The world of organic gardening is very vast and exciting. There are so many ways that one can enter and use their knowledge of this field to help themselves grow healthier “green” plants. It depends completely on your skills and environment. That said, no matter what your organic gardening skills are, here are some tips to help you along.
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.
When you buy seeds for your garden, be sure to purchase seeds that are labeled “certified organic.” This ensures that your plants will be organic throughout their lifespan and that the seeds you are buying aren’t contaminated with chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Watch out for labels, such as “genetically engineered” or any mention of “natural” that does not include the phrase “certified organic.”
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.
To keep air flowing through your compost pile, stand a large PVC pipe with punched holes in the center of your pile so the air flows up and down the pipe, and then through the holes directly into the pile. The air movement helps your soil decomposers create the heat needed to jumpstart the decay process.
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.
Take steps to protect earthworms in your organic garden. Till your soil minimally, as tilling can kill earthworms. The best tilling depth is 3 to 5 inches. Avoid using chemical fertilizers because they harm the micro-organisms in the soil, decreasing earthworm activity. Be sure that the soil never dries out too much, but at the same time avoid over-watering. By maintaining these soil conditions, you will notice your earthworm population increasing rapidly!
Rotate your crops to prevent permanent populations of pests in your garden. As with any ecosystem, pests need a certain amount of time to nest and build up a proper population within a garden. These pests are specially suited for one environment and one food source. By switching their food source you can essentially keep your pest population down simply because they are unable to adapt to the new type of plant.
Organic gardening is a fascinating and exciting world that is only limited by your knowledge and environment. There are endless products and techniques you can sue for your organic garden. Start experimenting to find something new to use on your organic garden or even improve upon a technique. Use these tips to grow!