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:
When you buy seeds for your garden, be sure to purchase seeds that are labeled “certified organic.” This ensures that your plants will be organic throughout their lifespan and that the seeds you are buying aren’t contaminated with chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Watch out for labels, such as “genetically engineered” or any mention of “natural” that does not include the phrase “certified organic.”
A great tip when participating in organic gardening is to always wash your containers. This is needed so that you will protect your plants from getting any diseases. You should wash them in warm, soapy water, and then rinse using a diluted solution of bleach and water. This will ensure that your plants stay healthy.
A great first step to having a successful organic garden is to test the acidity of the soil in your garden. The ideal number is 6.5, if your soil is on the low end, it’s too acidic and if it’s on the high end it’s too alkaline. Neither of those situations lends itself to a successful garden. So by purchasing a soil testing kit before planting, you will assure yourself a beautiful organic garden in the summer.
A great rule of thumb to follow when planting an organic garden is less is more. While you’ll want to plant a little more than you think you will need in case of rot or pests, you don’t want to overdo it because you’ll end up with much more than you can handle.
The optimal amount of organic mulch to use in your flower beds is 2-3 inches. Using this much mulch retards weed growth, locks in moisture, and ensures that your plants are well-nourished. This will also give a nice, professional appearance to your garden all year.
Pine can make a great mulch. Certain plants are acidic, and thrive in acidic soil. Plants like these thrive when you use pine needles as mulch. Cover your beds with the needles, as they will decompose and disperse their acid throughout the soil.
Use plants that work together. Some plants take nutrients away from the soil while others fixate those same-lost nutrients. Traditionally, vegetables are planted with a crop rotation because of the ability of certain crops to replenish the natural nitrogen in the ground. However, you may be able to take advantage of this knowledge by pairing up “companion plants”.
Collecting rainwater is the natural way to supply yourself with water for all your organic gardening needs. You can simply build your own system of rain barrels or buy them ready made. That way, you won’t have to pay for water for your garden or lawn maintenance. Caution is needed! Covers are suggested to cut down on mosquitoes and other pests that can be attracted to standing water.
Don’t be alarmed at the amount of organic fertilizer you may need to use. Organic fertilizers contain a lower percentage of nutrients per unit weight than their synthetic counterparts. Because of this, it will probably be necessary to apply more volume of organic fertilizer than is typical for synthetic fertilizers.
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!