Learn about some of the unusual but 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.
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.
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.
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.
Seasonal Gardening Planner
Gardening is governed by the seasons, and timing tasks correctly for your climate and soil will increase the chance of bumper crops throughout the year.
Preparing Soil for a Garden
Learn how important it is to thoroughly prepare soil for the garden.
Integrated Pest Management
An integrated pest management program employs the least environmentally toxic pest controls first before any chemical is used. Learn how to incorporate an IPM program in your garden.
Organic Ways to Manage Weeds
With a little patience and dedication, satisfactory results are achievable when attempting to remove weeds organically.
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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