|Ten Tips for Organic Gardening|
By Kat Yares
Gardening Know How
A healthy organic garden is easy to accomplish if you know the basics of
gardening. It takes only a bit more effort to grow organic than it does to use
chemical pesticides and herbicides. Below Iíve outlined ten tips to get your
organic garden off to the right start.
A successful organic garden begins with soil. There is a vast difference
between soil and dirt. Nothing other than hearty weeds grows in dirt. A good
organic gardener will do everything possible to improve his or her soil for
the greatest possible yields.
Start a compost bin today. This bin doesnít have to be elaborate. Just select
an area and begin collecting organic matter such as grass clippings, leaves,
and food waste. If desired, a bin can be made out of woven wire, pallets or
even a fifty-five gallon barrel. Contribute to your compost bin daily.
Have your soil tested and add the proper organic fertilizer. Organic
fertilizers include fish emulsions, seaweed extracts, bone meal, and compost.
Make your soil as rich in nutrients as possible. If needed, buy topsoil from
your local garden center to make your soil the best it can be. In extremely
rocky or clay soil areas, using raised beds can make all the difference.
Choose healthy plants and viable seeds to plant. If you begin your plants from
seed, be sure to thin out the plants for optimal growth. If starting from
purchased plants, be sure the plants are strong and healthy. Choosing heirloom
seeds and plants will allow you to save seed from one year to the next from
the best of the seasonís crop.
Research and learn about companion planting. Certain plants grow well together
in a symbiotic relationship. For instance, marigolds will attract the aphids
away from your tomato plants. There are many articles on the net that will
help you to learn.
Guarantee that your organic garden has enough water. Plants need lots of
moisture, and sometimes nature doesnít provide enough. Be sure when selecting
your garden area that water is available for those long, hot, and dry summer days.
Use mulch wherever possible in your garden. Mulching will help your garden to
retain moisture and will help prevent weed growth. Pull all weeds before they
have an opportunity to take over.
Use organic herbicides when needed. Doing so can be as simple as spraying a
pepper/water blend or organic soap mixture on the plants to kill the bugs. The
soap mixture has the added benefit of reducing the chance of diseased plants.
Another alternative is to use netting to protect the plants from insects,
bugs, and small animals.
Pull plants once they stop producing. Add the plants to your compost bin for
next year. Once the plants are no longer bearing fruit, removing them will
help maintain the nutrients in the soil, discourage pests, and help prevent disease.
Purchase a good organic gardening book. The Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening
published by Rodale Press is a good choice, but an Amazon or Barnes and Nobel
search will uncover many others. These books will educate you and will be
invaluable when dealing with a particular pest or problem in your organic garden.
Organic gardening guarantees you healthier food than what is normally found in
your local supermarket. By growing your vegetables yourself, you save money by
not having to purchase organic from the health food store at relatively high
prices. Plus, you also receive the benefit of knowing that you are providing
yourself and your family with the best produce there is - chemical-free and delicious.