Few things are as satisfying as getting your hands into the earth, planting and nurturing and harvesting the fruits of your labors. Adding to the knowledge that you have used the best possible practices to grow healthy food redoubles your satisfaction. Here are some tips on organic gardening to help you grow a harvest that will bring health to you and your family.
Be sure to test your soil before you plant your garden, if you want to be successful without the need for chemicals. A home testing kit can tell you the pH of your soil, which indicates the likelihood of plant survival. A vegetable garden requires a pH of about 6.5; if your soil is off, you can supplement before your plants start to die.
A great way to deal with weeds in a safe and nontoxic way, is to use a spray bottle of diluted dish soap to treat areas with overgrowth in your garden. Use a ratio of one tablespoon of mild dish soap per 16 ounces of water. Spray the weeds once a day and with in a week they should shrivel up and be easier to pull out.
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When starting your organic garden, a great tip is to figure out which vegetables you should pick to plant in your garden. Some vegetables are better suited for home germination than others are. Some great vegetables to consider planting include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, peppers, onions, tomatoes, basil, and more.
Your plants need to grow in a rich soil. You can buy bags of soil but they can be quite expensive. You can also easily create your own: you need to use perlite, vermiculite and peat in equal quantities. You should also add a small quantity of lime and compost if needed.
Your seeds, once they begin sprouting, don’t need the same amount of warmth as they did before. Move your plants further away from your heat source as they grow. If you have plastic films on your containers, remove them. To know when it is time for this, keep a careful eye on your seeds.
Make easy work of washing your organic produce with a laundry basket. As you pick your produce, lay them in a plastic laundry basket, which works as a strainer. Hold the hose over the top and the water can make quick work of rinsing all the dirt and other matter off of your fruits and veggies.
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”.
Sometimes when you are growing vegetables or fruits, it can be helpful to cut off newly formed buds or other non-fruit bearing areas. This will stimulate the growth of heavier fruit because the plant re-routes nutrients to where its growth should be navigating. When taking care your garden, it’s important to make the distinction between harvesting the plant, or encouraging its growth.
When beginning your own organic garden, you should always make sure you moisten your mix that is in the containers before you sow the seeds. If your mix is not moist, it will dry out. This could cause your plant to die before it is given a chance to grow.
A quick way to create a perennial garden is by cutting under the turf using a spade, turning it upside down, and covering the area with three to four inches of wood chips. After you have done this, wait a few weeks, and you will be able to cut into it and plant your new perennials.
For the best organic garden, choose plants that do best in your type of soil and climate. Plants that have adapted to a specific type of environment have a better chance to thrive without much fuss in that environment. These plants will also save you time in maintenance because they are naturally hardy.
For indoor organic gardening, temperature control is very important during the early phases. Seventy degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature for most seeds to start growing. You can achieve this temperature relatively easily by installing heaters and placing the seeds near the vents. You can also purchase heat mats to place under your plant containers.
If slugs are disrupting the balance of your garden, you can diminish their population by using a beer trap. Take a glass jar and bury it in your garden so that the top of it is level with the soil. Fill the jar with beer within one inch of the top. The slugs will be drawn to the beer and then drown in the jar.
Be careful when you are moving your plants from plastic containers to the soil. Plants often will end up with bound roots when they have spent too much time in plastic. Turn the plastic container upside-down slowly and tap gently to remove plant. Avoid damaging the plants delicate root system.
These tips should help you plan your organic garden. Follow the best advice and the hopes of spring will be fulfilled in autumn’s harvest–with delicious and nourishing meals for you and your family. Nourishing healthy soil, as shown in these tips, can be one of your best investments.