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:
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.
Keep your soil healthy. One of the best ways to deter pests from eating up your hard work in your organic garden is to make sure your soil is good. If your growing medium becomes imbalanced, it will become an attractive place for all kinds of unwanted visitors. Check pH and moisture levels often.
Take steps to protect earthworms in your organic garden. Till your soil minimally, as tilling can kill earthworms. The best tilling depth is 3 to 5 inches. Avoid using chemical fertilizers because they harm the micro-organisms in the soil, decreasing earthworm activity. Be sure that the soil never dries out too much, but at the same time avoid over-watering. By maintaining these soil conditions, you will notice your earthworm population increasing rapidly!
Integrate low-growing strawberries into your yard’s landscape. Instead of setting aside fruit plants in a separate area, choose strawberries, such as alpine varieties, to use a ground cover that doubles as a fruit garden. These spreading, low-growing plants look attractive and grow well in areas that have a lot of sun.
Water your plants during the morning to avoid having fungal growth that generally prefers moisture and darkness. By watering your plants during the day they are best able to take advantage of the sun, and utilize the suns anti-bacterial effects. Some bacteria or fungi are light sensitive, so by watering during the day you benefit the plant by reducing the growth potential of its competitors.
Use soap on your plants. Not much is worse than a bad aphid infestation. Your plants will look terrible, and eventually die, if the bugs continue to work on your plants. To get rid of them now, fill a spray bottle with dish soap and water. Spray thoroughly, and repeat as needed.
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.
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!