Organic Gardening 101
Pesticides in our food Genetically modified components ( GMOs) in our food… how can we ensure our families are safe? Plant your garden. Here’s everything you require to start, including the essentials of gardening to reap all the advantages of this nutritious family activity and a bounty of delicious, plentiful, organically grown vegetables right from your backyard.
Organic gardens are gaining recognition as individuals understand the many benefits for their environment, themselves, and all living creatures. Organic gardening means the absence of chemical or synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, or insecticides. Instead, organic gardeners choose to use fertilizers made of the by-products of animals or vegetables. They are creative in the fight against unwanted pests, which often involve beneficial insects and plants to discourage unwanted visitors.
Organic gardening produces less harm than conventional gardening. It also has a lot of advantages.
- Organically grown foods can help defend against cancer by providing vital vitamins and minerals.
- If you consume organically grown foods and avoid using chemicals, you are less likely to be exposed.
- Organic gardens enrich the soil and not deplete it.
- Most organic gardeners utilize compost, decreasing the waste that goes to landfills.
Planning Your Garden
Sight and Light
Check out your yard at any time throughout the day (and throughout the year as much as possible) to figure out when the Sun is shining and the time. Choosing which plants to plant depends on the amount of Sun in an area.
The labels on seeds and plants indicate the amount of Sun needed to flourish. This is what they mean:
Sun refers to direct sunlight at a minimum of 8 hours per day.
Shade refers to more than 4 hours in direct Sun.
Partially, the Sun is anywhere between six and four hours of sunshine per day.
Before planting, be sure that your dirt is in the most perfect condition it could be. The healthier your soil and the better it is, the less work you’ll need to keep your plants healthy. Learn more about gardening soil preparation below; however, if you have a space within your yard with excellent soil (and has enough Sun), it could be the perfect location to plant your garden.
The fun part is here! Searching through a seed catalog or looking through plants at the nursery are among the activities gardeners enjoy.
Plant natives: Think about selecting plants native to your region. It’s much easier to plant plants suited to your climate and soil instead of modifying your yard to meet the requirements of a foreign plant.
Contact your Local Cooperative Extension Service to find out what is growing best in your area of woods.
Other sources to find out what is growing well locally are the neighbors you share with. Check out what’s growing in the area and speak to people with gardens.
Eric Vinje founded Planet Natural together with their son Wayne in 1991. They started operating the company as a grasshopper bait online company from an unfinished garage.
Eric has retired. However, he is a well-known gardener renowned for his skills in composting org, organic gardening, and pest control using non-pesticide options, including beneficial insects.
Eric believes that if you do something good for the environment, the results will benefit future generations.
Planet Natural offers heirloom garden seeds (unlike the ones you see in the box stores that are not treated non-GMO and are not purchased by Monsanto’s subsidiary Seminis). Instructions for planting are included in every packet, and shipping is free!
Perennials keep going and going — If your perennials grow (plants that return yearly), you don’t need to fret about redoing the garden every spring.
Complimentary planting Certain plants, when planted together, can help one another out. For instance, leeks deter the carrot fly, and carrots ward off the onion moth and leek fly. By cultivating leeks, carrots, and onions, they ward off one another’s insects. Other plants provide nutrients other plants lose (read about companion planting on this page).
Attracting bugs It is not the case that every bug is destructive. Some bugs help fight pests in the garden. For instance, ladybugs eat aphids and also like sunflowers and lupines. The two flowering plants and you’ll attract insects to help you with your aphid issue.
Inviting or introducing beneficial insects into your garden, you could let someone else take on the job for you.
You can do as small or as many as you like with this. Some people like to think about where each plant will go. Some prefer just to put planters in the soil to check out what it looks like. If you’re looking to take the time to create your garden, take into consideration these things:
Height You can add the size of your garden by:
- Containers or raised beds
- Plants or flowers that climb
- Tall flowers, such as sunflowers and hollyhocks
- Plants and trees placed in the middle of flowers (make sure they are easily manageable after twenty years!)
Color Utilize a color wheel to determine which colors of flowers work well together or select colors that are in contrast.
- Lavender, blue, green, and various “cool” colored blooms grow better in shady areas.
- Monochromatic gardens (all of one color) are considered to be harmonious.
Texture What is Texture? It’s the perception of the shape and structure of the planet’s surface. Are the leaves smooth or rough? Are they large and airy, or are they dense?
- It would be best to look for a variety of leaves — broad, flat leaves, long, narrow blades that are tall — whatever is your favorite.
- If most of your yard has a brown hue, the ornamental grasses can add color and appearance.
Scent flowers like plumeria and gardenia can add an appealing scent to your garden.
Soil is essentially the base of your gardening. The healthy soil will support solid and robust plants.
100% ALASKA HUMUS
Alaska Humus Soil Amendment. General Organics(r) Ancient Forest is an organic product of pure forest Humus. It comprises hundreds of thousands of years of decayed forest debris, including various organic substances. It enhances rooting mixtures such as peat sawdust, coco coir perlite, rock wool pumice, vermiculite, and vermiculite.
The soil of all kinds is composed of silt, sand, and clay. However, the proportions of each vary between places. The balance of these three soil components will determine how well soil will retain water, its aeration, and the capacity to drain.
Gardens that have high-quality soil will include:
- 25% air
- 25 percent water
- 40% mineral matter
- 10 percent organic material
- deliciously sweet-smelling
- Make a loose, compact lump in your palm when it is you are moist
- packed with earthworms
While there is no perfect soil, the most essential option for your garden is to build the ground to be healthy.
The first step is to test your soil or examine it using a tester for dirt in your garden to determine the current condition and what you should take to improve it.
- Include organic material Composting (read more about compost below) and organic fertilization to improve soil texture, structure, and aeration. It also can provide nutrients. Adding organic matter to your garden is among the best things you could do to improve the quality of your garden.
- Find the proper pH. Most garden plants, such as grasses, ornamentals, and grasses, thrive in slightly acidic soil with an acidity of 5.8 and 6.8. Setting the soil’s pH within this range lets roots absorb and utilize nutrients.
Increasing Soil pH. The addition of limestone is likely to be the most effective way to boost the soil’s alkalinity.
Decreasing Soil pH. Elemental sulfur is the most frequently utilized by organic gardeners. However, beginning work can take a while, so patience is essential.
Composting is a great way to improve soil and convert household waste (that might otherwise end up in garbage) into “black gold.” (Learn more about the advantages that composting can bring on this page.)
Add compost to the soil:
- improves soil tilth (a.k.a. overall health and well-being of soil)
- helps maintain a neutral pH
- Helps soil hold more nutrients and water (compost can triple the amount of water that soil has)
- Feeds earthworms and microbes that help support plants.
The item arrives assembled and ready to use, meaning you don’t have to spend hours putting it all together! This Great Ideas(r) Compost Wizard is a delight to spin. It will release finished compost within a couple of weeks and keep the bugs from your food scraps. Fill it up and turn it in once every week, and you’re done! This machine is manufactured in America from recycled materials 100.
Most organic waste generated by your home is an excellent source of compost. This includes the grass cuttings and vegetable peels, scraps of egg shells, tea leaves, and grounds from coffee. Airy and meat shouldn’t be thrown in the pile of compost.
The compost you need for your garden depends on the soil’s health, the gardening season’s duration, and the rainfall you experience.
It is possible to apply compost at any time of the year. It will not burn plants or cause water pollution like synthetic fertilizers. For best results:
- Mix in compost a couple of weeks before planting.
- Work compost 6-8 inches deep
- Make sure you have a ratio of compost to soil of 50:50.
- Quick-growing plants can be side-dressed in the springtime or the beginning of summer.
- Think about watering your plants with compost tea
How to Make Compost Tea
Starting Your Seedlings
Starting seeds from seed takes some work and time than purchasing seeds from a nursery, but it’s cheaper and more satisfying (see Seed Starting Indoors). Additionally, it’s enjoyable to watch these little plants develop!
1.) Choose a container 2 inches deep with drainage holes.
Get your garden going by utilizing The Hydrofarm(r) Hot House. It includes everything you require to start, including a large (7.5-inch) moisture dome with three adjustable vents ideal for cuttings. Growing tips and instructions are included.
2.) Select a quick draining planter that also holds in water. Soilless media like vermiculite, perlite, or peat moss perform well, as does the soil.
3.) Pour warm water into the pot mixture and allow it to soak the water it can hold. If the mix can hold tightly when squeezed but doesn’t drip.
4.) Fill the container with water until 1/4 inch is left over.
5.) Place a seed or two inside the container.
6.) Then, top with a light coating of the potting mix.
7.) Lightly mist soil.
8.) The seeds should be watered daily (or more) so the soil mix doesn’t dry out.
9.) Make sure that you have enough lighting. This could include setting up an in-house grow lamp because seeds require more lighting (16-18 hours) than mature plants.
10.) As the seedlings begin to sprout their first leaves, fertilize them using the diluted (1/4-1/2 force) organic fertilizer starter, liquid Seaweed, or compost tea -every 10-14 days.
11.) If the seedlings grow too large for their containers, move them to a larger one. The ideal time to make this happen is after they begin growing leaves (usually the second set).
In 5-10 weeks, the seedlings will be ready to move to the garden.
1.) Harden plants before putting them into their new habitat. Begin by putting them in the Sun for a short period each day during the most pleasant time during the daylight. Gradually increase how long they spend outside.
2.) Transplant on an overcast day — or at the beginning of the morning or later at night — when the Sun is weak.
3.) Take care to remove the seedlings from their containers. Be careful not to cause any disturbance to roots.
4.) Plant them in a single layer in holes dug by the manufacturer, approximately two times the size of the root ball.
The source is fresh Norwegian Seaweed (Ascophyllum nodosum) and macrop (r). Liquid Seaweed contains over 70 minerals, amino acids, micronutrients, and vitamins. It has been used for many years by organic farmers for its numerous beneficial effects on the health of plants. Also, it helps overcome plant stressors like frost, pests, diseases, and drought.
5.) Tamp the dirt around the root lightly but firmly.
6.) Now, immediately water the plant with a seaweed extract, place the plant comfortably and prevent shock.
7.) Maintain the plant uniformly moist for 1-2 weeks.
Go through the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Chart to determine when you should begin planting. Contacting the local nursery isn’t bad either. Use the temperature gauge for your soil. If the soil’s average (over five days):
- Then, make sure the garden soil is prepared with a deep dig. Dig as deep as possible (double digging is a good idea), then mix in compost, if necessary. The garden should be raked to remove any lumps.
- Seed your seeds according to the directions printed on the packet of seeds in terms of distance and depth between. Sprinkle a bit of mulch or soil over the roots and soak them in water. (If you plan to transplant seeds, follow the instructions above.)
- It would be best to water a little each time the soil dries. To encourage deep roots and prevent many plants from developing diseases, it is recommended to begin watering early in the dawn (once the garden has been established) to allow plants to dry out in the middle of the daytime.
Departing from a chemical fertilizer in exchange for an organic fertilizer will determine if you damage the soil or help it grow healthier. A healthy soil is vital for healthy plants. Therefore, make sure to use an organic fertilizer for plants.
Nutrient solutions, such as organic teas made from compost, teas made of worms crafted of worm castings org, liquid fertilizers, and bat Guano, give your plants healthy nutrition and overall health.
More effective than chemical fertilizers, organic fertilizers don’t harm your plants and encourage the growth of essential soil microorganisms when they fertilize.
It is essential to be precise when fertilizing since the plant’s nutrient requirements vary as it grows. Annual plants, for instance, are most benefited when fertilized with a solution high in nitrogen at the time they’re first established (for growth and development of the leaf), followed by the low-nitrogen solution, which is high-phosphorous to promote blooming.
There are simple and effective methods to control insects in your garden without using chemical pesticides. (If you’re unsure of the reason you’d prefer to stay clear of chemical pesticides, check out Are pests the cause of the problem (or pesticides?)
Before making any decisions, ensure you know what you’re dealing with. Determine the insect doing damage. Then, consider the extent of damage you’re willing to take on before you treat your garden.
The most well-known beneficial insect around! Ladybugs live on Planet Natural and feed on aphids (40-50 daily) and many other soft-bodied bugs such as mites, insects, and eggs. A half pint (4,500) can treat 2500 square feet (50 50′ in x 50′) of expanding area.
Cultural Controls Changes that are small in your garden attract beneficial insects and deter harmful pests. You could alter the soil’s pH, pick plants that repel pests, or even water less or more.
Beneficial insects: Predatory and parasitic insects target only other insects. They won’t be a nuisance to pets, plants, or humans.
Biological Pesticides: In most instances, they are designed for a specific pest. They can be living organisms (beneficial insects in the garden such as bacteria, protozoa, and fungi) and the toxic substances they create. They do not have a significant impact on beneficial insects and will not cause harm to the environment.
Soaps, oils, and abrasives The controls are designed to dehydrate or smother insects, but they do this to all insects, not only those that are “bad” ones. However, they break down rapidly and do not impact the environment.
Botanical insecticides Organic pesticides come from plants. They aren’t specific (they cause harm to beneficial insects as well as pests); however, they are considered superior to chemical pesticides because they break down quickly.