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.
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.
Do not forget the sun when deciding on a place for a garden. Gardens need sun. Almost all flowering plants and vegetables grow best in excellent sunlight. Vegetables like tomatoes require a lot of sunlight and will not produce without it. If there are trees above the area, trim them back or look for another location because a garden without sun is doomed to failure.
Bulbs are a great option for people who want to enjoy spring and summer flowers. Bulbs are hearty and will continue to grow every year. Find out which flowers will bloom when and then plant a variety, so that you can have fresh blooms all the way through the spring and summer!
When gardening, be sure to use proper posture. Don’t lift with your back, and try to bend at the knees instead of at the waist. Keep your back straight when bending over. This allows you to use stronger and more flexible muscle groups to lift, and also protects your spine.
A spicy solution to ridding your garden of pests is to spray your plants with a hot mustard or red pepper mixture (one tablespoon of hot mustard or red pepper to one quart water). The solution is safe to spray directly on your garden foliage and pests can’t stand the taste of it!
As you plan your garden this year, change the layout so that it’s different from where the various plants were located last year. For example, place your tomatoes in the part of the garden where the corn grew last season. This rotation of crops will help keep your soil from becoming depleted of the nutrients needed by each type of vegetable.
Make sure to protect your hands when working in your yard. Dirt and chemicals can be very harsh on your skin. However, the solution to this problem is very easy: gardening gloves. Gloves range from cheaper cottons (that wear easily) to more durable leather (which are more expensive). Look around your local garden supply center to find a pair of gloves that you feel comfortable working with to save your hands.
Treat your flowering bulbs correctly after they finish blooming and they will return again next year. Allow the foliage to remain for at least eight weeks after flowering to ensure that your bulbs are able to photosynthesize enough food for the following season. Removing the leaves earlier could result in weak flowers or no flowers at all the next year.
Choose specific plants for dry soil. Light and sandy soils have many advantages: they warm up quickly in the springtime and drain well after wet weather. The downside is they can quickly become very dry in the summer, and plants have to work hard to extract enough moisture to survive. Certain plants are very tolerant of dry conditions, as long as they are given a helping hand when young. Once established they do well with very little water. These plants include alyssum, cosmos, hebe, lavender, rosemary, sedum and veronica.
The best time to plant deciduous trees are in the summer and fall. The best way to tell if it is a good time to plant these trees, is to look at the new growth and notice if has hardened. It is best to plant the trees before the ground freezes to reduce transplant shock.
Be sure to test your soil before you plant your garden, if you want to be successful without the need for chemicals. A home testing kit can tell you the pH of your soil, which indicates the likelihood of plant survival. A vegetable garden requires a pH of about 6.5; if your soil is off, you can supplement before your plants start to die.
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.