Organic gardening can be very intimidating to someone that has never done it before. It can easily lead to a bit of information overload because of all of the resources available to new organic gardeners. Below are some tips to assist you in getting all of this information organized to where you can start growing organic plants effectively.
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.
When planting tomato seedlings, be sure to plant them all the way up to the first set of leaves. This allows the plant to grow a larger and deeper root system. The more roots your plant sprouts, the more tomatoes the plant will be capable of supporting and the more flavorful they will be.
If your green thumb starts to wilt during those long winter months when your garden is buried beneath a foot of snow, learn how to grow microgreens to provide yourself with fresh, healthy salads, sandwich toppings and garnishes all year round. Microgreens require very little sunlight and are easy to grow indoors. Some common microgreens include kale, dill, basil, spinach, and chard.
Create a convenient cleaning station next to your outside faucet or garden hose. Collect all of your old soap slivers from around the house (or simply use a whole bar) and place in a plastic mesh bag. You can often find these bags in the produce department of your favorite store for storing vegetables in the refrigerator, or in the laundry department for delicates. Hang the bag near your hose, and the mesh works as a scrubber as well as containing the soap for an easy hand washing station.
Fall edibles are a wonderful addition to your garden. This time, use a pumpkin for the container for your lettuce and kale, instead of plain clay pots. Simply carve open the top of a pumpkin so you can remove the innards, and then spray inside and out with something like Wilt-Pruf to prevent pumpkin rotting. Once you've done this, you can plant.
Create living walls in your garden. A living wall can take many forms: it can be as tall or low as you want, informal or formal, a single plant or created out of multiple plants. A wall of forsythia, lilac or roses offers eye-level blossoms and fragrance. Some people like the look of a formal, clipped hedge of privet or boxwood. Many flowering shrubs can be adapted to form a hedge, such as hebe, abelia or diosma. For existing structures, such as a fence or trellis, a vine such as clematis or morning glory can cover it in a season, offering a vivid display of vertical color.
To treat damping-off fungus, use chamomile tea. Brew a batch of chamomile tea, let it cool and pour a generous amount around the base of the seedlings. Use a spray bottle for the stems and foliage of the plant and you will keep damping-off fungus from destroying your garden.
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.
Make a point to get rid of slugs as soon as you see them. Slugs will continue eating your plants until your garden is just a shell of its former self. There are a variety of chemical and organic methods that you can try; find something that works for you and protect your plants!
Sometimes you will need to re-pot your plants. One good way to check if your plants need re-potted is to turn them over and look at the bottom. If you see many roots, it is time to get it into a new pot. If you see few roots, you may not need to disturb the plant.
Use compost to feed your crops. In organic gardening, compost is necessary for the survival of your plants. A home compost pile is a great, inexpensive source of compost. Many food scraps, grass, and dry leaves can be used in your compost. However, avoid cooked foods, ash, and animal waste in an organic compost pile.
A carpenter's belt is a great investment for any organic gardener. This is because organic gardening involves many small tools that are all frequently used such as trowels, water sprays, pruners, and gloves. Rather than making several trips back and forth between your shed and the garden, a tool belt can help you carry all of your tools at all times.
To prepare the ground for your organic perennial plants, simply cut the turf and turn it over a few weeks before planting time. Spread wood chips a few inches deep on the freshly-turned soil, and within a couple of weeks the ground will be ideal for your organic perennials. These hardy plants need only a little bit of preparation.
People often do not realize that organic gardening can be quite easy. Many people gardening with the aid of chemicals fail to realize the benefits of going organic. Make sure you're ready to use the tips you've learned here to get the most out of your garden. You might even inspire a few others to do the same!