Growing an organic garden can be an important addition to your life. You need to do all of your research, so that you don’t waste money on tools that you don’t know how to use or even cause your plants to die. There are some tips listed below to help you begin.
Make your own compost. If you create your own compost at home, you can be absolutely certain of what goes into it, unlike if you purchase bags of compost from a gardening store. In addition, composting in your yard will attract helpful native wildlife such as insects that will balance the ecosystem of your garden.
Do not waste your time and energy carrying a hose that is hard to put away. Get a couple or hose reels to keep your hose neat. You can get a stationary hose reel to keep your hose on a wall, but you can also find portable hose reels if you want to carry your hose around your garden.
When trying to add compost to your organic garden, find a better way to get the compost there. It can be a pain to have to move wheel-barrows of compost to your garden. You could try layering newspaper down the walkways of your garden, and adding straw to the top. Near the end of the season, the compost will be ready to be added to your garden and you only have to move it from the walkway to the beds on each side.
The best way to weed your organic garden is the old-fashioned way, pulling the weeds out by hand. Even though organic herbicides sold at the store are tempting, they aren’t nearly as effective as getting on your hands and knees and pulling the weeds out by hand. It’s also very invigorating to do it yourself. It gives you a sense of accomplishment.
A great tip when running your own organic garden is to make sure you immediately fertilize your seedlings when they receive their first true leaves, which will appear as soon as the cotyledon disappears. If your seedlings are not immediately fertilized, they will die unless you are using a mix with no soil that also does not have compost.
Care for your compost. Cover your compost pile with a lid, tarp or black plastic. Sunlight will kill the bacteria that do the composting, so the outer layers of a compost pile that is exposed to the sun will not break down. Water the compost pile regularly, keeping it evenly moist. Do not over-water, as a soggy compost pile will rot. Turn the pile every two to five days to aerate and provide oxygen to the bacteria. If necessary, add a composting activator to speed up the process.
If you are new to organic gardening, start with disease resistant plants. Some plants are just hardier than others and because of this they will require less maintenance. A plant that survives well on its own will encourage you in continuing your organic gardening practices. Ask at your local garden store, as different varieties are hardy in different areas of the country.
Like so many things in life a good organic garden benefits greatly from advanced planning. The savvy gardener develops an all-encompassing plan for his or her garden before the first seed is planted. Good garden planning takes into account not only the initial plantings, but the subsequent changes that need to be made as the growing season wears on.
Grow basil successfully. Basil is an annual warm-season herb, very susceptible to cold and frost. Sow seed in spring at a depth of about 1/2 inch in full sun. Keep the soil evenly moist. When the basil reaches about 6 inches, pinch out the top to encourage bushy growth. Pick continuously before any flower buds open. Pick leaves in the morning after dew has dried, and don’t over wash leaves, as you will lose the aromatic oils.
When planting your tomatoes in your organic garden, you should always be sure you water them very deeply, but you shouldn’t water them frequently because this can damage them. You should aim to water them around once a week except for during the summer when you should water them every five days.
Soaker hoses can make an outstanding addition to almost any organic garden. Soaker hoses allow the gardener to provide low-pressure watering over long periods of time to the plants that need it. When they take the place of hours of fussy hand-watering, such hoses are well worth the investment the gardener makes in them.
Get rid of aphids naturally. Most aphids are taken care of by beneficial insects in the garden, but sometimes you will find an infestation. Aphids can cause plants to be stunted or distorted, and can create a sticky mold that will quickly spread from one plant to another. Use a homemade spray to blast aphids off the plant. A forceful jet of water 2-3 times a day will quickly get rid of them. For a stronger infestation, use insecticidal soap.
Get rid of Japanese beetles. Once quite rare, and only found in the eastern United States, these pesky beetles are now moving west. They attack many different types of herbs and vegetables and are difficult to eradicate once established. Handpick them in the early morning by shaking tree limbs and branches. Bait them by mixing together water, sugar and mashed fruit. Place this concoction in a sunny spot at least 1 inch off the ground. Strain out the beetles every morning. Plant ‘trap’ crops between vegetables and flowers: Japanese beetles favor marigold, borage and evening primrose. If you plant these throughout your garden, they will naturally navigate toward those specific plants.
Growing an organic garden can be very rewarding, but it can also be a lot of work. Regardless, if you know what to do and how to grow smarter, you can get the organic garden you want. So do yourself a favor and apply the above tips to growing your organic garden.