Organic gardening is not as easy as some may think! There is a lot more to it than just watering some seeds or digging around in the dirt. It is truly an art form. It has requires many techniques and products that require a green thumb as well as some hard work to achieve a great organic garden. Here are some tips to help you with your own:
Start your organic garden with a good strategic plan. This helps you know exactly where each plant will go in your garden so that you can maximize the few hours you have to garden each day. As part of your plan, take notes on what plants you will use to replace short-lived crops such as spinach and lettuce.
Cover your flower beds with two or three inches of compost or organic mulch. By doing this, you can lock in moisture, discourage weed growth, and nourish your plants. A layer of mulch also creates a more attractive appearance.
Manage your garden hose to prevent frustration. Garden hoses, especially longer or heavy duty ones, can become unwieldy and annoying when you have to drag them around the garden, all twisted up. Invest in a portable hose reel or a stationary one, depending on your garden configuration, to more easily manage your garden hose and make storing it fast and easy.
Blend flowering fruit shrubs into your regular landscape. Don’t have a separate area to turn into a garden? Elderberries, blueberries and currants have pretty flowers in springtime and look great in the fall as well. The side benefit of these landscape-enhancing plants is all the fruit they produce for you to enjoy.
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!
Rotate your crops to prevent permanent populations of pests in your garden. As with any ecosystem, pests need a certain amount of time to nest and build up a proper population within a garden. These pests are specially suited for one environment and one food source. By switching their food source you can essentially keep your pest population down simply because they are unable to adapt to the new type of plant.
If your organic garden uses containers, you may need to swap seedlings to larger containers as they outgrow them. When you do this, make sure to handle the seedlings by the leaves and roots. To be more specific, you should avoid touching the stems as they are extremely fragile and can be easily damaged. After you have swapped containers, it is recommended to water the roots as this will help them merge with their new environment.
So, organic gardening is a lot more that dropping seeds in the ground. It takes skill and hard work outside. No doubt, you want to enjoy the fruits of your hard labor! Use the handy tips above to help you get the most out of gardening the natural way!