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.
If you have a young baby, consider wearing your child in a backpack while you garden. Being outdoors is a great stimulating experience for an infant, plus they get to spend more time with you. Organic gardening is safest for baby, as there is no risk of them encountering harsh or dangerous chemicals while you work.
Water your organic garden with storm water runoffs and collected rainwater. Rainwater is more pure and better for plants than home tap water, because it won’t contain chemicals such as chlorine or fluoride. Using rainwater also helps in reducing your overall water usage. Rainwater can even be stored in barrels or cisterns to be used during dry spells.
Composting for organic gardening reduces the need for fertilizers, is a form of herbicide, can help prevent plant diseases and helps impact the environment in positive ways. Composting is a source of nutrition for insects, helps with soil erosion and reduces waste sent to landfills. It is wonderful for the health of the environment in general.
While Mother Nature will eventually do the work needed to create compost from a backyard pile, even if it is not actively tended, you can give her a helping hand by adding compost starter to the mix. Compost starters, available from the garden centers, add microorganisms to the soil that help speed up the decay process.
Top all your garden beds with several inches of organic mulch. This is a simple method of discouraging weeds, retaining moisture, and adding excellent nutrients into the garden. As an added bonus, a nice mulch can help make your garden look more finished.
Are you busy with your organic garden? Remember, before you replant your flowers or vegetables outside in cooler weather, you need to get them ready for the change in temperature and light! For a few weeks, move your plants to a colder spot with no light for a few hours. Gradually increase the amount of time you leave your plants in the cold. After a few weeks, your plants should be ready for the cooler outdoors.
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.
If you plan on starting an organic garden, you should always properly cover your seeds. If your seeds are not properly covered, then they will not grow. You should aim to cover most of your seeds about three times as deep as the thickness of your seeds in order to ensure optimum growth. However, certain seeds, such as alyssum and snapdragons, should not be covered because they need a lot of light to germinate.
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.
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.
A carpenter’s belt is a great investment for any organic gardener. This is because organic gardening involves many small tools that are all frequently used such as trowels, water sprays, pruners, and gloves. Rather than making several trips back and forth between your shed and the garden, a tool belt can help you carry all of your tools at all times.
Treat your roses! To naturally remedy black spots on roses in your organic garden, use milk! For some unknown reason – using a 1:2 ratio mixture of milk and water – has been shown to get rid of black spots! Use a spray bottle to apply the mixture directly to the leaves of the affected plant.
Often times, in order to get rid of certain caterpillars or worms, you have to use a special netting that will hide them from your leafy green plants such as broccoli. This net will keep the pests out and away from damaging your crops, while maintaining the organic essence of your garden.
Botanical pesticides that are from your local area can be incredibly effective on pests. Sometimes the natural insecticides can be even more powerful than the engineered synthetic pesticides on the market. Natural insecticides do have the disadvantage of a shorter effective period and a quick decline.
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.