Contrary to popular belief, growing an organic garden doesn’t mean you’re one step away from joining a commune or living off the land. It just means you want healthier food, bereft of the harsh chemicals that are used by mass-producing farms. Here are some tips to ensure that your garden will always grow.
Allow your children to actively participate in planting your organic garden. Gardening is a great way for children to learn, and it gives you two a chance to spend some quality time together and produce healthy food.
A great way to deal with weeds in a safe and nontoxic way, is to use a spray bottle of diluted dish soap to treat areas with overgrowth in your garden. Use a ratio of one tablespoon of mild dish soap per 16 ounces of water. Spray the weeds once a day and with in a week they should shrivel up and be easier to pull out.
Why buy new garden covers when you can use your old blankets to cover plants in the winter time? If you don’t have any old blankets you can buy used ones at thrift stores cheaply. Use tomato cages to support the blankets over your plants. Individual bricks or garden rocks can be used to hold the blankets and down and insure good coverage for your plants.
Establish a precise schedule to know when you should plant your seeds. Even if you are growing your plants indoors, you should follow a schedule that matches the season and outside temperature. Spend some time on your schedule at the beginning of a season and you should be able to improve it the next year.
Encourage toads to take up residence in your organic garden. Toads are a natural predator of many of the pesky bugs that will eat and destroy your crops. Create makeshift toad houses out of overturned broken clay pots and keep soil nice and moist to make it conducive to amphibian life.
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 have a problem with aphids, consider using ladybugs. Ladybugs are natural predators to aphids, and they are very effective in keeping the aphid population under control. You can buy them in bulk from a garden center or online. This is a much better solution than spraying your plants with pesticides.
When you first begin using organic produce you will realize that it tends to rot quite a bit faster. This is because less preservatives are used. Having a lower shelf life means that you need to cook or eat the produce a little bit faster than you would normal store bought options.
Consider adding ladybugs to your organic garden. These little critters will eat those aphids and mites right up. If you aren’t able to lure a few ladybugs into your garden, you can often find them for sale at small home and garden stores. When you have a few ladybugs, more will often follow.
Always give your garden the benefit of looking beneath the upper portions of a plant. For example, tomato seedlings can develop bad root systems that will result in failed plants. These green starts will prohibit the plants from growing. As time goes by, the starts will begin to fall off, but you shouldn’t transplant your seedlings until this happens.
Yes, there is a stigma that comes with the word “organic,” but that’s because most people fail to realize that the word organic, basically means natural. In fact, growing organic is as natural as you can possibly get. So make sure to use these gardening tips when you’re ready to grow organic food.