Contrary to popular belief, growing an organic garden doesn’t mean you’re one step away from joining a commune or living off the land. It just means you want healthier food, bereft of the harsh chemicals that are used by mass-producing farms. Here are some tips to ensure that your garden will always grow.
Water your organic garden with storm water runoffs and collected rainwater. Rainwater is more pure and better for plants than home tap water, because it won’t contain chemicals such as chlorine or fluoride. Using rainwater also helps in reducing your overall water usage. Rainwater can even be stored in barrels or cisterns to be used during dry spells.
When starting your organic garden, you must be sure you have the proper size containers because containers are crucial for holding your plants. Your containers should be around two or three inches in depth for them to be effective. In addition, you should make sure you have holes in the bottom of your containers for drainage purposes.
You will need to rotate the plants on a regular basis when you have an indoor organic garden. Plants need to get light from all directions in order to grow properly. If they are not rotated, plants will bend toward a light source, which can actually cause them to produce less fruits and vegetables, than they would have if they had been rotated.
Start your organic garden with a good strategic plan. This helps you know exactly where each plant will go in your garden so that you can maximize the few hours you have to garden each day. As part of your plan, take notes on what plants you will use to replace short-lived crops such as spinach and lettuce.
If you don’t have the space to have an actual garden in the ground, it’s perfectly acceptable to have an organic garden in containers. There are only a few root vegetables like asparagus that won’t grow well in containers, so feel free to explore. Containers are perfect to grow organic tomatoes, green beans, green onions and many other organic vegetables.
Dry your herbs immediately after harvesting them to prevent rot. Rot is usually caused by moisture either within the herb or on top of it. Moisture can cause the production of harmful bacteria that may cause rot on the herb, or produce a nasty by-product which will then spoil your harvest.
Attract positive bugs to your garden. Bugs like lady-bugs actually hunt natural predators to your plants; aphids and caterpillars are just some of the nasty critters that can go through a garden and eat the leaves of the plants. Lady bugs are the natural predators to such pests and help the growth of a good healthy garden by consuming pests.
Calculate how much water your plants truly need. Thinner plants generally need more water; they contain larger surface area with less capacity to store water. Plants with large, thick waxy leaves are often more suited for water-starved environments. Over-watering may also cause problems with the plant due to microbial growth on their roots.
To naturally rid your soil of nematodes, which are soil-dwelling pests that can hurt tomatoes and potatoes, use marigolds. The chemicals released by the marigolds’ roots and decaying leaves is toxic to nematodes. Plant marigolds near your tomatoes or potatoes, or till them into the soil before planting.
Research plants before bringing them home. When you are trying to get the best plants for your organic landscape, you should take the time to get educated. Chose plants that are suited to growing conditions you already have, rather than trying to build an environment for a plant you didn’t properly plan for.
Most organic fertilizers will not harm the soft roots of plants, unlike, synthetic fertilizers. A great way to use an organic fertilizer is to mix it with the top two inches of soil next to the plant. This is called side-dressing, and it is usually worked into the soil during the growing season.
If you have the space, building a compost bin can be a great way to save money and always have compost at the ready. When planning your bin, consider a three-sided bin rather than a four-sided bin. A three-sided bin allows you to easily access the heap for regular turning without reaching over a wall or using a gate.
If you have plants that love acid in your organic garden, especially tomato plants, then coffee grounds make great mulch. It’s simple to scatter the coffee grounds around your plants and then sit back and let the high levels of nitrogen help your acid-loving plants grow to great heights all summer long.
Yes, there is a stigma that comes with the word “organic,” but that’s because most people fail to realize that the word organic, basically means natural. In fact, growing organic is as natural as you can possibly get. So make sure to use these gardening tips when you’re ready to grow organic food.