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Some of the best-tasting food you’ll ever eat can be grown in your own back yard. Think of the variety! A ripe, juicy watermelon or a fresh, crisp carrot, can add to your meal. Not to mention the money you can save growing your own, verses the grocery store. In addition, you can grow you produce naturally, without enhancers. Following are some tips to help you become an organic gardener:
If you live in an area with clay soil, coat your shovel or gardening trowel with flour or car wax before you start digging your garden. This will prevent soil from sticking to the blade of your shovel, making your work much easier. It also lengthens the life of your shovel by preventing rust.
Take the time to know your soil. Get it analyzed. This will let you know what is in your soil and in what areas the soil may be deficient. You can then buy the missing nutrients to add into your soil which will help maximize your crops! Many local universities that have agriculture departments have the ability to test your soil for a small fee.
Don’t grow food no one will eat. Just because you can grow something, doesn’t mean you should. If your kids don’t like spinach now, fresh spinach from the garden isn’t going to change that and much will go to waste. Consider what you and your family like to eat and then determine your garden accordingly.
Having beautiful bulb plants is fun while it lasts, but once they have bloomed you are stuck with bulb foliage that is not very attractive. Try to plant bulbs among plants that will grow up and over faded bulb leaves. This way, once the lilies or daffodils are spent, the old foliage will be hidden by the new growth of other plants.
To make birds stay away from the produce you’re growing in your garden, tie mylar balloons near your plants. These will scare away the birds and keep your fruit and veggies safe until you’re ready to pick them. Silver balloons or balloons that sparkle in the sun make especially effective bird repellents.
An old wagon can help save time as well as your back. Instead of constantly having to retrieve your gardening tools as you work your way around your garden, commandeer an old child’s wagon. An old wagon works as well as a garden cart, and can often be obtained free or very cheaply if you get it used.
Dish washing soap can repel insects. If you find insects ravaging your garden, fill a spray bottle with water and add a squirt of dish soap. Spray the foliage of your plants and watch the insects flee. They will leave your garden alone until the soap washes away. Simply reapply as needed.
Install a sprinkler system to water your garden. It can be difficult to find the time to water your plants each day, particularly if you work outside of the home. Proper hydration is essential to the success of your garden, so putting in a simple sprinkler system can save you time and energy.
Plant evergreen shrubs. Certain shrubs can provide triple duty throughout the year: they bear leaves year-round, produce flowers, and sometimes have ornamental fruit that attracts birds and other wildlife. This makes them very desirable in any landscape design. Excellent varieties are Berberis, Holly, Camellia Japonica, Ceanothus, Viburnum and Skimmia. Most will survive in any conditions.
In areas that are very dry, you should plant drought resistant plants. These hardy plants will survive, and thrive, on very little water, and in hot conditions. Many varieties have blooms as beautiful as any high maintenance types of plants. You can even get low-water edible plants for your garden.
It is important to wear a mask when gardening, if you are an asthmatic. Breathing can already be difficult for you and the pollen that is in the air could make it worse. Wearing a mask is a great and inexpensive way to lessen your chances of having an asthma attack.
Use mulch to fertilize your beds. You have to make sure you spread mulch evenly, as you need a certain quantity and do not want to waste any of it. Sprinkle mulch as best as you can and use a rack to spread it flatly and evenly. Make sure you cover all the areas that need it.
To conserve water and protect your plants, use a soaker hose instead of a sprinkler. A soaker hose is a hose with small holes that lies at the base of your plants and administers water directly to the soil. This deters evaporation and keeps water from touching the foliage, which can cause fungus and disease.
When watering your indoor seeds and seedlings, it is important to keep in mind that how you water is significantly more important than how often. You will only need to water about once a week, but when you do, you want to make certain that only the top two to three inches of soil are moist and damp. You also want to be careful not to water too deep because then they will not be able to grow.
To keep dirt from getting stuck in the leaves of lettuce and other leafy vegetables, use mulch. When the plants appear, spread an inch or two of mulch around the base of the plants. This will prevent dirt from getting into the plant and also help prevent pesky weeds. Just be sure that the mulch is organic and untreated by pesticides.
When you plan your organic garden, remember that some plants, especially leafy greens like lettuce and spinach will mature well before the end of the growing season. Beds for fast growing plants can often produce two harvests in one season. Have more quick-growing plants ready to replace the early harvest so that you can maximize your garden’s productivity.
Follow the above suggestions to help you with your organic garden. Think of the benefits you get by gardening the natural way. Maybe the nutrition is your primary concern, or perhaps you are looking for a way to cut cost. Whatever the reason, enjoy taking a bit out of that ripe, juicy watermelon or a fresh, crisp carrot!
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