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.
Composting for organic gardening reduces the need for fertilizers, is a form of herbicide, can help prevent plant diseases and helps impact the environment in positive ways. Composting is a source of nutrition for insects, helps with soil erosion and reduces waste sent to landfills. It is wonderful for the health of the environment in general.
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.
When raising an organic garden, sometimes a solution to resolving bad soil is to raise your garden bed. Building a garden bed or roost above the regular soil, can allow you to put your own fertilized soil within the bed without the risk of the soil becoming diluted or mixed in with the surrounding area.
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”.
By adding a nice layer of bio-degradable material (mulch) around your plants, you can utilize the natural pest-fighting ability within the mulch to stop predators to your plants. By putting a one to two inch layer around your plants, you are also adding a source of nutrients and a source of water.
When trying to add compost to your organic garden, find a better way to get the compost there. It can be a pain to have to move wheel-barrows of compost to your garden. You could try layering newspaper down the walkways of your garden, and adding straw to the top. Near the end of the season, the compost will be ready to be added to your garden and you only have to move it from the walkway to the beds on each side.
If you have low-growing weeds, such as lamium or chickweed, use a fast method to remove them. If your weeds have grown into a mat, you can use a sharp spade to slice beneath the weeds. Once the weeds are cut, you should turn them over which will bury the leaves. The leaves will rot and nourish your soil.
Add vines to your landscape. You can get a wide range of plants that are vines. Some ornamental, and some fruit or vegetable varieties. Vines can grow up most fences or structures. Use them to create more interesting landscapes in your yard. Have them grow up an awning, and create shade for you.
Try using untreated stone, brick, or wood to create a raised bed. If you choose to use wood to construct your bed, choose a species that is naturally resistant to rot and avoid treated wood entirely. Several species of trees yield suitable wood. Locust, cypress, and cedar are among the more commonly used rot resitent woods. It is particular important that you don’t use treated wood for vegetable beds, as the chemicals and toxins on the wood could leach into the soil and be absorbed by food plants. You may have previously used treated lumber; if so, you should use a plastic liner to cover it.
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.