Wayside Gardens: 10 Organic Gardening Tips

Are you interested in creating your own organic vegetable garden? Here are some green gardening tips that will lead you in the right direction:10 Organic Gardening Tips1. Test your soil:If you are looking to have a successful outcome with an organic vegetable garden, you should first test your soil with a do-it-yourself home testing kit before you plant anything. These testing kits can be found at local garden centers and on the Internet at garden speciality stores. The kits use a number scale, 0 to 14, that helps you determine the acidity or alkalinity (also known as pH) levels of your soil. For most vegetables, an ideal number is about 6.5. If the results are too acidic (towards the low end of the scale) or too alkaline (towards the high end of the scale), your plants will not be able reap the benefits of the soil's nutrients. Once you know the results of your soil, you will be able to adjust the soil accordingly by balancing these levels with the nutrients it is lacking.2. Make plans ahead of time and decide where and how you will grow your garden:Before you begin digging up your lawn, take a look at your property and decide where you would like to plant a garden. Location is very important, as you will want to pay attention to the position of the sun throughout the day (your plants will need healthy doses of direct sunlight each day), the rockiness of the ground, the drainage quality of the soil, and the location's relation to your main water source.If you have high quality soil in your yard and you have determined a location, you will want to take advantage of the benefits found in it. Healthy soils have upwards of 650 million microorganisms per one gram of soil. These organisms already present, such as earthworms and other forms of soil life are essential to the life of the soil and will help your garden prosper by providing your plants with valuable nutrients and minerals.What to do if your soil is not healthy or if you do not have space for a garden at home:

Build a raised bed

By making a raised bed, you will have control over the garden's soil quality. When building your bed, use untreated wood, stones, or brick as a side border and be sure to make the border at least 16 inches high as the depth is important. The plants' roots will need room to stretch and grow.

Consider container gardening

If you are a city dweller, you do not have to miss out on the benefits of growing your own produce. Plant in containers that are large enough to accommodate root growth. Be sure they also have drainage holes. If you are planting organic herbs, pots that are at least 6 inches across are ideal. Another helpful hint is to use plastic pots instead of terra cotta pots. Plastic may not be as aesthetically pleasing, but they will hold moisture longer and will not dry out as quickly as terra cotta pots.

Join a local community garden

Another option is to join a community garden in your area. This is a great way to reap the benefits of growing your own organic food if you do not have land at home. Community gardens are vacant lots or fields that have been turned into mini-farms so that members of the community can plant small gardens of their own. To find out if there are community gardens near you, contact your local parks and recreation department, visit the website http://www.communitygarden.org, or take a stroll in your neighborhood and see if any gardens exist. If you stumble across one, step inside and ask a member what you need to do to join.
3. Select authentic, high quality organic vegetable seeds to use in your garden:Organic seeds can be found at local nurseries, garden stores, home centers, online seed stores, seed catalogs, and farm supply stores. Always make sure the seed company is "certified organic" and be sure to stay away from any seeds that are "genetically engineered." To save money, start growing the seeds indoors and transplant outdoors when ready.4. Make your own compost:Compost, also known as "gardeners gold," is a vital element in organic gardening that improves the soil structure of your garden. Compost provides a great source of nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, and micro/macronutrients essential for plant growth. It also aids in stabilizing soil moisture and pH which helps keep the soil cooler during the summer months.Other benefits of organic compost:

Great source of food for wildlife because it attracts insects and fungi that eat decaying matter. These small animals support larger animals like songbirds
Suppresses plant disease
Assists in controlling soil erosion
Acts as a mild herbicide
Reduces need to apply commercial fertilizers
Reduces amount of waste sent to landfills
Reduces gas emissions that would result from transporting kitchen waste to a landfill
How to compost:

Build or buy a compost bin. These can be found at home centers, garden centers, and online.
Place compost material in repeated layers. To give your compost the best result, alternate layers of green matter with brown matter. An example would be alternating kitchen scraps with straw/stalks or dead leaves with grass clippings.
Cover compost heap for optimal results. This will avoid moisture loss and keep in heat.
Keep the pile moist as a wrung-out sponge.
Aerate and turn compost pile over frequently.
When ready, pile will look like fresh fine soil.
Some ideas for good compostables:

Kitchen waste
Aquarium water, plants, and algae
Sawdust
Tea leaves/coffee grounds
Pet rabbit or hamster droppings
Eggshells
Old spices
Lawn clippings (thin layer)
Make leafmould:Leafmould is a dark brown, rich and crumbly material that is created from naturally decomposed Autumn leaves that have fallen onto the ground. It is an excellent soil conditioner and mulch, a great earthworm meal, and is easy to make.To make leafmould:
Collect fallen leaves (avoid evergreen leaves) and place in a container to rot Leafmould matures best in high moisture, so the best time to collect leaves is just after rain.
Wait 9 months to a year for the leafmould to mature.
5. Use water wisely:Water conservation, harvesting, and recycling are great methods for organic gardening.
Recycle/harvest rain water

Not only is rainwater is a great way to hydrate your plants, but it is also an excellent way to lower your monthly water bills, reduce storm-water runoff, and prevent flooding and erosion. It is generally clean, free of containments and byproducts such as minerals, fluoride and chlorine and has a low pH which plants and soils like. Rainwater can be collected and stored using gutters, downspouts, rain barrels and/or cisterns and can be used whenever needed, even later in the season during dry weather.

Use a soaker hose

A soaker hose is a great and easy way to save time and money in your garden. Water seeps out of soaker hoses and delivers water directly to your plants' roots while keeping the leaves dry, which helps prevent disease. Hand watering is time consuming and tedious, sprinklers can be wasteful due to evaporation and runoff, and drip irrigation is expensive.

Avoid grey water

When recycling water, avoid use of grey water (household waste water that comes from sources such as sinks, washer machines, and showers) on any plants used for consumption. Grey water may contain phosphates, nitrogen, and pathogens that can be harmful to your health.
Watering tips:
Water your garden when the air and soil are cool, typically in the early morning or evening hours. During these times, less water will be lost due to evaporation.
Water deeply but less often. Direct the water at the root systems at the base of the plant. This will encourage plants to grow deeper roots, causing them to need less watering. Shallow watering causes the roots to grow close to the surface, making them more vulnerable to drought.
Remember that plants and soil in containers will dry out much faster than in the ground and require frequent watering.
Avoid watering leaves. Excess water film on a plant makes it more susceptible to disease.
Shallow rooted vegetables such as beans and greens need to be watered more often with lighter applications than deep rooted plants like corn and tomatoes. These vegetables require more water but less often.
Use a milk jug. For a clever trick, take a 1 gallon milk jug and poke very small holes into the bottom. Bury most of the jug next to your plants when you plant your garden. If you leave it uncapped, you can place your water hose nozzle into the opening to fill. With this method, the water slowly drips into the ground and encourages deep plant roots. This self-irrigation system is great for whenever you need to travel and leave the garden unattended.
7. Weed Control:Weeds can be a serious threat to gardens because they remove valuable moisture, nutrients, sunlight and growing space needed by crops.Some ways to control weeds:

Select high quality vegetable seeds or transplants
By planting high quality seeds, the chances of them containing weed seeds or seedlings is very low.

Rotate your vegetable crops
As crops differ in their ability to compete with weeds, rotating crops between hardy competitors and weaker plants can reduce weeds.

Use ground cover
The use of ground cover and organic mulches such as hay, straw, glass clippings, and manure in your garden is one of the most effective ways to control weeds. Spread the ground cover 2-3 inches thick as this will block sunlight and prevent weed germination and growth.

Transplant seeds
Transplanting seeds instead of sowing them gives plants a healthy head start in defense against weeds.
Methods of removing weeds:


By hand
This method is most effective after a recent rain because the soil is loosened.

Thermal
A short blast of heat directly onto the weed causes it to wilt and die. This is most effective on driveways and paths and is not always ideal for gardens.

Hoeing
This is effective for larger patches of newly cleared ground.
7. Make sure you have earthwormsEarthworms are essential to a successful garden. Vermicompost, the combination of organic matter and earthworms' castings is a high-octane form of compost that provides the soil with an immediate all-purpose fertilizer loaded with nutrients and nitrogen. By tunneling through the earth, earthworms aerate the soil which improves the soil's access to air and drainage so that water reaches the deep roots of plants more easily. They also encourage beneficial soil bacteria while discouraging disease and predators such as crop destroying insects.Don't have earthworms in your soil? Here is how to get them:

Discontinue use of any toxins in your garden.
Spread 2-3 inch layers of organic matter on top of the soil each year - this will attract earthworms
Use leafmould - this is a great earthworm meal.
Order earthworm eggs online. Once you receive them, scatter them onto the ground and in about 3 months they will be adults and ready to reproduce.
8. Keep a gardening journalBy keeping track of your garden's progress, you will be more prepared next year to tackle issues that came up this year. You will also have a place where you can jot down experiments, experiences: the good and the bad.9. Protect against predators and pests:Make your garden friendly to the native wildlife in your region. This will attract and encourage natural wildlife pest controllers to your garden. Ladybugs, birds, frogs, toads, and bats all help to keep pests such as aphids, insects, and snails in check.Other beneficial garden predators and the pests they feed on:


Centipedes: feed on slugs and eggs

Preying mantis: feed on all types of insects

Spiders: feed on insects and arthropods

Lizards: feed on insects/pests

Frog/toads: feed on all types

Ladybugs: feed on aphids
To protect against pests:


Plant nectar producing plants
Tiny flowers on plants such as sweet alyssum will attract beneficial insects, such as predatory wasps. The alyssum's aroma will also scent your garden all summer. Herbs like parsley, dill, and fennel will attract ladybugs which will also eat intruding insects.

Choose native plant species over imported varieties whenever possible
Native species have better "immune systems" and will be able to fight against insects in your area better than an exotic plant will.

Try companion planting
Companion planting is growing two or more different types of species of plant together for the benefit of one or both. For example, by pairing a flower with a vegetable plant, many adult insects will visit flowers for pollen and nectar and in return are effective natural controllers of unwanted pests on the vegetable crops.
How does companion planting work?


Companions help each other grow:
Tall plants provide shade for shorter plants sensitive to sun.

Companions use garden space efficiently:
Vining plants cover the ground, upright plants grow up. Two plants in one patch.

Companions prevent pest problems:
Plants like onions repel some pests. Other plants can lure pests away from more desirable plants.

Companions attract beneficial insects:
Every successful garden needs plants that attract the predators of pests.
Examples of good companion plants:


Carrots and onions:
Pests attracted to carrots' sweet smell can be confused by the pungent smell of onions.

Corn and beans:
The beans attract beneficial insects that prey on corn pests such as leafhoppers and leaf beetles. In addition, the bean vines will climb up the corn stalks.

Cucumbers and nasturtiums:
Nasturtiums are said to repel cucumber beetles and can create a habitat for insects such as spiders and ground beetles which help defend the garden from destructive pests.

Radishes and spinach:
Radishes attract leafminers away from the spinach. The leafminers will damage the radish leaves, but since radishes grown underground, no damage is done to the radishes.

Cabbage and dill:
Cabbage can help support the floppy dill plants, while the dill attracts the tiny beneficial wasps that control cabbageworms and other cabbage pests.

Tomatoes and cabbage:
Tomatoes are repel diamondback moth larvae (caterpillars that chew large holes in cabbage leaves)

Cauliflower and dwarf zinnias:
The nectar from the dwarf zinnias lures ladybugs that help protect cauliflower plants.

Collards and catnip:
Planting catnip alongside collards can reduce flea-beetle damage on the collards.
Other ways to deter pests from your organic garden:


Create barriers and deterrents:
Try hanging shiny silver objects in your garden. The reflection produced from the sun can confuse insects such as aphids which orient their flight patterns by sunlight.

Rotate your crops each year
This will aid in keeping pest and disease problems at bay as well as correct nutritional deficiencies.
10. Last few tips on garden and soil care:


Avoid compacting soil by walking on it excessively
This restricts air movement and makes it hard for roots to penetrate.

Do not over dig
This will destroy vital soil structure.

Cover
Keeping plants covered with things like mulch helps protect soil structure.

Avoid overfeeding and over or under watering
Let the plants performance guide you.
I hope you will be able to share the same satisfaction and gratification I experience when I build, create, and tend to my own vegetable garden. Have patience, be willing to get dirty, and be ready to smile and reap the bountiful benefits of an organically grown vegetable and herb garden.Enjoy!In good health [EXTRACT] Are you interested in creating their own organic vegetable garden? Here are some green gardening tips will lead you in the right direction: 10 Tips1 organic gardening. Test your soil: If you are looking to have a successful outcome with an organic garden, you must first test your soil with a DIY kit-home tests before you plant anything. These test kits can be found at local garden centers and online, specializing in garden stores. The kits use a numerical scale from 0 to 14, which helps determine the levels of acidity or alkalinity (also known as pH) soil. For most vegetables, an ideal number is 6.5. If the results are too acidic (towards the lower end of the scale) or too alkaline (toward the upper end of the scale), plants may not reap the benefits of soil nutrients. Once you know the results of your soil, you will be able to adjust the balance of land in accordance with these levels of nutrients lacking.2. Plan ahead and decide where and how you will make your garden grow: Before you start digging the lawn, take a look at your property and decide where you would like to plant a garden. The location is very important because it will have to pay attention to the position of the sun throughout the day (plants need healthy dose of direct sunlight per day), the stoniness of the soil, the quality of drainage, and the relationship with the location of its main source.If water has a high quality soil in your yard and you have determined the location, you want to take advantage of the benefits found in it. Healthy soils have more than 650 million organisms per gram of soil. These existing bodies, such as earthworms and other forms of life in the soil are essential for life on earth and help your garden thrive by providing your plants with valuable nutrients and soil minerals.What do if your not healthy or if they have space for a garden at home: Build a raised bed By making a raised bed, you have control over the quality of garden soil. When building your bed, use of treated wood, stone or brick as a side edge and make sure that the border at least 16 inches in height and depth is important. Plant roots will have room to stretch and grow. Consider container gardening If you are a city dweller, you do not have to lose the benefits of growing your own produce. Plants in containers that are large enough to accommodate root growth. Make sure they also have drainage holes. If you are planting organic herbs, pots that are at least 6 inches wide are ideal. Another helpful tip is to use plastic containers instead of terra cotta pots. The plastic may not be as aesthetically pleasing, but it will hold moisture longer and does not dry as fast as terracotta pots. Join a local community garden Another option is to join a community garden in your area. This is a great way to get the benefits of growing your own organic food if they have no land in the country. Community gardens are vacant lots or fields that have become mini-farms for members of the community can plant small gardens of their own. To find out if there are community gardens near you, contact your local parks and recreation department, visit the website http://www. communitygarden.org, or take a walk around your neighborhood and see if there are gardens. If you stumble with a single step inside and ask a member of what to do to join. 3. Select seeds authentic, high quality organic vegetable in your garden: organic seeds can be found in local nurseries, garden stores, home centers, online stores seeds, seed catalogs and supply stores agriculture. Always make sure that the seed company is "certified organic" and make sure to stay away from seeds that are "genetically modified". To save money, begin to grow seeds indoors and transplant outdoors when ready.4. Make your own compost: Compost, also known as "gardeners gold" is a vital element in organic gardening improves the soil structure of your garden. Compost provides a great source of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and micro / macro nutrients essential for plant growth. It also helps in stabilizing soil moisture and pH which helps keep the soil cool during the summer months.Other benefits of compost: Great food source for wildlife, as it attracts insects and fungi that feed on decaying matter. These small animals support larger animals such as songbirds Suppresses plant disease It helps to control soil erosion It acts as a mild herbicide Reduce the need for commercial fertilizers Reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills Reduce greenhouse gas emissions resulting from transport kitchen waste to a landfill How to compost: Build or buy a compost pile. These can be found in retail centers, garden centers and online. Place a layer of compost material repeated. To give your credit the best results, alternate layers of green matter to brown matter. An example might be the remains of food alternated with straw stalks / or the dead leaves with grass clippings. Cover compost heap for optimal results. This will prevent moisture loss and keep warm. Keep the pile moist like a wrung out sponge. Aerate and turn the compost pile more often. When ready, it will look like fresh pile of fine earth. Some ideas for a good compost: Kitchen waste Aquarium water, plants and algae Sawdust The tea leaves / coffee grounds Pet rabbit or hamster droppings Eggshells Old spice Grass clippings (thin film) Make leafmould: Leafmould material is dark brown, rich and crisp that is created from the leaves of autumn have fallen naturally decomposed in the soil. This is an excellent soil conditioner and mulch, worm meal great and is easy to do make.To leafmould: Collect fallen leaves (avoid evergreens) and place in container to putrefaction Leafmould more mature high humidity, so the best time to collect the leaves is only after rain. Wait 9 months to a year for leafmould to mature. 5. Rational use of water: Water conservation, harvesting and recycling methods are ideal for organic gardening. Recycle the rain / water harvesting Not only is the rainwater is a great way to hydrate the plants, but also an excellent way to reduce your monthly bills for water, reduce stormwater runoff and prevent flooding and erosion. Generally, clean, free of containments and their derivatives, such as minerals, fluoride and chlorine, and has a low pH soils and plants as. Rainwater can be collected and stored with gutters, downspouts, rain barrels and / or tanks and can be used when necessary, even later in the season during dry weather. Use a soaker hose A soaker hose is a great and easy way to save time and money in your garden. Water seeps out of soaker hoses and water leads directly to the roots of your plants, keeping the leaves dry, which helps prevent disease. Hand watering is slow and tedious, sprinklers may be a waste due to evaporation and runoff and drip irrigation is expensive. Avoid gray water When the recycling of water, avoid the use of greywater (household wastewater from sources such as sinks, washing machines and showers) in plants used for consumption. Grey water can contain phosphates, nitrogen and pathogens that can be harmful to your health. Watering tips: Water your garden when the air cools and the ground, usually in the morning or at night. During this time, less water is lost due to evaporation. Water deeply but less frequently. Direct the water to the root systems at the base of the plant. This will encourage plants to grow deeper roots, causing them to need less watering. Shallow watering causes the roots to grow near the surface, making them more vulnerable to drought. Remember that plants and soil in containers dry out much faster than on the ground and require frequent watering. Avoid watering the leaves. Movie excess water in a plant makes it more susceptible to disease. Shallow root vegetables such as beans and vegetables need to be watered more frequently with lighter applications that deep-rooted plants such as corn and tomatoes. These vehicles require more water, but less frequently. Use a jug of milk. For a neat trick, have a gallon of milk and a very small holes in the bottom. Report most of the jar next to the plants when the plants in your garden. If you leave without limit, you may place your mouthpiece from the water hose in the hole to fill. With this method, the water drips slowly into the soil and plant roots deep. This self-watering system is ideal for when you need to travel and leave the yard without supervision. 7. Weed Control: Weeds can be a serious threat to the gardens, and to remove valuable moisture, nutrients, sunlight and growing space needed by crops.Some ways to control weeds: Select high quality vegetable seeds or transplants By planting high quality seeds, the chances of containing weed seeds or plants is very low. Turn your vegetable crop Since crops differ in their ability to compete with weeds, crop rotation between stronger and weaker competitors plants can reduce weeds. Use ground cover The use of ground cover and organic fertilizers, such as hay, straw, glass clippings, and compost in your garden is one of the most effective ways to control weeds. Extend the ground cover 2.3 inches thick, blocking sunlight and prevent weed germination and growth. Seeds transplant Transplantation planting seeds instead of plants gives them a healthy advantage in the defense against weeds. Methods of weed: A hand This method is more effective after a recent rain, because the soil is loosened. Thermal A short burst of heat directly onto the weed that causes wilt and die. This is most effective on driveways and roads and is not always ideal for gardens. Hoeing This is effective for large areas of recently cleared land. 7. Make sure you have earthwormsEarthworms are essential to the success of a garden. Vermicompost, the combination of organic matter and earthworm racks is a high-octane form of payment offered by the ground with an all-purpose fertilizer once loaded with nutrients and nitrogen. For a tunnel through the soil, earthworms aerate the soil which improves access to air and soil drainage so that water reaches the roots of the plants more easily. They also encourage beneficial soil bacteria while discouraging disease and predators such as destroying crops insects.Don t 'has worms in the soil? Here's how to get: Discontinue the use of toxins in your garden. 2.3-inch spread layers of organic matter in the top of the ground each year - this will attract earthworms Use leafmould - this is a big meal worm. The eggs of earthworms order online. Once received, the scatter on the ground and in about 3 months will be older and ready to play. 8. Keep a garden journalBy keep track of the progress of your garden, you will be better prepared next year to address problems that arose this year. You will also need a place to record the experiments, experiences, good and bad.9. Protect against predators and parasites: Make your garden friendly to native wildlife in your region. This will attract wildlife and encourage natural pest control in your garden. Ladybugs, birds, frogs, toads and bats help keep pests like aphids, insects and snails in the garden check.Other beneficial predators and pests that feed on: Centipedes: they feed on slugs and eggs Preying mantis: feed on all kinds of insects Spiders: they feed on insects and arthropods Lizards: they eat insects / pests Frog / Toads feed on all kinds Ladybugs: they feed on aphids To protect against pests: Plant nectar producing plants Small flowers on plants such as sweet alder attract beneficial insects such as predatory wasps. The scent of alder also the smell of your garden throughout the summer. Herbs like parsley, dill, fennel and attract ladybugs also feed on insects intruders. Choose native plant species on the imported varieties whenever possible Native species have a better "immune system" and be able to control insects in your area better than an exotic plant. Try companion planting Companion planting is growing two or more different types of plant species together for the benefit of one or both. For example, to associate a flower with a vegetable plant, insects, many adults visit flowers for pollen and nectar and instead are effective natural pest control in vegetable crops. How to plant co-worker? Partners help each other grow: Tall plants provide shade for shorter plants sensitive to the sun. Companions use garden space efficiently: Plant vines cover the ground, the plants grow upright. Two plants in a patch. Companions prevent pest problems: Plants like onions repel some pests. Other plants that can attract pests away from plants more desirable. Companions attract beneficial insects: Every successful garden needs plants that attract predators of pests. Examples of good companion plants: Carrots and onions: Pests attracted by the smell sweet carrots may be confused by the pungent smell of onions. Corn and beans: The beans attract beneficial insects that feed on corn pests such as grasshoppers and leaf beetles. In addition, strains of beans climb up the corn stalks. Cucumbers and nasturtiums: Capuchins are said to repel cucumber beetles and can create a habitat for insects such as spiders and ground beetles that help defend the garden of destructive pests. Radishes and spinach: Radishes attract leafminers away from spinach. The leafminers are damaged radish leaves, but as radishes grown in the ground, there is no damage to the radishes. Cabbage and dill: The cabbage can help support the floppy dill plants, while the dill attracts the tiny beneficial wasps that control cabbageworms and other pests of cabbage. Tomatoes and cabbage: Tomatoes larvae repel cabbage moth (caterpillars that eat large holes in the leaves of cabbage) Cauliflower and dwarf zinnias: The nectar of dwarf zinnias attracts ladybugs that help protect cauliflower plants. Col and catnip: Planting catnip with cabbage flea beetle can reduce damage to cabbage. Other ways to deter pests of organic gardening: Create barriers and impediments: Try hanging shiny silver objects in your garden. The reflection from the sun can confuse insects such as aphids that guide their flight patterns by sunlight. Rotate your crops each year This helps to keep problems from pests and diseases at bay, and to correct nutritional deficiencies. 10. Last few tips on caring for the soil and the garden: Avoid soil compaction when walking on it too This restricts the movement of air and makes it difficult for roots to penetrate. No more digging This will destroy the soil structure vital. Cover Maintenance of plants covered with things like mulch helps protect the soil structure. Avoid overeating and over or under watering Let the plants performance guide. I hope you can share the same joy and satisfaction I feel when I build, create, and tend to my own garden. Be patient, be willing to get dirty, and be willing to smile and reap the benefits of abundant organically grown vegetables and garden. Enjoy grass! In good health
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