Few things are as satisfying as getting your hands into the earth, planting and nurturing and harvesting the fruits of your labors. Adding to the knowledge that you have used the best possible practices to grow healthy food redoubles your satisfaction. Here are some tips on organic gardening to help you grow a harvest that will bring health to you and your family.
If you have a young baby, consider wearing your child in a backpack while you garden. Being outdoors is a great stimulating experience for an infant, plus they get to spend more time with you. Organic gardening is safest for baby, as there is no risk of them encountering harsh or dangerous chemicals while you work.
A great way to calculate the timing for planting your plants in an organic garden is to use a seed-starting chart. You should do your research and fill in the chart in advance. Once you have it, you can use the chart to plan your planting through the entire season.
One of the best ways to be successful at organic gardening is to plan early. The best laid out plans for an organic garden, always make for the most successful garden. Plan what you will plant early on and be sure to have back-up vegetables ready to plant when short-lived plants, like lettuce and spinach, are done for the year.
When starting your own organic garden, you should make sure you choose the right medium for growing your plants. Different plants need different mediums. Many of your seedlings should be replotted into a larger container before you put them in your garden. However, some plants, such as melons and cucumbers, must go from their original containers directly into your garden.
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.
Make easy work of washing your organic produce with a laundry basket. As you pick your produce, lay them in a plastic laundry basket, which works as a strainer. Hold the hose over the top and the water can make quick work of rinsing all the dirt and other matter off of your fruits and veggies.
Tend to your garden a few steps at a time. A garden requires ongoing maintenance, and becomes a big time drain if you let things pile up until the weekend. Stop by the garden for a few minutes each day and deadhead some flowers while you're waiting for dinner to cook or pull a few weeds while watching the kids play.
Use untreated stone, brick or wood to build raised beds. If you choose wood, it needs to be naturally rot resistant and untreated. Some good choices include locust, cypress, and cedar. Do not use treated wood in your vegetable garden. If you have used treated lumber, line your beds with plastic.
To make sure you are doing organic gardening, define what organic means to you and make sure your seeds, plants and supplies fit your criteria. There is no set scientifically agreed on definition of what "organic" consistently means, so companies can label practically anything organic. Know what it means to you, then read labels to make sure you buy things consistent with your beliefs.
Grow basil successfully. Basil is an annual warm-season herb, very susceptible to cold and frost. Sow seed in spring at a depth of about 1/2 inch in full sun. Keep the soil evenly moist. When the basil reaches about 6 inches, pinch out the top to encourage bushy growth. Pick continuously before any flower buds open. Pick leaves in the morning after dew has dried, and don't over wash leaves, as you will lose the aromatic oils.
Soaker hoses can make an outstanding addition to almost any organic garden. Soaker hoses allow the gardener to provide low-pressure watering over long periods of time to the plants that need it. When they take the place of hours of fussy hand-watering, such hoses are well worth the investment the gardener makes in them.
If you plan to begin your organic garden from seed, be sure to start well in advance of the gardening season. Start seeds indoors so that you will have established seedlings ready to put in the ground after the last frost. Follow the instructions found on the back of your seed packets to determine the appropriate time to start the seeds for your climate.
Get rid of nematodes such as roundworm or eelworm. These pests can cause malformed plants with stunted, yellowing leaves. In the worst cases, leaves will wilt in a single day and the roots will become infected. The best option is to plant resistant varieties of apple, bean, carrot, celery, cucumber or onion. Otherwise, increase the organic matter in your soil. Compost contains predacious fungi and fatty acids that are toxic to nematodes. Remember to disinfect any tools that you have used in infected soil.
One thing that people don't take advantage of enough, when trying to grow an organic garden, is planting trees. You should plant trees because they can increase in value, plus, they can save energy and money by keeping your house in the shade during the summer and letting light and warmth in your home during the winter.
You don't need to buy all new plants to have a successful organic garden. Try using plants that are in the landscape. These can either be native to the area, or they can be imported from areas that had similar climate conditions and soil. They require less water, less care, and they will not die in the winter.
These tips should help you plan your organic garden. Follow the best advice and the hopes of spring will be fulfilled in autumn's harvest--with delicious and nourishing meals for you and your family. Nourishing healthy soil, as shown in these tips, can be one of your best investments.