Organic Gardening

Learn about some of the unusual but effective practices of organic gardening.
effective practices of organic gardening

effective practices of organic gardening

Gardening is about experimentation. Many of the best gardening tips and tricks come about through trial and error, word of mouth or even pure accident. Some of today's garden secrets may become tomorrow's standard practices. Try these out in your own garden and see what happens.

One of the golden rules of organic gardening is soil preparation. Good soil will help take care of itself, so building up good-quality soil will help you avoid extra additives and chemicals and save time later on.

Dry molasses, or even table sugar, tilled into garden beds at the rate of 10 pounds per 500 square feet will feed beneficial microbes in the soil. The microbes break down the soil and eat harmful pests that would otherwise have to be sprayed with pesticides.

Planting cover crops underneath or between some vegetable crops can reduce the amount of time you spend tilling garden beds. Tilling introduces oxygen, which burns up nutrients within the soil. The root system of a cover crop such as vetch improves the soil's nitrogen content and creates soil structure without adding oxygen. A cover crop keeps other weeds down and encourages earthworms to work the soil underground. Then it gets mowed off and tilled in once, adding nutrients to the soil.

Some cover crops such as buckwheat attract honeybees, which in turn do a thorough job of pollinating the vegetables in the garden. You an even keep the bees in a nearby hive to harvest the honey they produce.

Next Up

Organic Garden Additives

Instead of using store-bought chemicals, organic gardeners take a simpler approach to fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides. Effective versions of each can be mixed up using ingredients already close at hand and a basic kitchen blender.

Choosing the Right Organic Plants

Choosing the right plants for the area will make an organic garden much more productive.

Organic Plant Health Care

Learn how to add some compost and compost tea to organic plants instead of fertilizer.

Gardening for Good Causes

Any gardening enthusiast can use his or her gardening skills to benefit others in their community. Here are some basic tips and guidelines.

Vertical Gardening

Learn all about vertical gardening, which is becoming more popular as yards get smaller and horizontal space gets more scarce.

How to Make Organic Compost

Understand what it takes for compost to be considered suitable for strict organic gardening.

How to Determine Your Gardening Zone

The newly revised USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map can help pinpoint your gardening zone to within a half-mile of your home.

Easier Gardening for Seniors

Learn about the benefits of raised beds and vertical gardening, the proper way to kneel and to bend, and how to position your hand when pruning to avoid wrist stress.

Shade Gardening Tips

Tips on how to cultivate a shade garden.

Plants for a Shade Garden

Check out annuals, perennials, groundcovers, shrubs and understory trees that are made for the shade garden.

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