Many people see organic gardening as a way to contribute to the safe-keeping of our beautiful planet. For others it presents the opportunity to put nutrient-rich and chemical-free food on the table. Both are laudible reasons. Whatever your reason is, you may find that these suggestions really help.
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.
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.
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.
Cover your flower beds with two or three inches of compost or organic mulch. Covering the beds with mulch serves multiple purposes; it helps the flowers by retaining moisture and adding nutrients, and it discourages the growth of unwanted plants. This will also make your flowers appear beautiful and finished all year long.
Toads can be a gardener’s best friend because of all the troublesome bugs they eat. To attract toads to come visit your garden and stay awhile, keep the garden bedding moist and offer some places where they can safely hide from predators of their own. A useful trick many gardeners use is to place old, broken clay flower pots upside down in the garden to function as a comfy shelter for the hard-working toads.
A great tip when opening up your own organic garden is to mist your mix with a spray bottle. If you do not have a spray bottle, then set your trays in water. This is needed so that your mix will get the proper amount of moisture from below the surface.
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.
Planting an insectary garden beside your vegetable garden is a natural and effective way to rid your vegetable garden of harmful insects. With the right variety of plants, this garden spot will attract beneficial insects that will kill and eat the harmful ones that eat your vegetables. The insectary can be a separate garden or several small plantings interspersed among the vegetables.
Try using ladybugs rather than pesticides to protect your plants from insects. You can order large quantities of ladybugs from gardening supply stores for very little money. If you release them near your garden, they will eat pests such as aphids, leaf hoppers, mites and other soft bodied insects, helping to protect your plants from these unwanted critters in the process.
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.
Feed your roses naturally. You don’t need to use chemical fertilizer to feed roses. Bury banana skins and crushed eggshells near the roots of rose bushes to supply them with extra vitamins and minerals. 1 tablespoon of Epsom salts dissolved in 1 pint of water is a marvelous pick-me-up for roses, and if you grow garlic around your rose bushes, it will help to keep them free of greenfly.
When you plan your organic garden, remember that some plants, especially leafy greens like lettuce and spinach will mature well before the end of the growing season. Beds for fast growing plants can often produce two harvests in one season. Have more quick-growing plants ready to replace the early harvest so that you can maximize your garden’s productivity.
The above list should have provided you with a some good ideas on becoming an even better organic gardener. It’s great that you have such an interest in the subject. Going organic is ‘green’; it is healthy, and it is enjoyable!