Few things are as satisfying as getting your hands into the earth, planting and nurturing and harvesting the fruits of your labors. Adding to the knowledge that you have used the best possible practices to grow healthy food redoubles your satisfaction. Here are some tips on organic gardening to help you grow a harvest that will bring health to you and your family.
Use your own seeds for gardening in later seasons. This lets you ensure that your plants are organic from start to finish. Take an earlier season of plants and allow them to go to seed before you remove them. This means that not only are your plants growing without pesticides or chemical fertilizers, the seeds were grown without them either.
When you buy seeds for your garden, be sure to purchase seeds that are labeled “certified organic.” This ensures that your plants will be organic throughout their lifespan and that the seeds you are buying aren’t contaminated with chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Watch out for labels, such as “genetically engineered” or any mention of “natural” that does not include the phrase “certified organic.”
It is possible to grow an organic garden all year if you have a sufficient light source for an indoor garden. Plants need plenty of light in order to grow properly and there are bulbs that can be purchased to provide indoor gardens with the appropriate amount of light to have them thrive and produce a fruitful bounty.
Protect your seeds from fungus with natural products. You can use milled sphagnum moss to protect all your plants. If your seeds need light to grow, sprinkle the moss first and then place your seeds. This solution is much better than any chemicals you can find in a store and will protect your seeds efficiently.
As soon as your seeds start sprouting make sure they have enough light. Move your plants next to a sunny window or put them inside a greenhouse. If you cannot do this, use fluorescent lights. Remember that your plants need up to sixteen hours of light every day.
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.
If your garden shed is far from your garden, try to carry your frequently used tools with you. This will save you time by helping you avoid making many trips to your shed to get tools. If you will need more tools than you can carry, you could consider using a wagon or a bucket to hold all of your tools.
A quick way to create a perennial garden is by cutting under the turf using a spade, turning it upside down, and covering the area with three to four inches of wood chips. After you have done this, wait a few weeks, and you will be able to cut into it and plant your new perennials.
Add vines to your landscape. You can get a wide range of plants that are vines. Some ornamental, and some fruit or vegetable varieties. Vines can grow up most fences or structures. Use them to create more interesting landscapes in your yard. Have them grow up an awning, and create shade for you.
If you have a problem with aphids, consider using ladybugs. Ladybugs are natural predators to aphids, and they are very effective in keeping the aphid population under control. You can buy them in bulk from a garden center or online. This is a much better solution than spraying your plants with pesticides.
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.
Examine the soil for its physical condition. If your soil is dense, water will not go deep enough into the soil, and the plant roots will stay close to the surface, resulting in shallow roots. The soil will also be hard to dig. You want your soil to be loose enough so that plant roots can grow downward instead of sideways.
Here is a tip for organic gardening! Use a rain gauge. Most plants require about an inch of water per week. To know how much you need to water, it is important to know how much water the plants received from rain. As rainfall can vary greatly within a city, don’t depend on your weather report; instead use a rain gauge to determine the amount that fell at your location.
While organic gardening is a great way to know exactly what is being put into your body you will have to give a little more care in washing and looking over your produce. This is because there are no products used on the produce which can lead to more bruising and pests.
When you are maintaining acid loving plants mulch your soil with pine needles every fall. As the pine needles decompose over the winter months they will deposit their acid into the soil and give your acid loving botanicals what they need to thrive instead of relying on harsh chemical fertilizers.
Encourage earthworms in your soil. Earthworms make for healthy soil by eating the soil and thereby aerating it in the process. They also leave behind their castings, or vermicast, which is a great organic nutrient-rich fertilizer. The vermicast also retains water and nutrients better than soil without worms.
These tips should help you plan your organic garden. Follow the best advice and the hopes of spring will be fulfilled in autumn’s harvest–with delicious and nourishing meals for you and your family. Nourishing healthy soil, as shown in these tips, can be one of your best investments.