The Basics Of How To Grow An Organic Garden
If you are completely new to the world of organic gardening, then you are probably thinking that some tips on organic gardening will help you immensely so that you can begin growing your own organic plants. Listed below are some tips to get you started with your organic gardening endeavors.
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.
Once your seeds have germinated they will not need to be kept as warm as before. Your seedlings should be moved away from any heat source. You can now take off any protective coverings on your plants that were there to shield them from the elements. You should know when the right time is if you are keeping an eye on the seeds.
Embrace earthworms in the organic garden! Earthworms are an organic gardener’s best friend. Through tunneling and their nitrogen-rich castings, they can help to aerate the soil. This improves the amount of oxygen that gets to a plant’s roots, improves water retention capacity, and keeps the soil loose and workable. They actually raise much-needed minerals from the garden’s subsoil to the topsoil, where plants can get the greatest benefit. These worms also break up hardpan soil, which is detrimental to root growth.
Coffee grounds are good for your soil. Coffee grounds add many nitrogenous nutrients to the soil that will benefit your plants. Many times, nitrogen is a limiting nutrient in soils. Adding coffee grounds or compost can add nitrogen to your soils will help your plants grow tall and healthy.
When growing organic plants hook your plants up to an electric timer that will turn lights on and off continuously throughout the day at the same time. By doing this, you will ensure that your plants receive the proper amount of light that they need.
In order to offer your organic gardening the most success, mulch it with 3 inches of organic material. By mulching your organic garden you will conserve water, add nutrients to the soil and stop weeds from growing. As an added bonus, mulching also gives your organic garden a bit of beauty.
One unusual tip in organic gardening, is to “pet” your seedlings often. Use your hands or a piece of cardboard and lightly ruffle the seedling about one or two times a day. This probably sounds like an odd recommendation, but research has shown that this technique encourages more plant growth, than no petting at all.
To insulate the soil and protect against weeds, you should consider different types of mulches. Use things like wood chips, leaves, hay, and lawn clippings. Protecting plants with a mulch helps them in many ways, such as guarding soil against erosion. You can even look into living mulches, which are plants that serve the same purpose as a mulch.
Care for your compost. Cover your compost pile with a lid, tarp or black plastic. Sunlight will kill the bacteria that do the composting, so the outer layers of a compost pile that is exposed to the sun will not break down. Water the compost pile regularly, keeping it evenly moist. Do not over-water, as a soggy compost pile will rot. Turn the pile every two to five days to aerate and provide oxygen to the bacteria. If necessary, add a composting activator to speed up the process.
For organic fertilizer to use around the plants in your garden and flower beds, start a compost bin made from all-organic material that would otherwise be wasted. Pitch in yard clippings, leaves, vegetable peelings, eggshells and coffee grounds, turning the contents of the bin often. In just a short time, you will have great material to mix with your soil that will provide nutrients and nourishment to your plants without added chemicals.
Create a raised bed for your garden out of stone, bricks or untreated wood. If you choose wood, ensure that it has not been treated with a sealant or other chemicals. 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.
Use living matter to make the best compost. Though you may be tempted to start tossing everything into your compost pile, don’t do it. Remember your compost is not a trashcan. Put in plenty of grass clippings, fallen leaves, and kitchen garbage such as food scraps and old leftovers. This will make your compost process faster.
The growth of organic garlic is simple. Wait until early spring or the fall to plant cloves in a moist soil. Plant them two inches into the soil with the ends up, and leave four inches between each clove. Cut the green garlic sprouts as they grow, you can use them like you would use scallions or chives. The garlic will be matured when the green tops start drying out and turning brown. To harden the bulbs’ skin, dry them for several days in the sun. Store them in a cool, dry location. You can store them as loose bulbs, or fasten them together into bunches.
As you can see from the above list of tips, organic gardening can be very useful in getting the best and freshest produce possible from your plants. After following these tips, you will no longer be new to the world of organic gardening, but you will become an organic gardening expert.