Organic gardening is not as easy as some may think! There is a lot more to it than just watering some seeds or digging around in the dirt. It is truly an art form. It has requires many techniques and products that require a green thumb as well as some hard work to achieve a great organic garden. Here are some tips to help you with your own:
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.
Make use of a ground cover, such as mulch or hay. Be sure when you are purchasing your ground cover, that it is also organic, as any chemicals contained in the mulch or hay can be absorbed by your plants. Organic ground coverings will protect the roots of your plants and help prevent water evaporation.
Use compost to feed your crops. In organic gardening, compost is necessary for the survival of your plants. A home compost pile is a great, inexpensive source of compost. Many food scraps, grass, and dry leaves can be used in your compost. However, avoid cooked foods, ash, and animal waste in an organic compost pile.
Encourage bees, wasps, ladybirds and other beneficial insects. These insects are vital in an organic garden. Bees are nature’s most efficient pollinator, and wasps and ladybirds prey on destructive insects in the garden. Ladybirds are particularly effective at ridding your plants of aphids. To attract these beneficial insects, plant companion herbs and flowers around the edge of your vegetable garden.
Don’t be alarmed at the amount of organic fertilizer you may need to use. Organic fertilizers contain a lower percentage of nutrients per unit weight than their synthetic counterparts. Because of this, it will probably be necessary to apply more volume of organic fertilizer than is typical for synthetic fertilizers.
A great tip when starting your own organic garden is to always space your seeds in the mix as evenly as you can. If you do this, it will ensure that every single one of your seeds has an equal amount of room to grow in the most optimum way.
If your yard’s soil isn’t as healthy as you want, or has been contaminated in some way, you can still grow organic produce using raised beds. You can use wood, brick or stone for the border. Make sure that it is at least 16 inches high so that there is room for the roots. Fill it with organic soil and compost.
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.
A natural, albeit somewhat tedious, way to keep pests and fungus from destroying your organic fruit crop is to use plastic zipper bags. When the fruits are still young on the branches, place them in large zipper bags secured at the top with staples. Cut off a bottom corner to allow for adequate drainage.
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.
To make sure you are doing organic gardening, define what organic means to you and make sure your seeds, plants and supplies fit your criteria. There is no set scientifically agreed on definition of what “organic” consistently means, so companies can label practically anything organic. Know what it means to you, then read labels to make sure you buy things consistent with your beliefs.
Consider adding ladybugs to your organic garden. These little critters will eat those aphids and mites right up. If you aren’t able to lure a few ladybugs into your garden, you can often find them for sale at small home and garden stores. When you have a few ladybugs, more will often follow.
If you are growing tomatoes, you should make sure you have them in a place where they can get ten hours of light at the minimum during the summer. Otherwise, your tomatoes will not grow properly. You also want to have space in between your tomato plants so that the air can circulate.
When growing your own organic tomatoes you should always alternate the tomato bed. The reason is because this will reduce the tomatoes’ risk of catching soil borne diseases like early blight and bacterial spot. These particular diseases can destroy your tomato plants, so you need to lower the risk of your tomatoes catching them as much as possible.
So, organic gardening is a lot more that dropping seeds in the ground. It takes skill and hard work outside. No doubt, you want to enjoy the fruits of your hard labor! Use the handy tips above to help you get the most out of gardening the natural way!