The website Organicgardentips.com has so many organic gardening tips its almost overwhelming but its fun to read a few at a time. Here are my 25 favorites:
#16. There is no need to work the soil deeply when adding compost or soil amendments. Eighty five percent of a plant’s roots are found in the top 6″ of soil.
#22. Bare soil should not be visible around a new planting. Always cover with a layer of mulch, any coarse-textured, loose organic material.
#25. Weeds? Spot-spray with common full-strength household vinegar, on a sunny day. It’s an organic weed killer that’s safe for you and the environment.
#42. Use the least-disruptive and least-polluting protections against a pest. Try the following methods as applicable: first physical removal, barriers, and traps; next, biological controls; then, appropriate botanical and mineral pesticides.
#47. Less than 2 percent of the insects in the world are harmful. Beneficial insects such as ground beetles, ladybugs, fireflies, green lacewings, praying mantids, spiders, and wasps keep harmful insects from devouring your plants. They also pollinate your plants and decompose organic matter.
#50. Bright light washes out the cool colors, blue, green, and purple. They are best used in shaded areas for maximum impact.
#52. A garden should appeal to all five senses. Devote space to a vegetable garden, install a birdbath, mix in strongly scented flowers or foliage, and plant tactile specimens like fountain grass.
#56. A five percent increase in organic material quadruples the soil’s ability to store water. This is a significant amount in hot, dry landscapes.
#91. Safe herbal pest repellants include garlic and hot-pepper sprays, which can be made by processing these herbs with water in a blender, straining out the pulp, and diluting heavily with water. Keep handy to spray with a pump sprayer as needed.
#105. Plant morning glories along the base of an unsightly chain link fence, and enjoy a beautiful green and blue barrier through fall.
#111. Keep your compost free of pesticides by not using grass clippings that contain pesticide residue. You want to be free to use your compost on a vegetable garden with no concern.
#125. A no-fail slug and snail trap is a lid of beer – bury a lid or tuna sized can with the lip of the container level with the soil surface, so the pests fall in and drown.
#135. Each week, plant a large terra cotta pot with mixed green seeds, and each week you can serve the mature salad greens as the centerpiece when dining outside.
#152. The average household produces more than 200 pounds of kitchen waste every year. You can successfully compost all forms of kitchen waste, with the exception of meat, meat products, dairy products, and high-fat foods.
#187. Since compost builds good soil, the first priority for a limited supply is probably an area where the soil quality needs the most attention: the flower bed in front of the house, or the vegetable garden, or a prized tree or shrub.
#189. The best time to apply compost to your garden soil is two to four weeks before you plant. This gives the compost time to get integrated and stabalized within the soil.
#217. Grapes, fruits, and even corn can be protected from the birds by enclosing each in paper or cheesecloth bags as soon as the fruit sets. Don’t use plastic bags, heat and moisture build up inside them.
#221. Soak finished compost in water to produce a nutrient-rich liquid for foliar feeding (spraying on plants) or for watering gardens, landscapes, or potted plants.
256. Even on the hottest, driest days, potted plants and hanging baskets are the only plants that need watering every day.
258. Garlic, leeks, and shallots are well adapted to growing in a garden or containers. They take up very little space, have shallow root systems and don’t need deep soil preparation, and have few insect or disease problems.
259. When spreading small seeds over a wide area, mix the seeds with sand and put the mixture into a grated-cheese dispenser with a metal lid and large holes. Sprinkle confidently.
261. Are you rotating your crops? Changing the position of plants in different crop families from year to year can help reduce pest problems.
263. Succulents are natural choices for outdoor rooms that are primarily hardscape. Their architectural shapes look good against stone, stucco and concrete, and the reflected heat that bounces off these surfaces doesn’t bother them.
265. Onion bulbs are ready to harvest when the tops have fallen over. Harvest when the soil is dry, remove any soil, and place in a warm, shady area with good air circulation til the tops have dried. Cut off dried foliage, leaving 1″ of stem, and store in a cool, dry place.
266. Dried seeds you’ve harvested from your flowers can be planted immediately, or they can be placed in airtight, moisture-proof containers in the refrigerator for the next planting season.
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