It’s always the right time of year to grow produce if you know how to develop that proverbial green thumb. Whether you’re trying to grow basil in your window or corn out in your back yard, here are some quick and easy organic gardening tips you can use to ensure you always have a plentiful harvest.
When watering plants use recycled water, but avoid re-using water from sources such as baths, washing machines, or dishwashing. These water sources may contain harmful chemicals that can be absorbed into your vegetables such as nitrates and phosphates. This water may even contain pathogens that could harm you or your plants.
The ideal temperature to set your thermostat for indoor plants is between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit during the daylight hours. Plants require a warmer climate to grow. If you do not want to keep your home that warm during the winter months, you can get a heat lamp for the organic plants instead.
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.
Marigold flowers are quite the powerhouse in an organic garden. As their flowers and leaves decay, the marigold releases chemicals that attract frogs, repel snakes and kill nematode pests that attack many vegetable plants, including tomatoes. Look for ways to let the bright yellow marigold bring brilliant color and decoration to your garden, as it goes to work to protect the health of your plants.
Use compost to improve the quality of your soil. Compost comes from the breakdown of natural vegetation, and it is organic. It improves the structure of your soil by making it less dense, thus allowing better water permeability. Compost can also be used to balance the pH level of your soil.
While organic gardening is a great way to know exactly what is being put into your body you will have to give a little more care in washing and looking over your produce. This is because there are no products used on the produce which can lead to more bruising and pests.
Avoid over fertilizing your plants. Over fertilizing can lead to lots of lush growth, that is soft and attractive to pests and animals. Slower growing gardens are often hardier, meaning they are better at resisting pests and diseases. This is one of those cases where too much of a good thing isn’t a good thing at all.
Rotate your garden annually. When the same plants occupy a spot in your garden for many years in a row, it can lead to the development of fungi and disease. These plant enemies can become stored in the ground, ready to attack your plants the following year. By mixing things up and planting in various spots, you will be able to keep disease and fungus at bay.
Perhaps the most important thing that you will focus on as an organic gardener is your health. It might not start out that way, but once you realize the benefits of going organic, you will start to build healthy habits. Make sure you use the tips here instead of letting them fall by the wayside.