One of the benefits (if you can call it that) of chemically-enhanced produce is that it grows bigger, faster and cheaper than organic produce. But the risk factor involved is just too much for some people to live with, and thus they attempt to grow their own produce organically. If you fit this bill, check out these gardening tips.
When taking an organic path to control garden pests, try to build up the soil to allow healthy microbes to flourish. Earthworms are also very important to organic gardening and they should be encouraged to stay in the soil. When the soil is unhealthy, it is not as resistant to pests.
Try not to walk in your garden unless you absolutely have to in order to care for it. Work from a distance when you can. Walking across the soil compacts it, which makes it harder for roots to penetrate to needed nutrients. If your soil is already packed down, gently aerate it without damaging root structure.
One of the best ways to be successful at organic gardening is to plan early. The best laid out plans for an organic garden, always make for the most successful garden. Plan what you will plant early on and be sure to have back-up vegetables ready to plant when short-lived plants, like lettuce and spinach, are done for the year.
It can be extremely fast and easy to plant perennials into your garden. Use a spade to dig into the turf, turn the turf over, then spread the area with approximately three inches of wood chips. Let the area have about two weeks, then dig it and plan the new perennials.
Take steps to protect earthworms in your organic garden. Till your soil minimally, as tilling can kill earthworms. The best tilling depth is 3 to 5 inches. Avoid using chemical fertilizers because they harm the micro-organisms in the soil, decreasing earthworm activity. Be sure that the soil never dries out too much, but at the same time avoid over-watering. By maintaining these soil conditions, you will notice your earthworm population increasing rapidly!
Regulate how often you revitalize your soil based on your planting season. During a very long season it might require you to fertilize the ground more than once. It’s important to give your plants the proper nutrients to grow, and remember that as plants grow the nutrients within the soil slowly diminish. Having the correct amount at the correct time will promote your harvest to grow to its maximal size.
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.
Use organic mulch. Any material that is spread over the soil is considered mulch. It helps to keep weeds at bay, holds moisture in the soil, and keeps the ground cool in summer and warm in winter. Examples of mulch include compost, shredded leaves, fine wood chips, straw and grass clippings.
If you aren’t ready to devote your time and energy to a full organic garden or just don’t have the space for one, use a container instead. Look for plants that are small and well suited for containers. Whiskey barrels are great for container gardens because they have plenty of room for roots to grow and can be used for multiple varieties of plants.
Mass-produced food will always have its own advantages, but it may not be worth it to you or your family to risk your health for a few extra dollars in savings. If you decide to grow organically, however, you can save hundreds while ensuring that everything you eat is fresh and healthy. Just use these tips to help you grow.