Gardening Like A Pro: Organic Gardening Tips

The activity of organic gardening is so much more than just placing a seed into the ground. It takes a great deal of research, hard work and patience, to help your plants grow and mature so that you can partake of their bounty. The tips below can help you improve your organic gardening skills.

Do not allow the garden to go without water. Many people have unrealistic expectations of watering the garden after work everyday, but life gets in the way and that is the end of the garden. Install a sprinkler system to ensure the garden gets enough water. Although this does add expense to the garden, the convenience of it is well worth the money.

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!

Think about leaving some areas of your lawn uncut. Long grass provides a great habitat for beetles, young amphibians and grasshoppers. Grass is also an important food source for some butterflies and caterpillars. Gardens without wildlife would be very sterile environments, and most plants can’t reproduce without the help of wildlife.

If you plant flowers in a container make sure that you water them and feed them regularly, and that the pots have adequate drainage. Because there is limited soil in the pot, you need to pay more attention to the soil conditions. If the drainage is not adequate your plants will result in root rot.

Before starting a garden, it is important that you have a plan. Without one, your garden may not come out the way you want it to. Some things to plan out include where to put the garden in your yard, what you want to grow, and whether to start from seed or plants.

If you are going to be doing a lot of work in your garden very close to the ground, such as weeding or planting, use a garden stool or pad to protect your knees. This will make it easier to get back up again and move once you finish, and will also reduce bruising on your knees.

Did you know that a tablespoon of powdered milk sprinkled around your rose bushes early in the season can help to prevent fungus growth on your beautiful flowers later in the spring? If you prefer to use a spray, you might try diluting some skim milk and spraying the plant leaves. The lower fat content in skim milk reduces the chance that it will turn rancid.

When you are pruning a tree, make sure that your tools are sharp. Cutting with a dull tool can tear the bark off the tree, causing unnecessary damage to the tree. Not only that, cutting with a dull tool causes you to spend extra energy in cutting. A sharp tool will give you a cleaner cut with the least amount of effort.

If you are going to garden around your home, you need to make sure that you wear safety clothing. If you wear sturdy shoes, long pants and safety goggles while you are maintaining your lawn, there is less of a chance that you will get hurt from doing yard work.

Think carefully about how you are going to lay out your vegetable garden. Unlike most other gardens, you want to consider practicality over aesthetics for your vegetables. Some vegetables emit chemicals that can inhibit another’s growth; some tall vegetables might overshadow small vegetables, which might not allow them to grow and ripen. Look at each vegetable plant’s properties and carefully consider where to put it in your garden.

Draw your fingernails across a bar of soap, to seal the undersides of your nails off. Doing this will prevent dirt from becoming trapped underneath them while you are gardening. When you are finished in the garden, you can clean your nails with a nailbrush to remove the soap.

Pick the right plants. Certain plants will have an easier time germinating than others, and will guarantee a better harvest for the beginning organic gardener. Good choices include hardy varieties of cabbage, cauliflower, and herbs, but of course, you have to choose those plants which are going to do well in your climate.

The activity of organic gardening is one that can be enjoyed by everyone, but only those very serious into it, will try to perfect their organic gardening techniques. Now with more organic gardening knowledge to add to your “bag of tricks,” you can easily become a great organic gardener, too.

DIY: Foraged Thanksgiving Tabletop with Berries and Branches

At my house, we always have a foraged floral arrangement for Thanksgiving. Some years, we decorate with persimmons and bay boughs, and others with herbs and berry sprigs in juice glasses. Whatever’s outdoors is on the table too.

Here are a few easy tips for making your own zero-cost holiday centerpiece, which by the way looks prettier than anything you can buy:

Photography by Michelle Slatalla.

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Above: With a free-form arrangement of branches and berries, you can make a dramatic garland that runs the length of the table, or you can confine foraged florals to centerpiece territory (and use the space at the end of the table for serving dishes).

The Basics

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Above: Some things never change. Every year I set the table with silverware that once belonged to my husband’s grandmother; low wine goblets (because they’re less tippy than tall stemware), and white plates. This year, the dishes are hand-glazed Organic Dinner Plates from Hudson Grace ($ 21 apiece), which look and feel as if they came straight from a local potter’s studio—and yet are perfectly safe in both a dishwasher and a microwave oven.

I love fancy china and crystal. But I’ve learned over the years that white dishes and unobtrusive glassware will make a beautiful backdrop to foraged florals. I want greenery and autumn colors to take center stage at the center of the table.

Foraged Finds

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Above: I headed into the garden to see what still looked good enough to come indoors. From a smoke bush near my front door, I clipped some branches with moody, mottled purple leaves. In the backyard, past-their-prime hydrangeas had flowers at that bruised-pink stage that looks good with everything.

thanksgiving-table-privet-gardenista.

Above: In autumn, shrubs sport all color of berries. Branches with green leaves and colorful berries make pretty garlands. In my Northern California neighborhood, there are lots of orange bittersweet berries, black privet berries, and purple privet berries. Other berries to look for: purple beautyberry and orange winterberry.

Foraged branches rinse in sink Thanksgiving ; Gardenista

Above: Before arranging foraged finds, rinse them—extremely well—in the kitchen sink. Bugs are not welcome at the dinner table.

The Look

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Above: I used garden twine to tie a sprig to each napkin. You can also get fancier and make a tiny bundled bouquet for each guest’s napkin. See how at Botanical Napkin Rings for Thanksgiving.

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Above: I like a big napkin, preferably made of soft linen because the fabric drapes beautifully—and absorbs spilled wine better than cotton.

Available in nearly two dozen colors including Fog (as shown), 22-inch-square Linen Napkins from Hudson Grace are washable and can be tumbled dry (and if you pull them out of the dryer while they’re still warm, you won’t need to iron them—they fold beautifully). Hand-dyed in San Francisco, the napkins are $ 18 apiece.

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Above: To assemble the floral arrangement, I laid a linen runner down the center of the table. The fabric defines the boundaries of the floral arrangement (a helpful visual cue for when you don’t use a vase or other vessel).

Next, I laid a line of smoke branches down the middle of the table runner. Into them I tucked shorter lengths of privet, allowing the smoke bush leaves to cup clusters of privet berries. For extra drama, I tucked one hydrangea bloom into each end of the free-form garland.

Foraged thanksgiving tabletop napkins DIY; Gardenista

Above: I placed the napkins on top of the plates to add some height to edge of the table and offset the bulk of the foraged floral arrangement. This prevents the table from looking like it has a big, impenetrable hedge in the middle of it.

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Above: I wanted the table to contradict itself, to look glamorous and casual at the same time. So I skipped the tablecloth this year and instead relied on the runner to create a painterly frame around the florals.

The Day After

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Above: After you disassemble the tabletop, turn the water pitcher into a vase with a sprig of long-lasting berries.

Feel thankful with us. See:

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Find Out What Works Best In Gardening

Organic gardening can be a very enjoyable hobby. It involves particular growing techniques, along with the gardener’s choice of equipment and seeds. This vast world has so many different kinds of seeds, equipment, and techniques that it can seem a bit confusing as to where you need to begin. These tips can help you make sense of the confusion.

Make use of an old golf bag to carry your tools such as spades and rakes around your garden. You will save a lot of time and effort (and you’ll have an excuse for a new golf bag!). The bag will keep them all together, so no more lost tools either. Many golf bags even have a stand, in this case you won’t have to worry about it tipping over and causing an accident.

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.

If the grass under your tree is turning brown, consider thinning out your tree. Grass needs plenty of sunshine, and chances are, your tree might be blocking out too much sunlight from the grass. If you trim back and thin out some branches your grass will get a little more sunshine.

Recycle your coffee grounds and use them to acidify the soil for all of your acid loving plants. Plants that like an acidic soil include roses, tomatoes, cyclamen, violets, gardenias, begonias and hibiscus. Apply the grounds approximately one quarter inch thick for the best results. If you don’t care for coffee, leftover tea will produce the same results.

Think carefully about how you are going to lay out your vegetable garden. Unlike most other gardens, you want to consider practicality over aesthetics for your vegetables. Some vegetables emit chemicals that can inhibit another’s growth; some tall vegetables might overshadow small vegetables, which might not allow them to grow and ripen. Look at each vegetable plant’s properties and carefully consider where to put it in your garden.

To give them a helping hand, pour the water you obtain after steaming vegetables over your plants. Add coffee grounds or tea leaves to the soil of acid-loving plants like rhododendron and gardenia. Chamomile tea applied to plants can be an effective remedy for fungus problems.

The easiest way to dry out herbs is by laying newspaper across the backseat of your car and arranging the herbs in a single layer on top of it. The herbs will dry quickly in warm weather, your car will smell remarkably fresh, and cleanup is a breeze.

Consult the pros. If you are starting a garden for the first time, it’s a good idea to look for professional help. This doesn’t necessarily mean going to the trouble of hiring a landscape architect. You can find plenty of great advice online, in gardening books, magazines and tv shows. A good idea is to look for regional resources, such as a website devoted to gardening in your area, or a local garden center. Whatever method you choose, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and above all – have fun designing your new garden!

Make bloom-times overlap. Plant both early and late blooming plants next to each other, so that you have flowers all season long. Shallow-rooted annuals can be planted around deep-planted spring bulbs – when the bulbs die down, the annuals will just be coming into flower. For each season, choose one outstanding plant to serve as the key flower. Plant in drifts throughout the bed, and fill in with secondary flowers.

You should place human hair in netting around your garden to deter animals from eating your growing produce. The scent of humans can deter animals from coming near an area. When you get a hair cut place the cut hair into satchels made from netting. Hang the netting around your garden to ward off pests.

The best time to buy pots for your indoor garden is at the end of summer. Most stores will be having clearances on their summer inventory and that is the best time to find great deals on all of the gardening supplies you need to keep your indoor garden healthy and strong during the winter months.

Are you busy with your organic garden? Remember, before you replant your flowers or vegetables outside in cooler weather, you need to get them ready for the change in temperature and light! For a few weeks, move your plants to a colder spot with no light for a few hours. Gradually increase the amount of time you leave your plants in the cold. After a few weeks, your plants should be ready for the cooler outdoors.

While organic gardening can be a personal hobby for everyone, it does share the main goal of wanting to grow healthy and happy organic plants. As you have seen in these tips, there are various approaches, but they all share the goal of being a successful organic gardener.

How to Navigate the NYC Flower Market

Does the thought of a trip to the flower market make your palms sweat? Maybe I’m projecting, but I think big city flower markets can be unnerving for most people: The crowds. The hustle. The options.

The first few times I went to the New York City Flower Market on 28th Street, I left feeling as though I’d been through the wringer. I also felt like I had more flowers than I knew what to do with and less money remaining in my wallet than was healthy. 

Then I arranged the florals for a Remodelista Market in New York and had an excuse to visit the flower market again. While I’m still no expert, I feel like I have a sufficient number of visits under my belt to offer a tip or two. Consider this the amateur’s guide to navigating New York’s flower market, and use it as excuse to make a trip (or two) to the market for yourself.

Photography by Rebecca Baust for Gardenista. 

Plan Ahead

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Above: I give this tip cautiously: too much planning and you’ll find yourself devastated because no one had precisely the shade of coral ranunculus you were after; too little planning and you’ll go in asking for holly berries in the middle of June and leave with ten tons of flowers you didn’t intend to purchase. Keep in mind the budget you’re working with and your color palette, and then let the flowers that are available be your guide.

Arrive Early

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Above: The market opens at 5:30 am and individual shops begin to close up around 10:30 am. If you’re not a professional florist, you can likely enjoy your breakfast after the sun has risen and get there closer to 8 am and still find a healthy selection.

Browse First, Buy Later

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Above: I’m the worst at following this rule. I see something that I like and I want to snatch it up. This isn’t entirely wrongheaded—there are only so many dainty bundles of tallow berries to be had—but it might also mean you don’t walk away with the best deal. Don’t hesitate to browse from shop to shop until you find what you’re looking for. 

Buy in Bulk

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Above: Flowers at the market come in bundles. If you want just a stem of something, head to your local florist instead.

Use the Shelves

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Above: Most shops in the market have metal shelves where shoppers can stash the flowers they’d like to purchase. Don’t hesitate to put up your unwieldy bundles while you shop. Your fellow shoppers will thank you.

Ask Questions

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Above: The first few times I went to the market, I was too shy. Don’t hesitate to ask a sales associate questions about bloom time, price, and inventory.

Check for Freshness

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Above: Touch and smell the merchandise to make sure it’s fresh.

Bring Cash

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Above: Not all shops accept credit cards, so make it easy on yourself and bring plenty of cash to make your purchases.

Make Friends with Cats

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Above: Just another well-fed NYC feline.

Wear Comfortable Clothes

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Above: Carry a practical bag: you’ll want to have your hands free for toting home parcels.

Tips for Care

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Above: What to do after you’re home? So glad you asked. Flowers at the market come unprocessed, so you’ll have to remove excess leaves and thorns and give a fresh cut to the stems.

Seasonal Selections

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Above: This time of year, you’ll find wintry privet berries, tallow berries, and seeded eucalyptus. 

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Are You Looking For Gardening Advice? Read On

It’s hard to find good produce in the store these days. Farmers use strip farming techniques to get a lot of tasteless fruit and vegetables, instead of fewer quality products. If this is a problem that affects your life, read on to find out how to make your own organic garden at home!

A trick to help measure in the garden is to take one of the long handled garden tools like a shovel and mark on its handle using a tape measure. Using a permanent marker, mark out the feet and inches on its handle and when specific distance is required in planing, have a handy measuring device is close at hand.

Check the nutrients in the soil before you plant your garden. You can get a soil analysis, and if you find your soil needs a supplement, do it! There are numerous places to find this service, such as your local Cooperative Extension office. The cost is well worth it to avoid a potentially ruined crop.

Pick garden vegetables often and early. While immature, many types of vegetables are very tasty in their young phase. Snap peas, little summer squash, cucumbers, and budding broccoli can be picked to keep the plants in a state of reproduction for a longer period of time. This will also increase yields with a second harvest off of the same plants.

If you are growing tomatoes, be sure to pick an airy spot that gets plenty of light. Tomatoes require at least ten hours of sunlight during an average summer day in order to grow to their peak flavor levels. Good air circulation between and around the plants is also vital to their survival.

When you’re picking vegetables from your garden, choose to harvest them when they are at the peak of ripeness for the best flavor and the most nutrition. It is best to pick vegetables and fruits in the early morning, because they are still full of moisture and nutrients. With only a few exceptions, anything that you’re not going to use right away can then be preserved by chilling in the refrigerator.

If the grass under your tree is turning brown, consider thinning out your tree. Grass needs plenty of sunshine, and chances are, your tree might be blocking out too much sunlight from the grass. If you trim back and thin out some branches your grass will get a little more sunshine.

Make sure that you are familiar with the level of humidity that your garden plants require. Some plants simply cannot survive without proper levels of humidity. Some plants require high humidity or tropical conditions, while others require arid or desert levels of humidity. Educating yourself will help you to avoid poor plant choices.

When buying a shade tree, buy a smaller seedling that has been grown in a pot. Buying a larger tree seems like a better idea, but it has to be dug out of the ground. This damages the root system of the tree, so it spends its first growing years replacing those roots. The potted seedling, however, can immediately start growing new leaves and branches.

Before you start working in your garden, purchase a wheelbarrow and a good kneeling stool. Gardening can be very tough on the knees as you spend much time leaning near the ground, so a portable stool can make all the difference to your comfort. Also having a garden usually requires moving heavy dirt and objects, so investing in a wheelbarrow is a very sound investment.

Create warmth with golden or yellow foliage. Visual vibrancy and warmth exudes from golden and yellow-leaved foliage. They are particularly effective in shady locations, giving the illusion of light and depth. They coordinate beautifully with purple flowers or deep bronze foliage. Good choices include Caryopteris ‘Worcester Gold’, Viburnum ‘Aureum’, various Hostas and Spirea ‘Gold Flame’.

To fight off weeds in a natural way, make your own homemade weedkiller. Simply mix water and white vinegar in a bottle, and spray it the same way you would a normal weedkiller. As an added bonus, the vinegar solution will also serve as a source of nutrients to your plants.

The easiest way to dry out herbs is by laying newspaper across the backseat of your car and arranging the herbs in a single layer on top of it. The herbs will dry quickly in warm weather, your car will smell remarkably fresh, and cleanup is a breeze.

An organic garden right in your home is a great thing to have. You’ll love the fresh, organic produce that you pull right out of your back yard, for free! Apply the tips from this article now, to stop relying on farmers, who are only out to make a quick buck. Start enjoying quality produce, right from your own home.

Cultivating Color: Pastel Perennial Sages for Xeriscape

Not everyone who lives in a dry climate wants a cactus garden. And not all cottage gardens are filled with pansies and peonies. Flowers by the Sea highlights ten tough perennial Salvias in pastels for low-water cottage gardens. The palette of drought-resistant choices includes sages with blue, lavender, peach, pink and yellow flowers for a soothing touch in your landscape.
Flowers by the Sea

Thanksgiving on a Budget: 7 Tips for Tabletop Decor from Stylist Beth Kirby

Yes, it’s about the food. We know that. We’ve been to a Thanksgiving or two. But, really? We like decorating the table. OK, make that love.

This year, we’re starting early. We asked one of our favorite stylists, Local Milk blogger Beth Kirby, to design a special no-cost Thanksgiving tabletop for us. It turns out that all you need for a Rockwellian moment are nice napkins, sparkly glasses, candles, and foraged greenery from the garden.

The best part, Beth says, is that anyone can recreate the look of her Thanksgiving tabletop. Follow her tips for how to mix and match items already on hand: 

Photography by Beth Kirby for Gardenista.

  Thanksgiving tabletop decor tips from Beth Kirby ; Gardenista

Tip No. 1: Create an unexpected hanging centerpiece using vines and greenery foraged from around your neighborhood or yard…

Thanksgiving tabletop decor tips from Beth Kirby ; Gardenista

…and echo it with a few bits on the table.

Thanksgiving tabletop decor tips from Beth Kirby ; Gardenista

Above: A handful of S-hooks is all it takes to hang them. 

  Thanksgiving tabletop decor tips from Beth Kirby ; Gardenista

Tip No. 2: Use food from the meal as part of your centerpiece. A few leftover squash or a bundle of herbs in a small bottle pay homage to the meal as well as brighten up the table in a subtle, seasonal way. 

 

Tip No. 3:. Don’t be a afraid to mix and match your napkins—and let them be wrinkly and wild. The movement and the casual look of a table strewn with mixed napkins is inviting. When mixing, try to stick to napkins all of the same print—like the stripes here— or of the same color range. 

Thanksgiving tabletop decor tips from Beth Kirby ; Gardenista

Tip No. 4: Serve family style and let your serving pieces and cookware be the stars of your table.

Thanksgiving tabletop decor tips from Beth Kirby ; Gardenista

Above: Do you have a cool vintage copper pot or an heirloom cast iron skillet? Put a trivet on the table and serve straight out of them. They look great and the food stays warm. 

Thanksgiving tabletop decor tips from Beth Kirby ; Gardenista  

Tip No. 5: Try using mugs as bowls. They give height to each place setting and make even a casual table feel as if it has personality. 

Thanksgiving tabletop decor tips from Beth Kirby ; Gardenista

Tip No. 6: A few candles go a long way and the more imperfect the better. Grab a few from around your house and light them as the light sinks lower. 

 

Tip No. 7: Keep it simple. Plain glassware and simple white plates always look good. Keep your color palette to one or two natural colors and patterns at a minimum, and you’re guaranteed a classic table every time.

Want more Thanksgiving tabletop ideas? For inspiration, see:

For a tour of Beth Kirby’s kitchen remodel, see One-Month Makeover: Beth Kirby’s Star-is-Born Kitchen on Remodelista.

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Gardening Advice For A Healthy And Beautiful Garden

A danger with big produce farms is that toxic chemicals used in farming can potentially contaminate water supplies, which can result in people becoming very sick. You can learn how to do this from this article.

Pay attention to the compatibility of your plants. You can plant tall plants, such as tomatoes, and use them to shade such sun-sensitive plants as lettuce and spinach. These combinations can reduce the amount of fertile space your garden requires while also increasing the yield of all the types of plants you have.

Consider using your car to dry your home-grown herbs. Simply lay a sheet of newspaper across the backseat and spread out your herbs on it, then roll up the windows. Your herbs will dry quickly in the low-humidity heat of your car, and the interior of your car will have a fresh, herbal scent.

To ensure success with your rose bushes you need to follow four simple steps. Water deeply twice a week, rather than shallowly more often, and avoid splashing the leaves with water to prevent disease. Make sure your roses are planted where they receive at least six hours of sun a day. Space your roses far enough apart to ensure air circulation and deter mildew. Finally, keep soil pH between 6.5 and .8.

Old pantyhose make useful garden tools. Next time you find yourself reaching for some twine in your garden, consider using an old pair of pantyhose instead. Pantyhose are flexible, yet strong; and their soft feel will not damage plant stems by cutting into them. The elastic nature also gives your plants room to grow without strangulation.

Remember your climate and don’t plant things that won’t grow in your area. You don’t want to waste time and space by planting seeds that will not do well. Ask other gardeners you know what they are successful with growing. Most gardeners are willing to share any advice they have.

It is important to wear eye protection when you are gardening. Many people do not realize that chemicals can easily get splashed, fertilizer can be blown or dirt can land in their eyes. All of these things can cause major damage to the eye. If wearing eye protection the chances of having your eyes damaged are greatly decreased.

It is important to wear gardening gloves when you are working in your garden. Gardening gloves will give your hands protection from possible cuts, scratches and even splinters. It is important to remember that you may not know what is in the ground that could be potentially dangerous to your hands.

Try to get a good composition of healthy soil in your garden. Healthy soil is generally more resistant to pests and other negative influences. How can you tell when a soil is “healthy?” Generally a healthy soil contains a good combination of earth worms, helpful microbes, and a good deal of mulch and compost on the surface area.

Do you have weeds in your garden and you don’t want to spray dangerous weed killer? Common household vinegar can help your problem. Spray full-strength vinegar on the weedy spots on a sunny day. Vinegar works as an organic weed killer and it is safe the environment, and you.

A great tip for getting the most out of your organic garden is to use soaker hoses. These hoses can be left on for several hours on low pressure, which will save you time from having to stand with a regular hose or filling up a watering can. This will give you time to work in another area of your garden.

Here is a great way to make organic gardening fun and easy. Use native grass, plants and bushes. When you choose plants that can work with your soil type, climate and nearby plants, you can reduce the need of fertilizers and other aids. Many native plants work quite well with compost composed of natural and native ingredients.

Before planting anything in the organic garden, decide exactly what you want to grow. While two varieties of a plant may fall within the same family, there could be variations in the basic requirements for each one. Certain types of roses, for example, vary greatly from one another. So, be sure to choose the specific varieties that are most suited for your planting environment.

Mix your soil with a high quality, organic compost. With compost, your soil becomes a better quality, gaining structure, texture, and even aeration. You will also find that the water capacity increases, which is going to produce stronger plants with bigger and healthier blooms, and much healthier root systems.

Now that you’ve read this article, it is probably clear to you that it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to grow organic produce. If you can simply follow some easy-to-implement tips, you can be well on your way to gardening success. Memorize these tips and put them to use and grow the garden you’ve been wanting.

Amazing Advice For A Thriving Organic Garden

Ready to grow your own organic garden but unsure of what is the best way to proceed? Don’t worry, here are some wonderful organic gardening tips! This collection of hints should provide you with practical advice that can be used in many settings.

To maximize your enjoyment out of your garden plant a variety of plants. The same old will get full and boring and you may out of boredom end up neglecting your garden. By planting a variety you will ensure that you remain interested and as a bonus it will be far prettier.

When designing your garden, choose high-yield crops, such as tomatoes and herbs. These items will allow you to maximize the space you have available in your garden. The more produce you can grow at home, the more money you can save in your grocery bill each month, so it pays to know what will produce the most for your efforts.

Select perennials to reduce the amount of care your garden requires. Plants that return year after year usually require only a modicum of weeding and pruning. Edible perennials, such as asparagus, rhubarb, and sorrel, can provide an excellent salad addition for your household without causing too much work for you.

Take care of weeds right away when you see them sprout up. Weeds can grow very quickly, and they can take over your garden if they are left unattended. It is easier to keep weeds under control when the weeds are still relatively young. Large weeds have deeper roots and are more difficult to remove.

Read the packages your seeds came in! Every seed is different. Some can be planted year round while others can only be planted at certain times. Some seeds need ten hours or more of sun a day, and others need much less. Before you impulse buy a seed package based off of the picture, take the time to know what you are getting into.

Sow plants in succession to each other for a steady harvest. When growing vegetables such as corn, snap peas, and lettuce that mature on a very predictable schedule, make two or three sowings two weeks apart to lengthen the harvest season. You can also plant two different varieties on the same day with different maturation times to ensure a longer season.

If you are looking to secure your garden from pests, you need to have some ladybugs around. The ladybugs will protect your garden from harmful pests and will not do any damage to any of your plants; it is a completely beneficial relationship for both you and the ladybug.

You can test the viability of your seeds by soaking them overnight. Drop them into a container of water and keep them in a dark place for a day. Check the location of the seeds. If they sank to the bottom, they are usable. If they float the the top, they may be dead.

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.

Make sure to fertilize your garden. Use commercially composted products in your garden to help your plants grow. This will reduce the chance of pathogens. There are a lot of different ways to fertilize plants; make sure you actually take the time to do it.

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.

Growing your own vegetable garden, whether large or small, offers many benefits. You will eat better! Fresh vegetables offer more vitamins than those which have been processed. Planting and doing upkeep on your garden will also help provide exercise which leads to better fitness. It will also save you a significant amount of money at the grocery store!

Keep your garden free from broad-spectrum pesticides. Broad-spectrum pesticides not only kill pests, but also “good” bugs like ground beetles that eat pests. Beneficial bugs are usually several orders more sensitive to the things you spray than the pests you are trying to kill, so you might wind up dropping the good bug populace and open the door to pest population growth. This might result in you having to use even more pesticides to get rid of the pests.

So, whether you are a new or experienced gardener, you’ve now got some ideas that you can implement in your garden. Few things in life are more satisfying than working the soil; and it’s even more satisfying when you can do it nature’s way.