Some of the best-tasting food you'll ever eat can be grown in your own back yard. Think of the variety! A ripe, juicy watermelon or a fresh, crisp carrot, can add to your meal. Not to mention the money you can save growing your own, verses the grocery store. In addition, you can grow you produce naturally, without enhancers. Following are some tips to help you become an organic gardener:
A trick to help measure in the garden is to take one of the long handled garden tools like a shovel and mark on its handle using a tape measure. Using a permanent marker, mark out the feet and inches on its handle and when specific distance is required in planing, have a handy measuring device is close at hand.
Choose plant strains that will give you the best harvest with the biggest yield. Traditional strains are often out-performed by hybrids that have been bred for cold tolerance or disease resistance.
A great way to maximize garden potential is to plant perennials. Some edible vegetables will come back year after year with minimal maintenance like weeding, mulching, and fertilizing. Asparagus, bunching onions, and horseradish all will come back every year. Depending upon climate, there are many options for growing perennial vegetables for a maximum yield.
When uprooting a perennial plant, you should start digging at its drip line. Dig a trench around the plant, and cut any roots that extend beyond that trench. You can tie stems together to avoid damaging the plant during the process. Once all the roots are severed lift the plant carefully by its main stem.
Make sure your pot is the right size for your plant. If the pot is too small, the plant's roots may not have enough room to grow. The roots will become "root bound", stop growing, and begin to suffocate. The size of the root system can determine the size of your plant and yield.
Save seeds from the garden for a new crop next time. Not only are seeds expensive, but why even bother with going to the store when they can be obtained from the previous crop. The convenience from having a steady supply on hand is also a plus. Use vegetables that are harvested when fully ripe such as melons, tomatoes, beans and squash for best results.
Bulbs produce beautiful flowers in your garden year after year. To achieve the most blooms, plant your bulbs as soon as temperatures in your area begin to cool in the fall. This is usually August in zones 1 to 4 and September in zones 4 to 7. Those in southern climates will have to chill their bulbs before planting.
The easiest way to dry out herbs is by laying newspaper across the backseat of your car and arranging the herbs in a single layer on top of it. The herbs will dry quickly in warm weather, your car will smell remarkably fresh, and cleanup is a breeze.
Embrace earthworms in the organic garden! Earthworms are an organic gardener's best friend. Through tunneling and their nitrogen-rich castings, they can help to aerate the soil. This improves the amount of oxygen that gets to a plant's roots, improves water retention capacity, and keeps the soil loose and workable. They actually raise much-needed minerals from the garden's subsoil to the topsoil, where plants can get the greatest benefit. These worms also break up hardpan soil, which is detrimental to root growth.
When watering plants use recycled water, but avoid re-using water from sources such as baths, washing machines, or dishwashing. These water sources may contain harmful chemicals that can be absorbed into your vegetables such as nitrates and phosphates. This water may even contain pathogens that could harm you or your plants.
As you've read from the above tips, proper organic gardening may really affect the nutrients and freshness of your produce. Although organic gardening isn't easy since you have to put in time and effort and wait for results, the health benefits make it worth it.