Cultivating An Organic Garden – Tips To Use Right Now

Contrary to popular belief, growing an organic garden doesn’t mean you’re one step away from joining a commune or living off the land. It just means you want healthier food, bereft of the harsh chemicals that are used by mass-producing farms. Here are some tips to ensure that your garden will always grow.

Use companion plants. Companion planting is the pairing of plants within your vegetable garden, such as planting cabbage with tomatoes. Companion planting helps reduce the problems with insect pests, as it attracts natural pest-controlling wildlife. Companion planting is also a better use of the space in your garden, since you basically have two plants in the same plot.

An organic alternative to chemical fertilizer is compost. You can make your own compost by using fruits, vegetables and other organic wastes from your home. Compost gives your soil the nutrients it needs and improves its structure.

Attract positive bugs to your garden. Bugs like lady-bugs actually hunt natural predators to your plants; aphids and caterpillars are just some of the nasty critters that can go through a garden and eat the leaves of the plants. Lady bugs are the natural predators to such pests and help the growth of a good healthy garden by consuming pests.

IMG_9895Planting a living hedge around your property has many benefits. Hedges provide a softer barrier to mark the perimeter of your property and are less forbidding than a structured wall. A living hedge will provide privacy but still discourage trespassing by animals or people. If you have a hedge that blooms, it can be a lovely backdrop in addition to your landscape.

If you plan on beginning an organic gardener, a great tip is to make you cover your seeds with glass or a plastic wrap. This is needed so that your seeds will stay warm because most seeds need a temperature of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit in order to properly germinate.

Composting is a great way to fuel your garden. You can add pretty much anything, like grass clippings, shredded paper, coffee grounds, and much more. Basically, you can use anything that was living at one time (but try to avoid animal products). If you buy some worms and keep the compost bin in a warm, sunny place it will turn into perfectly dark and rich soil in no time.

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.

A raised bed can be built with untreated wood, brick or stone. Be sure to use wood that is naturally resistant to rotting and that has not been treated. Several species of trees yield suitable wood. Locust, cypress, and cedar are among the more commonly used rot resitent woods. Do not use treated wood in your vegetable garden. If you must use treated wood, create a barrier, such as with plastic sheet.

When starting an organic garden, test the pH level of your soil. You need to know the pH level of your soil in order to choose the appropriate plants that will grow in it. For example, plants that favor an alkaline soil will not do well in acidic soil. Test kits can be purchased to test the pH level of your soil.

Yes, there is a stigma that comes with the word “organic,” but that’s because most people fail to realize that the word organic, basically means natural. In fact, growing organic is as natural as you can possibly get. So make sure to use these gardening tips when you’re ready to grow organic food.

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Catherine Pane

Catherine Pane

Catherine enjoys pilates, yoga and walking in the park at lunchtime. She enjoys cooking, hiking, and bird watching. She's considered a successful business woman, environmentalist, and an active member of the Central Ohio National Organization for Women (NOW).
Catherine Pane

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