What do you know about organic gardening? Do you have some gardening techniques? If you do, do you wish to improve upon them? Is what you're using working with your organic garden or against it? If you cannot answer these questions confidently, look at the tips below to help grow a better organic garden.
Plant crops compatible with each other in order to add even more efficiency to your garden. Plant crops that take longer to mature next to faster growing varieties. You can also get ahead of the season by planting cooler climate crops in the shade of larger summer crops. Greens such as lettuce do great in the shade of a large tomato plant.
Feed your plants. The way your plants are growing can tell you what nutrients are lacking and need replacing. Some plants take up a lot of nutrients early in the growing season and quickly need a new supply. Look for signs of deficiency such as yellowing leaves and stunted growth. Feed the plant with a general purpose fertilizer, unless it has specific requirements. Foliage plants, for instance, prefer a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen.
Divide large clumps of perennials. Some perennial plants lose vigor and flower less well if the clump becomes too large. Plants like Shasta daisies, bearded irises, phlox, chrysanthemum and coneflower benefit from being divided every three years. Without division they become congested, and the center of the clump will begin to die out. Simply dig the entire plant out, keeping the root ball intact, and divide it into pieces using a shovel. By doing this, you will have at least two or three new plants!
Use biennials and annuals to add color to your flower beds. The annuals and biennials are usually fast growing because they only last one season, and this will let you change the garden every season for a nice change of pace. You can use them between the gaps in shrubs and perennials where there is plenty of sun. There are many flowers you can plant in these gaps. Try marigolds, petunias or sunflowers for a brighter garden.
Did you know that watering your outdoor garden plants with garlic water can help to chase away pests? Just peel the leaves off several cloves of garlic and place them in a large container like a clean gallon size plastic milk jug. Fill the container with water and let the garlic steep for a day or two before watering your plants.
Clean your garden tools before you put them away. It seems strange to worry about keeping a gardening tool clean, but it's actually very important for the health of your plants. Tools that are put away while coated in dirt can harbor microbes and even insects that can be deadly to your plants.
For gardeners in colder climates who want to get their plants started in the outdoor garden a little early, use plastic milk jugs for mini-greenhouses. Cut the bottom off of a milk jug and place over the plant, pushing the jug into the ground enough to keep it in place. Remove the milk jug cap during sunny, but still somewhat chilly days to allow for some air circulation and replace the cap at night to keep the warmth in. When the days are a bit warmer, remove the jug during the day, only replacing it at night, and slowly let your plant acclimate to the weather.
As soon as your seeds start sprouting make sure they have enough light. Move your plants next to a sunny window or put them inside a greenhouse. If you cannot do this, use fluorescent lights. Remember that your plants need up to sixteen hours of light every day.
To keep animals from digging up and destroying your bulbs, wrap the bulbs in a thin layer of steel wool. This won't prevent the bulbs from growing in any way, but will scare away any animal that's begun digging it up. You can purchase steel wool from any home improvement store.
Try growing a shade garden. Shade gardens use less water, require less light, and are generally lower maintenance than gardens in the sun. They typically have less invasive weeds than other gardens, and have a slower growing period as well. Your yard will be a more rounded environment with a garden like this.
If your yard's soil isn't as healthy as you want, or has been contaminated in some way, you can still grow organic produce using raised beds. You can use wood, brick or stone for the border. Make sure that it is at least 16 inches high so that there is room for the roots. Fill it with organic soil and compost.
You need to remember to drink plenty of water while you are gardening. Many people forget to keep up with their water intake because they do not think that they are doing a strenuous activity. Gardening may not always be strenuous but extended exposure to the sun can lead to dehydration and drinking plenty of water is one way to prevent it.
Organic gardening is a great way to get exercise, as well as, a way to relieve stress. There are many healthful benefits you will reap, especially if your organic gardening efforts reward you with a plentiful harvest. Do yourself a favor and follow the tips in this article so that you can grow a healthy organic garden.