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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.
Use your own seeds for gardening in later seasons. This lets you ensure that your plants are organic from start to finish. Take an earlier season of plants and allow them to go to seed before you remove them. This means that not only are your plants growing without pesticides or chemical fertilizers, the seeds were grown without them either.
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 for livestock logistics.
If you are looking at creating an endurable organic garden, you should think about keeping some of your property vacant so that wildlife may flourish there. A natural area will allow beneficial birds and insects, many of which pollinate plants, to live on your property and help your garden grow stronger.
Add three inches of mulch to your flower beds. Mulching helps to hold moisture in the soil, enhance the soil quality, and slow down the growth of weeds. This will also give a nice, professional appearance to your garden all year.
You should organize your garden and plan everything. Do not buy seeds if you do not know where you will plant them. You need to plan on the long term for certain plants, and on the very short term for short-lived plants that will need to be replaced very quickly.
Location is very important to organic gardening. Your garden should be in an area that will get at least ten hours of sunlight during the summer. Prior to starting your garden, make sure that your location does not have any large obstructions that will cast shadows and block the sun. Plants need an adequate amount of sunlight to live.
Use organic mulch. Any material that is spread over the soil is considered mulch. It helps to keep weeds at bay, holds moisture in the soil, and keeps the ground cool in summer and warm in winter. Examples of mulch include compost, shredded leaves, fine wood chips, straw and grass clippings.
If you don’t have a big yard, or any yard at all, you can still grow great organic produce in containers. Most vegetables, other than some root vegetables, grow just as well in pots as they do in the ground. There are also many varieties which have been bred to do well in containers.
If you are going to go organic in your gardening efforts, be sure to mulch your garden with at least 3 inches of organic material. This will help to conserve water, add nutrients and humus to the soil and will discourage weeds. It also gives your garden a nice appearance.
When you are maintaining acid loving plants mulch your soil with pine needles every fall. As the pine needles decompose over the winter months they will deposit their acid into the soil and give your acid loving botanicals what they need to thrive instead of relying on harsh chemical fertilizers.
Rotate your crops to prevent permanent populations of pests in your garden. As with any ecosystem, pests need a certain amount of time to nest and build up a proper population within a garden. These pests are specially suited for one environment and one food source. By switching their food source you can essentially keep your pest population down simply because they are unable to adapt to the new type of plant.
Think about using all-natural botanical insecticides in your organic garden; they are very handy when it comes to getting rid of harmful pests. These are frequently more effective than their chemically engineered counterparts. But, because they are made of natural materials, these types of insecticides frequently fade much faster.
If your garden includes plants that prefer acidic soil, such as begonias, roses, and strawberries, you should mulch with a generous layer (two to three inches) of discarded pine needles at the beginning of the autumnal season. As the pine needles slowly decompose, they will release trace amounts of acid into the soil.
The ability to discourage common garden pests like grasshoppers, weevils, and aphids without using pesticides is very important to maintain your organic garden. The best way to achieve this is to maintain the health and quality of your garden soil. Healthy soil leads to healthy plants, which are better able to withstand pests and illnesses.
Use the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone map to determine your planting zone. When you research plants for your garden, you will see zone information that is most ideal for the hardiness of the plant. In choosing plants for your garden, this zone information will tell you if the plant is suited for your geographic region.
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.