the end of the season, here’s a great frugal way to cover them. Milk jugs, soda bottles and other plastic containers you can find around the house are perfect to protect your precious plants from the harsh frost.
Planting cover crops is important to maintain a good quality soil. By protecting the soil with cover crops, it will be immune against weeds, be more fertile, have less water and wind erosion, and have better water drainage. Clover, fava beans, and buckwheat are all fantastic for cover cropping.
As you have seen, growing an organic garden is not as scary as it may appear at first. Just think of all of the benefits it has and all of the expenses it can take care of, along with all of the money it can save you in the long run growing your own “green” food.