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:
Use companion plants. Companion planting is the pairing of plants within your vegetable garden, such as planting cabbage with tomatoes. Companion planting helps reduce the problems with insect pests, as it attracts natural pest-controlling wildlife. Companion planting is also a better use of the space in your garden, since you basically have two plants in the same plot.
Your plants need to grow in a rich soil. You can buy bags of soil but they can be quite expensive. You can also easily create your own: you need to use perlite, vermiculite and peat in equal quantities. You should also add a small quantity of lime and compost if needed.
Planted flowers will benefit from organic materials that are built up to as much as three inches. Mulch discourages weeds and helps retain moisture while adding nutrients to your flower bed. This will also make your flowers appear beautiful and finished all year long.
Install a fan to blow on your seeds. Make sure your fan is turned on a very low setting. This light touch will help your plants grow stronger. You can also stroke your plants very lightly with your hand or a piece of paper for a few hours to get the same effect.
You should organize your garden and plan everything. Do not buy seeds if you do not know where you will plant them. You need to plan on the long term for certain plants, and on the very short term for short-lived plants that will need to be replaced very quickly.
Plant ornamental, edible plants as part of your regular yard landscaping. Good plants to start with include rosemary, thyme varieties, sages, oregano and basil. These all look great mixed with perennials, and they will supply you with enough that you won’t need to purchase them anymore – herbs are expensive at the supermarket.
Consider building raised beds. If you build your own raised beds, you can choose the perfect size for your garden, and you can fill it with a type of soil that is suitable for what you intend to grow. Since there will be little soil compaction, there will be more oxygen in the soil, and water drainage will be much better. The soil in a raised bed warms up much earlier in the spring, increasing the growing season.
A great tip when starting your own organic garden is to sprinkle milled sphagnum moss on your seeds in order to prevent damping-off. Damping-off is a fungal disease that will cause your seeds and seedlings to rot. If your seeds need light, you should sprinkle this moss before dropping your seeds in the moss.
If you have low-growing weeds, such as lamium or chickweed, use a fast method to remove them. If your weeds have grown into a mat, you can use a sharp spade to slice beneath the weeds. Once the weeds are cut, you should turn them over which will bury the leaves. The leaves will rot and nourish your soil.
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!