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Improving Your Organic Garden Soil

Posted by admin on May 30, 2012 under organic garden

Not too long ago, I wrote an article about Greenscaping and explained that it was one of the easiest waysorganic garden soil image to have a healthy organic garden. Well, one of the things that was discussed in that article was to make sure that your soil was rich and healthy. In this article, I want to go into a little more detail about how you can check your organic soil and improve it if necessary.

One of the biggest reasons that most gardeners fail is that their soil is not properly conditioned for the plants that they are trying to grow. While this may sound difficult to analyze and fix, it’s actually quite easy.

Four Easy Steps for Healthy Organic Garden Soil

1. Knowing the Garden Soil In Your Area

You need to know what you are working with. Your soil’s texture is a combination of 3 ingredients: sand, clay, and silt. If your soil has too much clay in it, your plant’s roots will have a difficult time penetrating the soil. If your soil is too sandy, your soil will have a difficult time holding moisture. Silt soil is a fine grain soil that holds moisture, but similar to clay, too much of it makes it difficult for roots to penetrate.

You can determine the type of soil in your area by visiting a library and/or consulting with your local nursery.

2. Knowing the Types of Plants That You Want to Grow

You can’t grow all plants in any locale. Some plants, like Cactus, like sandy soil. Some plants, such as Daylily, like clay soil. After determining what type of garden soil is in your area, choose plants that will tolerate the soil in your area.

3. Soil Testing Is A Must

This is where most organic gardeners fail…they don’t do a soil test. Soil testing will reveal if your particular plot of ground has too much clay or sand, what nutrients your soil may not have or have too much of, and what the pH level of your soil is. These are all key factors for a successful organic garden.

You can do a soil test yourself by using a soil testing kit that you can get online at Amazon or at your local nursury. Or, you can take a sample of your soil and submit it to a USDA Cooperative Center Office in your local area… that’s what I do. There is usually a small fee associated with doing this and sometimes you have to wait several weeks to get the results.

4. Add Soil Amendments to Your Organic Garden

Once you have the results from your soil test and you have determined what types of plants that you want to grow, you can now add soil amendments to make your soil as healthy as possible for your chosen plants. For example, if the soil test reveals that your soil have excessive amounts of sand, you can add some vermiculite to counter-balance it.

Below is an excellent video that I found online that will help you to make these soil amendments:

I hope this short lesson helps you in your organic garden. Until next time from the Organic Gardening How To Blog

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Greenscaping: The Easiest Way To A Healthy Organic Garden

Posted by admin on Apr 17, 2012 under organic garden

Maintaining a healthy organic garden is something my husband and I have always tried to do. Taking care oforganic garden greenscaping our lawn and garden is something we take pride in and doing it in a manner that Mother Nature would want us to do it, makes us proud. Besides, it costs less and is environmentally friendly.

In a recent article that I read written by Ashley Halligan (a market analyst for Software Advice) called “5 Simple Steps to Green Your Properties Landscape“, she says “… a little green TLC can be beneficial to the environment by reducing contaminants in water runoff and providing a toxin-free environment for humans and animals”. We certainly agree with her.

Greenscaping Helps Our Organic Garden

Greenscaping is a set of landscaping practices that improves the health of your garden and it protects and preserves the natural environment. Basically, it’s putting Mother Nature to work in your own yard.

There are 5 steps to successful greenscaping:

1. Build and Maintain Healthy Soil – Remember this…healthy plants grow in healthy soil. Regularly test your soil to find out what nutrients might be missing in your soil. Contact a Cooperative Center Office or check with your local nursury for a soil test kit.

Supplement your soil with compost (read Compost For Your Organic Garden) and use mulch around your plants to conserve water.

2. Plant the Right Plants for Your Site – Pick plants that grow naturally in your geographic area. Choose plants that grow well in the pH of your soil. Don’t grow too much grass and choose plants that don’t need too much water.

3. Practice Smart Watering – Too much water is unhealthy for most plants…give them only what they need. Water deeply and infrequently. Conserve every drop.

Establish a system for collecting rain water. For information, read Drought Insurance For Your Organic Garden.

4. Use a Holistic Approach to Pest Management – Start with prevention…maintain healthy soil and choose plants that are bug resistant.

Identify the type of bugs that are on your plants…some bugs are helpful. Manually removing harmful bugs is one way to control them and their are many organic ways to do it, also. Read Pest Controls From Your Kitchen Cabinet to learn more.

5. Practice Natural Lawn Care – Mow frequently and don’t remove over 1/3 of the height of the grass. Save time by leaving the clippings that will also naturally fertilize the grass. Use “natural organic” fertilizers and water infrequently, but deeply.

To keep us focused on what needs to be done depending on the season at hand, we use this free government seasonal calendar.

Greenscaping has certainly helped our organic garden and we encourage others who are not doing it to give it a try.

Until next time from the Organic Gardening How To Blog

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Grow Herbs From Garden Seeds In Your Organic Garden

Posted by admin on Oct 3, 2011 under organic garden

Have you ever been cooking and wished that you had some fresh herbs to add to your family’s meal so thatorganic garden it would taste even better? You probably have and I know I use to make those wishes up until a few years ago when I started growing my own herbs in my organic garden.

Most people consider herb gardening too time consuming and not worth the trouble. But, it’s really not hard to do and having fresh herbs tastes so much better than using those dried out packets that you get at the store.

In most cases, you can grow an herb garden either indoors or outdoors…either way will work. But, the first thing you need to decide upon is what type of herb seeds is it that you want to grow.

Herb garden seeds can be found at almost any organic garden store. You could make a herb garden using small plants that others have already grown from seeds, but I think you’ll be much happier growing your own herbs from seeds….it’s kind of like being a mother…most mothers would rather have her own child versus adopting an infant.

To begin, choose the herb seeds that you want to grow. When choosing, closely read the “recommended climatic conditions” information that is usually printed on the back of the seed packet. Some herbs won’t grow in certain types of climate. Thyme, basil, oregano, rosemary, dill, and parsley are some of my favorites. Consider the things that you most often cook and think about what flavors would go with those recipes.

Once you have purchased your seeds, you will need to sprinkle them on top of moist soil and cover them with another light layer of soil to keep them moist. Read the instructions on the back of the seed packets to ensure that you are planting them correctly. A great way for beginners to start is to consider purchasing a herb garden kit . These kits have all the components for growing an herb garden successfully.

Many organic gardeners start their herb gardens indoors in pots and then move them outside to their organic gardens when the conditions are right. You can do this although you may decide just to keep the herb garden permanently inside.

Once the seeds start sprouting, it’s important to give them proper care. Weed and water your herb garden regularly. To furthur assist you on growing your own herbs, watch this short video…it’s just over 9 minutes long:

And, remember, if you grow more herbs than you can immediately use, you can naturally dry them and use for months in the future. A while back, I wrote an instructional article on doing that and if you haven’t read that article, you can read it here…Organic Gardening How To – Drying Herbs Naturally.

Believe me, growing your own fresh herbs is easy! And, all of your efforts won’t be wasted when you find yourself picking fresh herbs from your organic garden and adding them to your family’s meal.

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Organic Garden Dibbling

Posted by admin on Aug 2, 2011 under organic garden

Are you familiar with dibbling? It’s a great way to plant bulbs in your organic garden…particularly in areas oforganic garden dibber your garden where you already have bulbs planted and growing.

What exactly is Dibbling?

Dibbling is a method of cultivation that uses a tool called a dibber to plant bulbs or seeds. Yes, that’s a picture of a dibber on the upper-right hand side of this page.

A dibber is basically a short pointed stick that allows you to push it into the ground so that you can drop a bulb or seed into it…simple, but it works effectively! If you have other plants in the area, a dibber allows you to plant bulbs or seeds without digging up the ground.

To get the most out of this method of planting, just follow these steps:

1. First, thoroughly wet the ground. It’s much easier to push a dibber into the ground if it has been moistened, especially if you have clay in your soil.

2. Decide on the depth of the hole. Different bulbs and seeds grow best at different depths. If you have purchased these bulbs from your local organic garden center, ask them for their recommendations on the depth of the hole. Normally, it’s 2-3 times the size of the bulb.

3. Using a ruler, measure the recommended depth from the end of the point on the dibber and mark with a pencil or eraseable ink.

4. Make the hole by firmly pushing the dibber into the ground…stop when you have reached your desired depth. If your bulb is somewhat large, you can wiggle the dibber to make the hole larger at the end of the point.

5. Place the bulb or seed into the hole and fill the hole organic garden soil .

That’s it…quick and simple. Until next time from the Organic Gardening How To Blog

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Are Snails A Problem In Your Organic Garden?

Posted by admin on Jun 29, 2011 under organic garden

The answer to this question really depends on what type of organic garden you garden snails

For example, if you have an aquatic garden…or a water garden…then snails can be beneficial. Snails are helpful in this type of ecosystem because they will help stir up the sand and gravel and will eat decomposing material. Snails are helpful in this situation.

Snails are NOT Helpful in most Organic Gardens

On the other hand, if your garden is a vegetable garden or a garden of flowers and bushes, snails are a problem. Snails will eat and destroy much of your foliage in this type of garden.

SOLUTION to this PROBLEM in your Organic Garden

If you find snails in your garden, there are four main ways to rid yourself of these slimy pests (these solutions are very similar to the ones I outlined in my article about slugs…read Slug That Beer). Watch this video to find those solutions:

Julie Chai recommends using Sluggo as one of the ways to get rid of snails. If you’re interested in this method, I recommend Monterey Sluggo Snail & Slug Control …it’s an organic product.

I mentioned that there are four ways to get rid of snails and this video only mentioned three. The fourth way to rid your organic garden of snails is to spread Diatomaceous Earth throughout your garden…a thin, light layer is all you need. In 3-4 days, you’ll find the snails dead around the garden.

Diatomaceous Earth is soil with sharp edges that will slice the skin of the snails as they crawl through it. The snails dehydrate and die. You will need to reapply this Diatomaceous Earth in your organic garden after it rains.

That’s it…until next time from the Organic Gardening How To Blog!

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