Organic Gardening Tips: Start-Up, Inputs and Maintenance

Anything can be easily learned today when you have the internet at your disposal. You do not have to attend seminars or workshops to get essential organic gardening tips. It is so heartwarming that people write articles to share what they know, including facts about gardening or farming with the use of natural ways.
When you want to do natural and chemical-free farming, organic gardening tips tell on how you can start and prepare your soil. This is followed by advices on the use of inputs that will make your plants grow robust. The gardening tips do not end here because you can find vital data on how to maintain your natural garden.
organic gardening tips
Before you start your project of organic gardening, have you understood what this is all about? The term organic tells you that your method is done in a natural way when all the materials used in growing the plants have no chemicals in any part.

Organic gardening tips on how to start building the garden

In as much that you are new to the organic gardening venture, it is best to start small. The small size may be subjective as the chosen size may not apply to anyone in the start-up stage. So let us define this parameter by stating that starting small is using a 50 square meter garden. The reason why you have to start with a small size is to be able to cope with the demands of this organic gardening. Would you believe that a lot of people who started with too big size of garden end up quitting? Thus the organic gardening tips start with the advice that you have to start small. In addition, you can plant multiple kinds of vegetables in the small sized lot.
About the plants, would you like to start with seeds or with seedlings? Different organic gardening advices will have differing opinions.
But my recommendation if you will be tending vegetable plants is for you to go the direct seeding to the soil method. This happens to be the cheapest and easiest way. Transplanting seedlings can be problematic. The best tip when you will apply the direct seed method is to choose the plant that will mature within your desired season.

Soil, sun and water as initial inputs

The soil is not really an input; rather it is a medium in which you plant your vegetable seeds. Next on the organic gardening tips is to prepare your soil. If it is an ordinary kind, it may not be an organic soil which means that you will not be going the natural way. Learn to convert the conventional soil into organic soil. Your gateway is the use of compost. Incorporate the compost into your earth, 2 to 4 inches of mulch or compost will do.
Sun is a very important input as its heat will make your plant become nourished. The nutrients in the soil are never enough. The plant has to make its own food via photosynthesis. One of the most common organic gardening tips is to plant your crops in an area where it will be able to receive 8 hours supply of sunlight per day.
Another input is water. With the amended organic soil, moisture will not give you a big problem. The soil additives will help in water retention or water dispersal. These soil textures are changed into a good kind because you have converted your soil into an organic kind. Thus, it is no longer a big issue if your soil is clay-like or sand-like.

Making the vegetable plants grow

Plant maintenance refers to making your vegetable plant grow healthy. In traditional farming, you apply fertilizers at certain point. When you are into natural gardening, you do not need to apply the NPK commercial fertilizers anymore. Your compost takes charge of this plant need. The brown and green materials in the compost provide the needed macro and micro nutrients.
Microbes are essential constituents in organic farming. The different organic gardening tips deal on how microbes are handled when you are a vegetable organic garden beginner. Your organic gardening tips will tell you that the microbes are as important as the nutrients in your organic soil.
What organic gardening tips should you be familiar with when you want to set up an organic vegetable garden? You start with determination of the size of your garden. Then you consider the plants and the planting method. This will be followed by lessons on the soil, sun and water inputs. Finally know from the tips how you can make the plants grow robust.

Organic Soil and Its Additives to Improve Soil Structure

When you engage in gardening, know that the soil has a very important role in growing any kind of flora. And today when we are more conscious of the harmful effects of chemicals, we indulge in organic gardening where we shift to the use of organic soil. Indeed the seeds or seedlings and proper maintenance are important in plant growth but there is nothing as important as the contribution of natural soil.
organic soil
Before you spend lots of bucks in picking the seeds, seedlings and other inputs, take a look first at the ground where your plants are supposed to grow. If the kind of soil is not at par with the organic kind, your gardening may not stand a chance of being successful. You will be wasting all the money you have invested in the other gardening components.

What is organic soil?

Organic soil is an amended earth that contains a combination of decayed organic matter, right pH level, oxygen, mineral, micro-organisms and water, things that are put together to ensure the natural growth of plants. There are many kinds of organic soil such as potting soil, backfill soil or soil for growing vegetables and fruits. Each kind contains ingredients that are certified to be truly all organic. No chemicals are found in the soil and even the control of pests is done in a natural way. Instead of the usual chemical fertilizers, the soil is amended with compost that comes from organic sources like manure from organically-fed grass animals. It has the right pH balance and nutrients and when it comes to appearance, this soil is moist, dark and fragrant.

Soil additives – the organic types

The ordinary soil can be turned into an organic kind through the right soil additives. The additives are mixed into the soil up to a depth of no less than 6 inches; the deeper the better. The additives will improve the physical attributes of the ordinary soil to become more fertile. In addition the additives will aid in water retention, aeration and soil structure. Because of the changes due to the additives, the roots will be able to go deeper to penetrate under the soil to obtain optimum amount of air and moisture.
The additives are organic meaning they come from organic plants and animals. This is in contrast to the inorganic additives that are mined like lime, gravel and sand. The most common additives that amend the earth into organic soil are plant materials and manure of grass-fed animals. These are aged and composted then added to the soil to improve fertility and soil texture. Bear in mind that when you amend your ordinary soil into an organic kind, there are things to consider. For instance, take note of additives that contain high salt concentrations because salt build-up can be harmful to some plant species. Furthermore, if the compost had not been heated to the right temperature, weed seeds and human pathogens are not eliminated and would also be harmful to good plant growth.

Effectiveness of soil made into an organic kind

Why is it better to use organic soil? The act of soil amendment increases the nutrient content of the earth. It improves soil drainage and resistance to harmful pathogens. The soil is healthy with a layer that detoxifies the earth against pesticides and other chemical gardening inputs. The decomposing organic matters deter pest infestation.
To sum up the effectiveness, organic soil as it is nutrient-rich brings out the best in plant growth. Organic farming is not only good for the farmer but beneficial too to the consumers and environment as well.

Learn How to Produce Organic Compost

Gardeners before had been used to improving their soil through commercial chemical fertilizers. However, several years ago, men had become too conscious about the findings on the adverse effects of chemical on men. That started men’s switch to the use and consumption of organic goods and foods. That also paved way to awareness on the use of organic compost as better alternative to chemical fertilizers.
In the past few years, people who want to implement organic farming way merely use animal and plant manure as organic or chemical-free fertilizers. They also do home composting. Today, organic compost is already sold commercially to compete in the fertilizer market with the traditional chemical fertilizers. You buy compost in bags or if you need more, you buy truckloads from waste disposal companies.

What is an organic compost?

Doing composting in your own home for your backyard gardening is one of the best things you can do for your environment. You convert the wastes into something useful. The process is so easy that any homeowner interested in composting is able to do.
organic compost
What is compost? This is just a mixture of different decaying matter. It is organic in nature as it consists of wastes and manure from plants and animals. Its main function is to improve the structure of soil so you mix it with your soil.
Production of organic compost is a process of reducing wastes up to a point where the wastes could no longer be broken down any farther. It is a natural process that is easy to learn.

What materials are eligible for composting?

The materials for composting consist of the browns and the greens.
• The browns include dead leaves, branches and twigs, straw, hay, dead flowers, wood chips and shredded newspapers. These are carbon-rich materials.
• The greens include grass clippings, fruit and vegetable waste, kitchen refuse, coffee grounds and animal mature from grass-fed animals. You do not include manure of carnivorous animals because these can contain pathogens that can post danger to plant growth. The greens are nitrogen-rich materials.
These two are the basic materials for composting. However, you need water also which is moisture that aids in the breaking down of the organic greens and browns. You also need some garden soil for the layering.

How to do composting

To start the composting process, you have to build a compost pile. Try to allocate a site in your backyard that is at least 3 feet long and 3 feet wide. Or you can also use a container; some use a container that is specially designed for this purpose.
The first step is to spread a several inch layer of dry brown things like straw or dry leaves on the area where you are supposed to build the pile. Place several inches of green materials after which you add over this a thin layer of soil. Add another layer of brown materials then moisten these three layers. Continue this process of layering until your pile is about 3 feet high. If your materials are not enough to reach 3 feet, just let it stand there until you are able to collect more to reach the required 3 feet high. In the layering, pay attention to the proportion of brown to green which is 3 parts brown to 1 part green.
With a shovel or garden fork, you will have to turn the pile every two weeks. You move the materials at the center of the organic compost to the outside. Then the material outside should be turned to the center. Do this every couple of weeks ensuring that you are keeping the organic compost materials damp or moist. After some time, you will notice the presence of earthworms in the pile. The organic compost materials will turn crumbly, sweet smelling and blackish in color. When there appears finished compost in the pile, you can shovel it and use. With the materials that had not fully decomposed, you can start creating a new pile.
In making your organic compost, you should see to it that you adhere to the proportion of the browns to the greens. Too much browns will bring out too much carbon that will make the breaking down of materials too slowly. Too many greens on the other hand will produce excessive nitrogen that will bring out bad odor. In the organic compost, carbon provides the energy for the microbes while the nitrogen provides protein.

Flower and Vegetable Garden Tips to Someone New to the Hobby

Do you plan to have a flower garden in front of your house? Or perhaps you want to make use of your backyard and start a small vegetable garden where you can harvest some leafy greens for your salads. Adhering to some garden tips, you can end up with an impressive garden.
garden tips
The most useful garden tips are about the right soil to plant in, the supply of water to the plants and the available space on which the plants can grow. In addition to these garden tips, you should also be aware of the timing for the planting. Most plants, whether they are flowers or vegetables, are seasonal that require specific range of environmental temperature. Some plants can tolerate frost and would survive the winter season. But most flowers and vegetables would not live during the winter period.

Garden tips on right garden soil for vegetable farming.

Going back to the basic tips, start learning about the right garden soil. If you want your flowering and fruit-bearing plants to become productive, your garden soil should be suitable to the chosen specie. Some plants need acidic soil and some thrives better in alkaline soil. Some kinds of garden soil do not contain the necessary nutrients.
One of the garden tips is for you to know the basic nutrients needed by your plants. These are nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). You will come across NPK fertilizer for the plants and this simply stands for the three basic nutrients.
• Nitrogen is the nutrient necessary for the development of vigorous stem and leaves. Manure is the organic matter that is best source of nitrogen.
• Phosphorus is the nutrient that is essential for the roots of the plants. This is also the nutrient that enhances the flowering and fruit development. A source is rock phosphate.
• Potassium aids in development of strong stems; also enhances cell division and good fruit quality. It helps the plant fight diseases. Good sources are manure and compost.

Water the garden appropriately and in moderation.

The next of the garden tips is on water supply and watering time. Fruit-bearing vegetables need sufficient water during flower and fruit development stages. Examples of such plants are tomatoes, pumpkin, water melons, eggplants and more. For root crops like turnips, beets, carrots and sweet potatoes, they need a steady supply of water when their roots are developing. For lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower abundant water is needed when their heads or leaves are developing. Other veggies like radishes, kale, mustard greens need water all through their life cycle. You have to take note of these garden tips on plant watering as excessive water can drown the plants or can create molds around them.

Give your plants enough room to grow.

Last important garden tip pertains to the spacing in between plants. You have to provide your plant with room to grow. Do not plant them too close together otherwise they will be too crowded and may lack the nutrients. The plants will tend to overtake the growing of the nearby plants. And if you are planting dissimilar plants close to each other, there is a tendency for them to become hybrids of each other.
These basic garden tips can help you achieve a fabulous and impressive flower and vegetable garden. The tips actually apply to almost all kinds of plants. You have to know the plant’s soil and water requirements. Then ensure that they have enough space to fully grow.

Different Types of Garden Soil and How to Improve Each

The texture of the garden soil determines its type, which is just a description of the percentage of clay, silt and sand in the loam. Because of the difference in the percentage of each component, you have different variations of loam. Improving your soil for gardening brings out the best performance of the plants grown in it.
garden soil
The main types of garden soil are clay, silt and sand. The best soil texture or loam is the right combination of these three. You can just add any of these three kinds to alter the texture of your soil. But on a large scale, this will be a very tedious job. In lieu of altering the combination, soil improvement is done through the addition of liberal amount of organic matter to the existing earth.
Organic matter improves the fertility of the soil. Furthermore, it will aid the drainage structure of clay and silt soils. If your garden soil is sandy, the organic matter will help in water retention. Let us analyze each of the three types of soil and some practical ways to improve them.

Clay for your garden soil

Clay soil is compact because it is composed of numerous mineral particles. The compact structure limits the air space such that water is retained in the soil. It is sticky and hardens during summer. This kind of soil is very fertile however the drawback is that the nutrients tend to be locked in it. This is where improvements need to be done.
Your clay soil is very hard during summer and very sticky during the wet months of spring and winter. The best time to add organic matter to your soil is during autumn. You simply dig clods of clay, break them and add organic matter in the form of well-rotten animal manure, compost or green manure. Another method of adding organic matter is merely spreading 5 to 10 centimeters of the organic fertilizer on top of the clay soil surface and let the worms incorporate the fertilizing matter. Never add sand to the clay soil. Be selective on the choice of plants as there are plant species that cannot thrive on clay soil albeit it is already fertilized and improved.

Silt soil for your garden

Another kind of soil is the silt. These have bigger particles when compared to clay but this still is compact. Although this is free-draining of water, it still holds some of the moisture. Like the clay, it can be molded into shape but it is smoother and less sticky. When the soil is wet, do not walk on it as like the clay it sticks to your feet; your weight will have an impact on the soil structure.
Silt soil improvement is best to do during spring or autumn. You can fork into the soil or spread over the surface liberal amount of organic matter.

Gardening with sandy soil

The third soil type that forms part of loam garden soil is the sandy soil. It has too big particles making it super free-draining. There are big air spaces in between its particles. It cannot be molded into shape and when you walk over the soil, it is gritty and light. It dries out easily and because the nutrients are easily washed away, it is the least fertile kind of garden soil.
The secret to improving sandy soil is to integrate a big amount of organic matter in it; this closes the spaces in between the particles. This will bind the soil better which eventually is beneficial in improving retention of water and nutrient. When planted on, you can add munch around the plants in the form of layers of organic matter or layers of decorative pebbles, rocks, stone chips or gravel. Spring and autumn are likewise the best season work on sandy soil.
The best kind of garden soil is the loam which contains the right proportion of clay, silt and sand put together. You can do the soil texture alteration but not when you are working on a large scale. If the area to be planted in is too huge, the addition of organic matter is the solution to improve the quality and fertility of the garden soil.

Easy to Grow Vegetables Suitable for Vertical Gardening

Living in the metropolis where you take residence in apartments or townhouses, you are constrained to have your little garden of easy to grow vegetables. There is no space for your gardening; this is what you think so you believe growing the vegetables is impossible. This is no longer true as you can develop to become an urban gardener. In fact, vegetables can be grown anywhere with modern farming technology.
easy to grow vegetables
When you are space-challenged, one of the methods to cultivate easy to grow vegetables in the city is via a vertical garden. You only need to have a bare vertical space such as fence or house exterior wall. Do not think that you are supposed to grow climbing vegetables. You can grow a variety of veggies for your everyday cooking needs. You just need garden rack, the size of your space and pieces of wooden planks to frame the garden rack. You can plant the vegetables in pots or any container and hang these on the rack, vertically.

Types of vertical gardens to plant easy to grow vegetables

Almost any easy to grow vegetables can be cultivated in this vertical garden. The different styles for growing veggies vertically are shelves, hanging baskets and trellises.
• Shelves – Growing the vegetables in containers, you can arrange the shelves as high as the available space allows. You just have to ensure that the plants will receive adequate sunlight. You can make use of any kind of container but the best ones are those that have slats. These kinds of planter medium will allow air circulation and dripping of excess water. You may just have to concentrate on watering the uppermost shelves and the water from the top will drip down to the lower shelves.
• Hanging baskets – These sorts of containers are better left hanging in the balcony, veranda, porch or other suitable hangers. In fact, you can place them on tree branches or posts as long as they are able to receive sufficient sunlight for their growing needs. Hanging basket method tends to dry out immediately so you have to ensure that your easy to grow vegetables are regularly supplied with their needed water. There are different kinds of veggies that are suitable to hanging basket cultivation.
• Trellises – This method is used for vine crops like squash and bitter gourd. A fence can also serve as trellis. You can even place a ladder inclined to an empty wall to make this your trellis.
Most plants grow well with abundance of sunlight. But then, there are also those that can thrive with just minimal amount. As an urban gardener, you have to be aware of what kinds of plant to grow when your available space receives sufficient sunlight. In the absence of sunlight sufficiency, you can still plant your easy to grow vegetables as there are those that grow without high amount of sunlight.

Vegetables grown with abundant sunlight

Of course you have more choices of vegetables to plant when your space has lots of sunlight. Your choices are tomatoes, beans, radishes, peppers, carrots and potatoes. The peppers and the cherry tomatoes can be planted in hanging baskets. You can also grow the trailing plants like squash or pumpkin.

Types of vegetables suitable to shady area

Vegetables that can grow well with subdued sunlight are leafy veggies. You can then plant lettuce, cabbage and other greens when there is insufficiency of the sun rays. For instance, if your residence is surrounded by buildings such that you patio or terrace is shaded most of the day, you can choose these plants as they grow well in shaded areas.
You can be creative and have a vertical garden in your surroundings. You do not need a big space for your easy to grow vegetables. You can adapt the vertical gardening where you choose your style from shelves, hanging baskets or trellises.