Are you starting your own organic garden for the first time? If so, you probably don’t even know where to start. It’s no secret that growing your own organic plants for the first time can be a bit overwhelming. Below are some tips that can help to make growing your own organic garden a bit smoother.
After planting your garden, maintaining it is still a work in progress. Throughout the summer season, it is a must for a gardener to continue to prune, pick or deadhead blooms. Gardening can be physically exhausting with hauling dirt and digging holes, but at the end of the day, your hard work is paid off by seeing the beauty that you have created.
To protect your crops from being ravaged by pests such as deer and other nuisance animals, be sure to fence your garden securely. A good fence will also keep other people from trampling your crops, or worse, stealing them. If you have burrowing pests like gophers, you may want to use raised beds for your vegetables.
Protect your seedlings from frost with clay pots. Early spring is a perilous time for a new garden. You want to get your plants going as soon as possible to ensure plenty of grow time, but a single frost can wipe out your fragile seedlings. To protect your tiny plants from frost at night, simply place a small, upside down clay pot on each seedling. They will insulate from the cold and protect from the wind.
Divide large clumps of perennials. Some perennial plants lose vigor and flower less well if the clump becomes too large. Plants like Shasta daisies, bearded irises, phlox, chrysanthemum and coneflower benefit from being divided every three years. Without division they become congested, and the center of the clump will begin to die out. Simply dig the entire plant out, keeping the root ball intact, and divide it into pieces using a shovel. By doing this, you will have at least two or three new plants!
For gardeners in colder climates who want to get their plants started in the outdoor garden a little early, use plastic milk jugs for mini-greenhouses. Cut the bottom off of a milk jug and place over the plant, pushing the jug into the ground enough to keep it in place. Remove the milk jug cap during sunny, but still somewhat chilly days to allow for some air circulation and replace the cap at night to keep the warmth in. When the days are a bit warmer, remove the jug during the day, only replacing it at night, and slowly let your plant acclimate to the weather.
For a natural way to control aphids, populate your garden with ladybugs. Ladybugs are natural predators of aphids and scaly bugs. They are pretty to look at, and they are beneficial to your garden. They do not eat flowers, so you can safely use them on your flower beds. This is a good alternative to using commercial pesticides.
As you have seen, growing an organic garden is not as scary as it may appear at first. Just think of all of the benefits it has and all of the expenses it can take care of, along with all of the money it can save you in the long run growing your own “green” food.