The main reason people decide to go organic when gardening is that they think commercial chemicals, including pesticides and fertilizers, may degrade soil quality, harm the environment and cause long-term damage to their personal health. Also, most methods of organic gardening are fairly inexpensive. Below are some great tips to assist you grow to be the organic gardener that you hope to be.
If sustainability and organic gardening are appealing to you, leave a portion of the property you own undeveloped to give wildlife a place to thrive. One side effect of this is that where animals thrive, so do birds and insects that help nurture and pollinate plants, which will increase the quality of your garden.
Try not to walk in your garden unless you absolutely have to in order to care for it. Work from a distance when you can. Walking across the soil compacts it, which makes it harder for roots to penetrate to needed nutrients. If your soil is already packed down, gently aerate it without damaging root structure.
Are you busy with your organic garden? Remember, before you replant your flowers or vegetables outside in cooler weather, you need to get them ready for the change in temperature and light! For a few weeks, move your plants to a colder spot with no light for a few hours. Gradually increase the amount of time you leave your plants in the cold. After a few weeks, your plants should be ready for the cooler outdoors.
Tend to your garden a few steps at a time. A garden requires ongoing maintenance, and becomes a big time drain if you let things pile up until the weekend. Stop by the garden for a few minutes each day and deadhead some flowers while you're waiting for dinner to cook or pull a few weeds while watching the kids play.
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.
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.
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.
A great tip when running your own organic garden is to make sure you immediately fertilize your seedlings when they receive their first true leaves, which will appear as soon as the cotyledon disappears. If your seedlings are not immediately fertilized, they will die unless you are using a mix with no soil that also does not have compost.
If you are beginning an organic garden, you should make sure that you re-pot your seedlings into larger containers with a compost mix as soon as your seedlings begin crowding each other in their original containers. If you do not do this, your seeds will eventually suffocate themselves and die.
Adjust your watering according to season and current climate. The amount of water you will need will vary according to your climate and even such factors as the part of day and soil type. If the climate is hot, but humid you'll have to avoid watering the leaves, for example. Rather, make sure the root system is watered.
Many people are confused about what the idea of organic actually means and so they think they can't participate in organic gardening. Organic gardening simply means that no types of pesticides or preservatives are used on the product which results in a much more natural form of the produce.
When you are ready to mulch, choose an organic mulch. Cocoa hulls or weed-free straw are great examples. The mulch will eventually decompose and add rich, organic nutrients to your soil. Just add a couple of inches to your garden each year and you will see the long-term benefits.
If you are going to go organic in your gardening efforts, be sure to mulch your garden with at least 3 inches of organic material. This will help to conserve water, add nutrients and humus to the soil and will discourage weeds. It also gives your garden a nice appearance.
Use recycled plastic or paper cups to start your tomato plants in. Just put the seeds in the cup, and cover with soil. This will allow you to grow the plants in the best conditions, and it keeps a few cups out of the landfills too. When they are ready, transplant the tomatoes into your garden.
Sometimes it's helpful to spread grass clippings or other kinds of decomposing plant matter around your plants. The plants will decompose and allow their nutrients to go back into the soil. This same theory works for many kinds of decomposing matter such as rotten apples, eggs, and pretty much everything else that can be considered organic matter.
Use organic weed killers. Weed killers commonly contain toxic and noxious chemicals. These can get into the soil and contaminate your groundwater. A great and cheap alternative to the harsh chemicals is to use vinegar. On a sunny day, spray cider vinegar onto any weeds you have. They will soon die without hurting the environment.
Spread your mulch out. Mulching is great for your garden. Cover as much of your garden as possible with it. Just be aware that if you let mulch pile up against trees or structures, it can cause them to rot. No one likes rotting trees and sheds, so make sure your mulch is spread.
If you use this advice concerning organic gardening, you will have a healthier yard in no time. You might actually notice more wildlife in and around your garden due to your natural gardening methods.