Are you starting your own organic garden for the first time? If so, you probably don’t even know where to start. It’s no secret that growing your own organic plants for the first time can be a bit overwhelming. Below are some tips that can help to make growing your own organic garden a bit smoother.
It may be helpful to let your plants begin their life in a pot and to transfer them to your garden when they’re seedlings. Once the plant is hardy enough, plant it in your garden. This is also a good way to tighten up your planting schedule. You can plant the seedlings once you have removed the old plants.
To protect your crops from being ravaged by pests such as deer and other nuisance animals, be sure to fence your garden securely. A good fence will also keep other people from trampling your crops, or worse, stealing them. If you have burrowing pests like gophers, you may want to use raised beds for your vegetables.
When removing and replanting perennials, it is important to replenish the soil as well. If you remove a large number of perennials, and then replant them without adding additional compost and soil, the bed will be lower, reducing drainage and air circulation. Also, the compost will replace nutrients that have been used up by previous growing seasons.
Do a soil analysis prior to planting. Many nurseries offer a soil analysis service, which will tell you what nutrients your soil is lacking and what you can do about it. It can avoid ruined vegetables and flowers, so check with places, such as a cooperative extension department to see where you can obtain the analysis.
For garden plants that crave and need a lot of water, use five gallon buckets to keep those thirsty fruits and vegetables happy. Simply drill or punch several 1/8″ to 1/4″ holes into the bottom of a five gallon bucket, fill with water and set near the parched plant. Gravity allows for a slow and steady watering of those plants and if you live in an area where you get frequent rain, you will be capturing plenty of rain water to keep those buckets fairly full all season long.
Use your leftover pasta water in your garden! Plants are big starch fans and thrive with water that contains higher levels of starch, like the water left over after you boil pasta or potatoes. Make sure, though, that you let the water sit until it reaches room temperature prior to watering your plants with it!
Brighten up your winter garden with trees that have interesting bark. A winter garden can tend to look bare and drab, especially if you live in a very cold climate. Three good choices are a paperbark maple, silver birch or scarlet willow. This will make a quite noticeable difference to the look of your garden.
As you have seen, growing an organic garden is not as scary as it may appear at first. Just think of all of the benefits it has and all of the expenses it can take care of, along with all of the money it can save you in the long run growing your own “green” food.