by Hayley Jones
(Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
If you wanted to put your shovel in the ground and start gardening today, would you really know what to do? There is actually a lot more that goes in to organic gardening than simply planting a seed and watching it grow. To gather the knowledge necessary to grow your produce, here are some helpful tips and tactics:
* 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.
* Consider adding ladybugs to your organic garden. These little critters will eat those aphids and mites right up. If you aren’t able to lure a few ladybugs into your garden, you can often find them for sale at small home and garden stores. When you have a few ladybugs, more will often follow.
* 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.
* If you follow proper organic growing conditions you may find that you are better able to market your produce at the local fruit stands and farmer’s markets. Organic produce is very popular now because people are beginning to see all the health benefits of eating an organic whole food diet.
* Weed control in your organic garden will be more challenging than a conventional garden because you can’t use chemical herbicides. One of the best ways to control weeds without using chemicals is creating ground cover with mulch. Save tree trimmings and grass clippings from elsewhere in your garden and spread them around your plants to a depth of about 3 inches. This should be enough to prevent weeds from germinating and growing.
* 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.
* Soaker hoses can make an outstanding addition to almost anyorganic garden. Soaker hoses allow the gardener to provide low-pressure watering over long periods of time to the plants that need it. When they take the place of hours of fussy hand-watering, such hoses are well worth the investment the gardener makes in them.
* To keep rodents, deer, and other pesky animals away from yourorganic garden, use organic repellents. A spray made from hot peppers can be effective. Otherwise try a spray containing urine or rotten eggs. Regardless of what you use, apply the sprays liberally and reapply regularly especially after a rain shower.
* If you have an area around your driveway or patio that is in a sunny location and the heat radiates from the concrete and bakes the plants located in the area, the best solution is to buy plants that thrive in rocks or desert conditions. By growing them next to the concrete, the conditions of the area are ideal for plants that thrive in harsh heat and dry environments. In addition, you don’t have to replace them year after year.
Understanding how to grow organically, will always require the right type of information, so you might as well take it from these expert tips, instead of putting your trust in some other information out there. Make sure to heed this advice and your next garden can be the best you’ve ever grown.