Contrary to popular belief, growing an organic garden doesn’t mean you’re one step away from joining a commune or living off the land. It just means you want healthier food, bereft of the harsh chemicals that are used by mass-producing farms. Here are some tips to ensure that your garden will always grow.
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.
If you want a sustainable garden, leave a part of it undisturbed for wildlife to enjoy. Certain wildlife can be good for an organic garden; birds and insects can help your plants reproduce and be as healthy as they can be!
Use a raised garden bed when planting your plants. Not only does it provide a minor defense against the common vegetable pests, raised garden beds are also warmer during the spring. The planter becomes warmer because it isn’t surrounded by several inches of isolating ground-soil. The warmer climate will result you being able to plant earlier.
Rotate your crops to prevent permanent populations of pests in your garden. As with any ecosystem, pests need a certain amount of time to nest and build up a proper population within a garden. These pests are specially suited for one environment and one food source. By switching their food source you can essentially keep your pest population down simply because they are unable to adapt to the new type of plant.
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.
When growing organic plants, you should move your containers to a bright area immediately upon sprouting. This is because the seedlings need a minimum of 12 hours of light per day in order to properly grow. You can use a greenhouse, a sunny area, or a couple of fluorescent lights.
Lightly ruffle your seeds by hand or with cardboard, twice daily in your organic garden. That may sound like a silly thing to do, but it’s been proven to help plants grow larger than they would otherwise.
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.
In general, it is best to water your plants early in the morning. This is because the sun and wind will evaporate the moisture throughout the day. Watering in the morning gives your plants the best opportunity to spend more time using the water. It is also dangerous to water late in the day because if the water has not evaporated from the foliage, fungal diseases can start to appear overnight.
If you are serious about organic gardening, you must start with organic seed. Organic seed comes from fruits and vegetables that have not been treated by any chemicals, nor can they be from fruits or vegetables that have been genetically modified in any way. Organic seed can be more expensive than non-organic, however, it is an investment you will only need to make once for most standard garden plants, since you harvest your own produce and then save the seeds for your next planting.
Trees and flower beds need at least three inches of organic materials. This adds humus, nutrients, conserves water in the soil, and discourages the growth of unwanted weeds! This will also give your flower beds a nice, even, and finished appearance. There are many organic mulches available or you can make your own.
Do some research on botanical insecticides, as they can be effective in controlling pests. Natural insecticides are often more powerful than ones that have chemicals in them. However, botanical pesticides rot rather quickly and tend to disappear.
When first growing a plant you should make sure that it has all the nutrition and water that it needs. The sprouting stage for most plants is the time when it is most vulnerable to drying out or dying. With proper care, a sprout will mature into a full adult plant which is much more resistant to environmental and animal threats.
There’s an easier way to get rid of low-growing weeds than plucking them out one at a time. When weeds like chickweed become matted, just slice under them with a sharp spade and flip them over to bury their leaves. As the weeds die and decompose, they will also help nourish your soil.
Cover bare spots when you plant. When you put a new plant into your organic garden, do not leave the earth bare where you planted. Make sure you mulch the area all around your new plant. This will protect it while it begins to grow. This will also keep the ground moist.
Mulch should be your best friend when it comes to organic gardening. You need mulch to protect your plants and soil for when there is runoff after a rain storm or after using an irrigation system. The water runs off the land and it will erode and deplete any unprotected soil.
Avoid chemical fertilizers when gardening, replace them with natural, organic mixtures like compost. Chemical fertilizers will deposit toxins into the soil, which can build up over time and even affect your drinking water. Natural and organic mixtures are safe and won’t cause this toxic buildup.
Yes, there is a stigma that comes with the word “organic,” but that’s because most people fail to realize that the word organic, basically means natural. In fact, growing organic is as natural as you can possibly get. So make sure to use these gardening tips when you’re ready to grow organic food.