When the winter chill is out of the air and spring starts to settle in, a lot of people out there break out their shovels and plows and decide to plant a garden. If you want to plant a garden this year, why not make it an organic garden? Here are some fantastic tips you can use to make sure that your garden grows.
Be efficient when working in your garden. Don’t waste time searching for lost tools. Have all of your tools gathered and prepared for use before you work in the garden, and make sure to put them away neatly. A good way to keep your tools at hand is to buy a tool belt or utility pants with many large pockets.
Use mulch in your organic garden. Mulching helps retain moisture, and helps provide nutrients to your growing plants. You should try to use at least a three inch layer of mulch in all of your beds. It will also make your garden beds look as if they were professionally finished.
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.
Fertilize your soil with organic compost. Organic gardeners tend to fertilize their soil twice in one season: once prior to planting, and then again in the middle of a growth cycle. The best fertilizer to use is an organic compost, as it releases nutrients slowly unlike chemical fertilizers, which release nutrients in one go and then lose their effect.
Consider building raised beds. If you build your own raised beds, you can choose the perfect size for your garden, and you can fill it with a type of soil that is suitable for what you intend to grow. Since there will be little soil compaction, there will be more oxygen in the soil, and water drainage will be much better. The soil in a raised bed warms up much earlier in the spring, increasing the growing season.
The best way to water your organic garden is to use a soaker hose. Soaker hoses not only conserve water, but also direct the water exactly where it needs to go, into the dirt, rather than on the leaves and into the air. By watering the leaves, you leave your plants susceptible to fungus growth.
Weed control in your organic garden will be more challenging than a conventional garden because you can’t use chemical herbicides. One of the best ways to control weeds without using chemicals is creating ground cover with mulch. Save tree trimmings and grass clippings from elsewhere in your garden and spread them around your plants to a depth of about 3 inches. This should be enough to prevent weeds from germinating and growing.
A great tip when starting your own organic garden is to sprinkle milled sphagnum moss on your seeds in order to prevent damping-off. Damping-off is a fungal disease that will cause your seeds and seedlings to rot. If your seeds need light, you should sprinkle this moss before dropping your seeds in the moss.
If you notice dry decay at the blossom end of your fruiting vegetables, blossom end rot could be to blame. This is caused by a lack of calcium in your soil. To remedy the rot organically, use eggshells. Crush three or four eggshells and bury them in the soil around the affected plant.
Fill your gardens with flowers. You shouldn’t spend too much time and energy planting annual types of flowers as they will only last one season. Keep these types in a limited area of your garden. For larger areas, go with perennials. That way you will have flowers again next year.
Be careful when you are moving your plants from plastic containers to the soil. Plants often will end up with bound roots when they have spent too much time in plastic. Turn the plastic container upside-down slowly and tap gently to remove plant. Avoid damaging the plants delicate root system.
Apply baking soda and water to your plants regularly. Just mix the two ingredients in a spray bottle and mist the leaves of your plants. This mixture acts as a natural anti-fungal treatment. Harmful pesticides can be avoided if you use a baking soda mixture at least twice a week.
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.
Stay out of your garden after it has rained or whenever it is wet. Diseases and bacteria thrive and spread more easily in damp environments. Bacteria can easily attach to your shoes as you walk through the wet garden and be transferred from plant to plant. Instead, wait until the soil is dry to enter your garden.
When harvesting tomatoes from your organic garden, you do want to pick ripe tomatoes; however, you do not want your tomatoes to be too ripe. Certain tomatoes that are too ripe might be mealy. You should aim to harvest tomatoes when they have their full color and are at their largest size.
Know how to make beds the correct way, if you want to make an organic garden. The first step is to dig under the soil with a spade. Then, flip the dirt over and cover it with wood chips. The chips should be about 3-4 inches deep when you’re done. Within a week or two, you should be able to cut the ground and plant your seeds.
One of the best things about a garden is that once you put in the initial labor, you can sit back and enjoy the fruits – or vegetables – of this labor as your garden begins to grow. Make sure that you’re using these tips correctly if you want to experience the best possible results with your organic garden.