Organic gardening will require some extra research and active avoidance of chemicals. Once you have decided to garden organically, you need to learn about your soil’s pH balance, as well as things like natural pesticides. Organic gardening is way harder than traditional gardening for beginners. Read on to find some tips to make gardening in a clean, organic fashion a little easier and more fun to do!
Be sure to test your soil before you plant your garden, if you want to be successful without the need for chemicals. A home testing kit can tell you the pH of your soil, which indicates the likelihood of plant survival. A vegetable garden requires a pH of about 6.5; if your soil is off, you can supplement before your plants start to die.
Reduce the need for pesticides in your garden by planting native crops. Native plants will have a better resistance against the bugs and bacteria of your area, and will be better equipped to compete with native weeds. Native plants will attract beneficial native insects, such as ladybugs, which can naturally control pest problems without the need for chemicals.
Protect your seeds from fungus with natural products. You can use milled sphagnum moss to protect all your plants. If your seeds need light to grow, sprinkle the moss first and then place your seeds. This solution is much better than any chemicals you can find in a store and will protect your seeds efficiently.
Make mulch spreading easier with the right tools. After laying out the mulch, use a flat-headed rake to efficiently spread the manure around. The tines of the rake help pull the mulch and spread it, while the flat side of the rake evens out the area. Use the rake with a pushing and pulling motion.
Embrace earthworms in the organic garden! Earthworms are an organic gardener’s best friend. Through tunneling and their nitrogen-rich castings, they can help to aerate the soil. This improves the amount of oxygen that gets to a plant’s roots, improves water retention capacity, and keeps the soil loose and workable. They actually raise much-needed minerals from the garden’s subsoil to the topsoil, where plants can get the greatest benefit. These worms also break up hardpan soil, which is detrimental to root growth.
Do not get rid of weeds by pulling them. This takes you a lot of time and they might grow back. If you notice an area with a lot of weeds, take a shovel and dig under it. Turn the soil over so that the weeds feed your seeds like manure would.
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.
Now, you shouldn’t get your hopes up and believe that a few tips are going to turn you into an instant professional gardener. However, these tips are a great starting point if you do plan to grow organically. As you implement these tips and hone your skills, you’ll be a professional green-thumb-holder in no time.