5 Things You Need to Know About Organic Gardening
Organic gardening can be a great way to relieve stress, beautify your home, and most importantly, enjoy health foods that were grown and harvested by your very own hands. Before starting up a new organic garden, however, there are a few things you should know.
Location, location, location.
Organic gardening, like regular gardening, is all about finding the right location. If you are growing vegetables, you will need to find a spot that gets at least eight hours of sun each day. In addition, make sure the soil is full of nutrients and does not contain any lead. You can take your soil to the local gardening center to get it professionally assessed, or take the simpler route and get your own testing kit. Avoid placing your garden near areas that will get hit by car exhaust, such as on the sides and edges of the driveway, or old paint from nearby objects.
Seeds are not for everyone.
While it might seem like a great idea to start with pure seeds, they take a lot of extra work and a careful eye to grow into strong, healthy plants. For just a few dollars each you can buy some commercially grown seedlings that are grown with enough light and nutrients to really give you plants and vegetables that are worthy of eating.
Choose your mulch carefully.
Contrary to what your friends and neighbors might tell you, the worst type of mulch to get for your plants is the “bark” variety. Not only does it have very little nutritional value, but it oftentimes contains toxins that could be harmless to your plants. Instead, opt for leaves as the mulch of your choice. Leaves are much more natural, and in addition to protecting the soil, they help control weeds, retain moisture a lot better than other options, and have plenty of nutrients.
Timing is crucial.
While you may be inclined to get some seeds and plant them very early in the spring to maximize time for growth, this tactic might actually end up backfiring for many plants. Sure, certain vegetables such as lettuce and peas can be sown as soon as spring begins; but most vegetables shouldn’t be planted until the potential of frost is no longer an issue, which usually isn’t until late May or early June (you're right on time!).
Not only is composting a great way to recycle your kitchen wastes, but the resulting substance is a great way to keep your plants and vegetables happy and healthy. By scattering compost over your organic garden, the soil becomes much more enriched . . . and that’s without even taking into account the nutrients coming from the mulch.
Nauta, Phil. "3 Crucial Organic Gardening Tips To Tattoo Onto Your Knuckles." SmilingGardener.com. Web. 16 May 2012.
"7 Things You Should Know Before Buying Seeds." Web log post. Organic Gardens Network. 3 Jan. 2011. Web. 16 May 2012.
Botts, Beth. "11 Things to Know Before Starting a Vegetable Garden." SeattleTimes.com. Seattle Times. Web. 16 May 2012.
Nathan, Alexandra. "What Will Organic Gardening Cost?" RedPlum.com. Web. 16 May 2012.