Some of the best-tasting food you’ll ever eat can be grown in your own back yard. Think of the variety! A ripe, juicy watermelon or a fresh, crisp carrot, can add to your meal. Not to mention the money you can save growing your own, verses the grocery store. In addition, you can grow you produce naturally, without enhancers. Following are some tips to help you become an organic gardener:
Pick your fruits and vegetables first thing in the morning. A morning harvest will ensure that your produce is holding the maximum amount of moisture. Also, if you pick in the morning, this will give you a chance to eat those items that day, when they are their peak of freshness.
Planting a bare-root rose. Bare-root roses are best planted at the beginning of their dormant period to lessen the shock of transplanting. If the roots look dry, soak them in a bucket of water for a few hours before planting. Remove diseased or damaged stems, and trim any thick roots by a third. Place the rose in a freshly dug hole, spreading out the roots and checking that the bud union is slightly above ground level. Backfill with soil and water thoroughly.
Use slug-proof varieties of perennials wherever possible. These creatures can wreak havoc on a garden in a short time. These pests are especially attracted to tender sprouts and to delicate, soft leaves. Perennials that are unappetizing in taste, or that have hardened and hairy leaves, are not a favorite of slugs or snails. Some of the best varieties of these include achillea, campanula, euphorbia, and heuchera.
To produce the largest and tastiest fruits and vegetables from vine plants, don’t be afraid to pinch off blossoms, as well as the vine, that often trails far and away from the main plant. If you minimize the blossoms on a plant and the distance from the plant to those blossoms, the plant is better able to provide more nutrients to the blossoms that remain which will then result in the biggest and best fruits and vegetables.
When and why should shrubs be pruned? Most shrubs need pruning to increase flowering. Deciduous spring and early flowering shrubs should be pruned immediately after flowering. Cut back old wood to encourage new growth. The buds for next year’s flowers will appear on this new wood. Late summer flowering shrubs should be pruned in spring. They will produce flowers on the shoots that grow immediately after pruning. Winter flowering shrubs simply need pruning in early spring to clean up any dead or diseased branches.
Weed the garden often and early. Plan on a weeding schedule for the garden at least three times. The first should be five to seven days after sowing, and again seven to ten days after that. The third time should be three to four weeks after planting, by this time the plants should be rooted well enough to add mulching and sufficient leaves to shade the surface.
Follow the above suggestions to help you with your organic garden. Think of the benefits you get by gardening the natural way. Maybe the nutrition is your primary concern, or perhaps you are looking for a way to cut cost. Whatever the reason, enjoy taking a bit out of that ripe, juicy watermelon or a fresh, crisp carrot!