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.
Make use of a ground cover, such as mulch or hay. Be sure when you are purchasing your ground cover, that it is also organic, as any chemicals contained in the mulch or hay can be absorbed by your plants. Organic ground coverings will protect the roots of your plants and help prevent water evaporation.
Hang shiny silver objects throughout your garden. These can act as natural pest deterrents; no need for chemicals. The reflections can disorient flying pests such as aphids that require the sun to direct their flight, and may frighten off larger pests such as birds, and even rabbits or deer.
Have your gardening tools near you to minimize the time spent searching for them. Put them into a basket you carry with you, or use an apron with many pockets and hanging loops. Tools you’ll need to garden efficiently include towels, gloves, pruning shears and other plant-specific tools.
Recycling wood saves money and adds a unique touch to your garden. Use scrap wood to build small garden fences or support structures for plants. Sources include broken tables, chairs, or unused trim pieces from past home improvement projects. Paint the wood to add color and interest to your garden plot.
Pine needles should not be overlooked as a great source for mulch. Some plants are highly acidic, and like soil that is acidic too. If that’s the case, the easiest thing to do is use pine needles for beds. Cover your beds with the needles, as they will decompose and disperse their acid throughout the soil.
If you have a compost pile, but have very few leaves to add to it this fall, try incorporating straw or hay into your compost pile. This is a great way to add carbon which is very beneficial to the growth and health of plants. The straw and hay may contain seeds, so it is best to use an organic weed spray on your compost pile to get rid of the unwanted weeds.
Marigold flowers are quite the powerhouse in an organic garden. As their flowers and leaves decay, the marigold releases chemicals that attract frogs, repel snakes and kill nematode pests that attack many vegetable plants, including tomatoes. Look for ways to let the bright yellow marigold bring brilliant color and decoration to your garden, as it goes to work to protect the health of your plants.
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.