Chemical fertilizers are expensive. Organic fertilizers are cost-free if you prepare the organic compost by yourself. Then aside from saving money by making your own organic fertilizer, your health also benefits for non-exposure to the adverse effect of chemicals. This is the big benefit to man for learning to make compost for their gardens.
Benefits in the use of compost as far as men are concerned can be summarized as follows:
• Men avoid exposure to chemicals that are incorporated in the traditional commercial fertilizers.
• Composting helps men control the household wastes.
• Men save money by making compost. Even if this natural compost is bought, it is less expensive.
• The use of organic fertilizer lessens the need for more landfills.
• Compost production benefits Mother Earth as it reduces methane emission from the landfills.
• It brings down carbon footprints.
Here are the benefits derived by the garden soil and plants when organic compost is used.
Organic compost increases available nutrients.
Organic compost is actually a substitute for the chemical fertilizers. When wastes and disposable organic materials are used for compost, the resulting fertilizer is among the best kinds. Soil food web is created. A beneficial community of organisms is formed. The micro-organisms such as earthworms, beetles and creepy crawling critters are vital contributors to healthy soil or humus that will improve the yield in crops.
In addition to the soil food web, the soil is improved because of the nutrients contained in the natural compost. The compost supplies the soil with macronutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium; this becomes the NPK fertilizer that is comparable to the chemically produced traditional soil enhancers. There are also micronutrients in the compost so it contains copper, manganese, iron and zinc. All these nutrients will be absorbed by the roots of the plants for distribution to all the plant parts for healthy and productive growth.
Compost improves soil pH and soil structure
The addition of organic compost to the ground will neutralize the pH level of the soil. When this happens, the soil will have optimum ability to hold the nutrients for the use of the plants.
Compost also helps improve the soil structure. The types of soil are clay, silt and sand. If the soil is clay-like, the roots will have a hard time getting the nutrients thus the plants cannot maximize its growth because it will be lacking in supply of nutrients. If the soil structure is sand, the plants grown in it will also lack nutrients because the nutrients will go with the water down under the soil and thus would not be reached by the roots.
Reduces water use
The use of natural compost will naturally fertilize the soil. Nutrient filled, the soil will be able to hold or retain moisture. As a consequence, you will need lesser amount of water for your garden. On a larger scale, the use of natural compost in high areas will help prevent soil erosion. When used in sandy type of soil, the compost will help in moisture dispersion where water can be laterally distributed to a bigger area instead of just going down the sandy soil.
Natural compost prevents plant diseases.
Soil that had been treated with organic compost tends to grow plants that are less susceptible to plant diseases and pest infestation. Compost is a way to control the diseases and thriving of insects in the plants.
In essence the organic compost has beneficial effect to man, the environment, our planet, the soil and the plants. You will notice that most of the benefits accrue to the garden soil which will ultimately benefit the crops grown on the improved ground.
Some areas in a country naturally have good garden soil for growing plants. Others lack necessary nutrients that are needed for healthy plant growth. This is natural difference that can be corrected. For small area, the texture of soil can be altered by changing the percentage of clay, silt and sand in the composition of the loam. But for large scale farming, this is hard to do. To be fertile, the soil should have sufficient amount of nutrients. With nutrient deficiency, soil must be treated with the NPK fertilizer.
Your fertilizers can be the commercial or the organic types. The former is nasty kind as it contains chemicals that are harmful to men. Today, many gardeners treat their soil with organic matters such as compost and manure.
Nutrients that must be present in garden soil
Three basic elements should be present in the garden soil. These are nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, also known as the NPK mineral fertilizer. Other necessary nutrients that must be present in the soil are calcium, magnesium and sulfur. These mineral nutrients are needed in large quantity and they are categorized as macronutrients of the soil. The nutrients that are needed in smaller quantities are known as micronutrients. There are eight micronutrients that must also be present in your garden soil. These are manganese, iron, zinc, copper, boron, chlorine, molybdenum and nickel. These are also called trace elements.
There are other elements that are known as photosynthesis nutrients because they are necessary when plants undergo their food processing. These elements are oxygen, hydrogen and carbon. All these are essential nutrients and if one of these is lacking, the plants cannot grow too well.
Causes for lost of soil nutrients
The soil has the tendency to lose some of its nutrients. The soil gets depleted through overuse. The soil is not rested after harvest season causing the earth to decline in production. You will notice that after planting season, your harvest tend to decline. The soil has no more nutrients to sustain the growth of the plants.
In addition, there are crops that are heavy nutrient users. They consume more nutrients to deplete the soil faster. Examples of heavy soil nutrient users are corn, rice, sorghum and sweet potatoes. If there are heavy users, there are also plants that can be considered nutrient boasters. These crops contribute to availability of nutrients that are used by other plants.
Ways to replenish soil nutrients
There are effective ways to replenish the garden soil with the lacking nutrients.
• Bio-intensive gardening – This increases soil fertility when wastes and other garden grass cuttings are buried in the soil after harvesting the crops. These materials are left to decompose through microorganisms in the soil.
• Composting – Organic waste materials like garbage, crop and animal manure are left on the surface of the ground to decompose with the aid of soil microbes and bacteria. Garbage dumpsites had initiated composting methods and the resulting organic matters are sold and used in garden soil.
• Crop rotation – This method rotates the kinds of plants or crops planted in an area. Crops that deplete nutrients are alternated to boaster crops. After harvesting the crops, another kind of crops are planted on the same site.
• Cover cropping – This is also called living mulch. Other kinds of plants are planted in between regular main crops; these are the living mulch. This method does not only replenish garden soil nutrients; they also improve soil by controlling the growth of weeds and soil erosion. This will also help maintain the presence of organic elements in the soil.
Nutrients in garden soil can be depleted. When this happens, you cannot expect a healthy growth of the crops. However, there are ways to replenish the nutrients in the soil and eventually make the plants grow well for a good harvest.
What makes the plants grow? This is a very elementary question since we have learned this the very first time we had lessons about plant. Would you still need some garden tips on the growing needs of plants? You already learned the basic things to make plants grow. The plants need nutrients from the soil, water to transport the nutrients from the roots to the other plant parts and sun for photosynthesis or manufacture of plant foods. They do need air to take in carbon dioxide for photosynthesis.
You indeed know the basic things that make a plant grow. But there are more from the garden tips that you will read about. Plants grow under the right temperature, space sufficiency and time consideration.
Nutrient and water garden tips to make plants grow
Like other living creatures, plants need food and water in order to subsist. Human beings eat foods because they have to get nutrients; plants also need nutrients. You drink water and plants do need water. Plants utilize water to bring the moisture and the nutrients back and forth from the roots to the leaves, from the leaves to the roots also. Water as well as the nutrients is taken in by the roots from the soil. Garden tips tell us that we have to water the plants when the soil is already dry. Too much or too little water is harmful to the life and growth of any plant. So, garden tips tell you to water your plants moderately.
The nutrients come from the soil but in plenty of cases, the soil becomes depleted. There will be no enough nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) in the soil and if not replenished the plant would not achieve its full growth. You will then need to apply fertilizer on the soil to put in the NPK nutrients. Further data in the garden tips tell a gardener the uses of the NPK. Nitrogen is for greener and healthy leaves, phosphorus is for sturdy roots and big flowers or fruits and potassium is the shield of plants to fight diseases.
Air and soil as other needs of plants
Aside from sufficiency of nutrients and moderate watering of plants, this living creature also needs air. Plants do breath or respire through their pores. They take in carbon dioxide which they need in photosynthesis, plant’s process to manufacture food. Although it is the leaves that perform photosynthesis, other parts of the plants such as stem, roots and flowers also respire. It is not only carbon dioxide that is necessary for the plant to subsist. It also needs oxygen which is drawn by the roots from the air spaces in the soil.
Healthy soil is very paramount in the life cycle of any plant. In gardening, you have to learn the soil classifications. Different plants need different kinds of soil although the usual kind is the loam. Loam is created by the right proportion of clay, slit and sand. It is from the soil that the plant gets the nutrients. Thus, the soil must also be healthy and being healthy means having the NPK sufficiently in the ground. Lack of any of these will render the plant unhealthy. As the nutrients in the soil can be depleted due to soil overuse, the application of fertilizer is the method to replenish. Today, we try to do away with the commercial chemical fertilizers. Garden tips tell a gardener to learn to make compost as this is the way to provide organic nutrients to plants. With a small garden to tend, animal or crop manure will be good substitute for compost. You mix these into the soil or you can just top your soil’s surface and leave the ground microorganism or bacteria to convert the raw manure into decomposed nutrient.
Space, time, temperature and light as factors in plant growth
Space is also a factor in the growth of plants. According to garden tips, overcrowded plants can suffer from plant diseases. The airflow is restricted to hamper growth such that plants become small and stunted. Keep distance from one plant to another.
It takes time for plants to grow. Some require more number of days to become mature enough for the flowering stage to commence. Plants need the sunlight; it is through the sun’s heat that plants manufacture their food. Sun is the source of plant’s energy. Finally, temperature is considered in most garden tips. There are plants that need cooler temperature and there are those that live well during the summer season. However, the rule of thumb is that plants grow best during spring. The temperature during this time is the best for most varieties and species of plants.
Technological innovations had been implemented in agriculture and aquaculture. Plants are no longer exclusively grown in soil. Experiment on easy to grow vegetables were tested and among those that can be grown through the indoor hydroponic system are leafy greens. This is very beneficial if you have very limited space for planting vegetables.
What is hydroponics? This is the method of growing plants sin use of soil and instead, they are submerged in nutrient-rich water. This method had been proved to be effective in farming a wide array of vegetables, herbs and other plant types. However, not all plants can be cultivated with this method. Most plants that are found suitable to grow hydroponically are likewise suitable to more advanced hydroponic method known as aquaponics. With this method, the hydroponic is combined with aquaculture, the raising of aquatic animals like fish. Grown together in the same environment, a symbiotic relationship exists between the planted plants and raised fish. The plant supplies food to the fish while the waste of the fish serves as fertilizer to the plant. What an amazing product of man’s ingenuity!
With hydroponics, the plant needs three things, namely water or moisture, nutrients and oxygen. There are different kinds of systems and the one suitable to beginners is the raft hydroponic system for easy to grow vegetables.
Raft hydroponic system and easy to grow vegetables
For a novice in hydroponic technology, the raft system is the advisable method. This is also known as “deep water culture” or “lettuce raft”. This is a perfect method for beginners as it is easy to construct and it does not cost too much. In fact, this makes you harvest more quickly than through the conventional gardening. In choosing the vegetable, see to it that the variety can survive excessive moisture and that it does not grow too big to overload the raft.
The concept behind this system is very simple to follow. You merely allow easy to grow vegetables to be planted in a raft that is made of rigid Styrofoam. This raft will float in nutrient rich pool of water. The raft consists of the reservoir, the aerator and the raft. The reservoir is the container of the water and the Styrofoam raft has to fit into this. The aerator functions to circulate the nutrients in the water.
Lettuce as best vegetable to grow hydroponically
The system is commonly referred to as “lettuce raft” simply because lettuce is the best choice of easy to grow vegetables that survive in the raft hydroponic. The lettuce does not require too much attention. When the outer leaves are big, you can harvest them. The inner leaves will grow fast to replace the harvested leaves. You then will have a continuous supply of the green leaves. You can plant different varieties to provide you with a variety of lettuce harvest. The most common though for this gardening method are Romaine and Bibb varieties. In this water culture, you do not plant seeds, you plant seedlings. Before you submerge in water, ensure that the roots of the seedlings are already long enough to reach the water they are planted in otherwise you seedlings will die.
Other leafy greens suitable to hydroponic farming
The raft hydroponic gives you pleasure of experimentation with other green leafy easy to grow vegetables. Just like lettuce, spinach is adaptable to hydroponic gardening. Planting spinach this way lets you avoid the presence of sandy grit in it. You can snip the needed quantity and leave the plant to keep growing and producing the nutritious leaves. But here is a precaution. Do not let them grow too big for your raft because the plants will be overcrowded to lack needed air circulation.
As there is enough room to experiment on other leafy easy to grow vegetables, you can also try your “green thumb” with kale, aragula, chard and mustard greens. All these greens are nutrient-filled to provide you a healthy diet. Actually, you can experiment on many lightweight crops using the hydroponic technology. Herbs like parsley, chives, basil are also good options. What you just have to bear in mind is to avoid heavy plants like melons, beans, tomatoes and cucumbers. You do not only grow vegetables through this method, you can also have a water garden of flowering plants.
A not so perfect garden soil can still be improved; the solution to sticky clay soil or gritty sandy soil is the addition of substantial amount of organic matter. While it is true that you cannot change the kind of soil in your garden into loam soil, adding organic matter can improve your soil in several ways.
Organic matter can loosen the sticky clay soil to make the air flow. As for sandy soil, the addition of organic matter will enable the loose soil to improve its capacity to retain and hold nutrients and water. Organic matter will be an attraction to micro-organisms such as fungi, critters and worms and the end result is improving the health of the plants. The organic matter is non-chemical fertilizers such as animal or green manure and compost. You can add these to the soil while still in decomposition stage, possibly a month before planting. The matter will break down and would be ready at planting time.
Basic steps to add organic matter to the garden soil
The process of adding organic matter to the garden soil is very simple. The organic matter layered on the surface of the soil should be 1 to 2 inches thick. If your soil is new or is to be used for the first time, go for the 2 inch-layering. You should also use this amount if the soil is clay or sandy. If it is loam, you can settle for lesser organic topping. If you have been planting on the soil for quite some time, there are nutrients in the soil so an inch topping will also suffice. You do some gardening tools to layer and spread the organic matter. You need to use wheelbarrow, shovel or iron fork.
Adding compost to the soil
The best kind of organic material to improve the quality of the garden soil is compost. This is actually humus made by breaking down yard and agricultural waste and scraps of wood or timber into soil-like particles. If you cannot do the composting, you will find this organic matter from waste disposal sites. You can buy by bags or by truckloads. When buying compost from disposal sites, you have to ensure that no heavy metals like lead are made part of the compost. This may not be safe for your vegetable’s soil. Today, many commercial producers of compost can even tell you the nutrient content of the compost they are selling. This is because they know the components of this organic fertilizer.
Adding sawdust and manure soil
Other types of organic materials are sawdust and manure. The latter can come from animal or plants. Compost is better recommended as organic additions to garden soil because there may be some problems in sawdust and manure.
• Sawdust may add organic materials to the soil when they breakdown to form humus. However, the sawdust may take some of the nitrogen during the decomposition stage. As a result, you will need to add more to compensate for what had been taken off.
• Animal or livestock manure also adds nitrogen to the garden soil. However, since the diet of livestock include hay, the seeds of hay may be integrated which later germinates into the vegetable plot. Horse manure for instance has dried hay bedding materials that produce similar disadvantage of sawdust.
• Green manure is from leaves and branches of trees and plants. They can be sowed into the garden soil and once they breakdown, they release nutrients into the garden’s earth. However, before you sow them into the soil, you have to wait until the garden beds had been emptied for 5 to 6 weeks.
When you use manure, you have to use the kind that had been sitting around for 1 or 2 years to ensure that they have totally decomposed and that their salt content had already leached out. Salt is harmful to your plant; this is the reason why you have to wait long before you use the mature. Using either compost or manure, you can determine if it is good quality. If it is color brown with earthy smell, it may be a good one. Look at the particles, the original material from which it is made from is no longer visible. No traces of wastes, manure and sawdust are found in the resulting organic materials. It shows more resemblance to a good kind of garden soil.
Do not think that container gardening is only for flower-bearing and ornamental plants. Growing vegetables in containers is highly possible also although it may be more demanding. When growing ornamental plants, small lapses in everyday maintenance may stop the flowering but will resume once the needed care is given. But with vegetables, once a small lapse in caring happens, the size and taste of the produced vegetables suffer so much. The quality of the produced vegetables is dependent on a number of factors. Healthy vegetables are the outcome of the soil’s ability to nourish the plant with enough water and nutrients. Dry or unfertile soil can alter the flavor as well as the texture and the size of the fruit. It is imperative for you to know the kinds of vegetable plants to grow in containers. You have to be familiar with the type of soil and soil mix as well as the size and depth of the containers.
Best veggies to pick when growing vegetables in containers
Herbs and green leafy vegetables like lettuce are the best kinds when you are growing vegetables in containers. There are more but you have to classify them into cool season vegetables and warm season vegetables.
• Cool season vegetables are grown under 60 to 80 degree Fahrenheit temperature. They are the best vegetables grown in containers during the spring and fall seasons. They cannot survive the summer heat and neither can they tolerate even the slightest frost of winter. The quality of the harvested vegetables is determined by the quality of the soil mix, light fertilizers and regular supply of water. The crops are strong flavored when they grow in dry soil. There are plenty of cool season vegetables but the most commonly grown are broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, beets, carrots, lettuce, radish and peas.
• Warm season vegetables grow under 70 to 95 degree Fahrenheit summer temperature. The warm season vegetables need full sunshine. They are best grown from mid-May to early June. Among the most common vegetables grown in containers during summer are beans, cantaloupes, cucumber, tomatoes, peppers and summer squash.
Type of soil and soil mix when growing vegetables in containers
Growing plants on the ground, gardeners have preference for garden soil. However, when growing vegetables in containers, the soil type has to be changed. The soil must be well-aerated and should allow for good drainage. Thus, the soil suitable for container gardening must be modified to meet the aeration and drainage requirement for healthy plant growth.
Here is a suggested modification or amendment to the soil that will be suitable to grow vegetables in containers. The soil-based mix must constitute of one part good garden soil, one part peat moss and or one part coarse builder sand. If you could not amend your soil in this way, you might as well go to a gardening depot and buy a ready mix soil for growing vegetables in containers.
Know the depth of the container
Actually any kind of container can be used provided it is deep enough. You can have synthetic pots, terracotta and ceramic pots if you want your vegetable containers to be decorative. You can also pick any bucket as long as it conforms to the depth requisite. You can even grow root crops like carrots and turnips if your container is really too deep.
If you are growing vegetables in containers in warm climates, it is best if you opt for light-colored containers. The dark colored containers will have the tendency to absorb heat that can burn the roots of your vegetable plants. You should also pick containers that have good drainage holes.
There are different kinds of gardens that can be set up in your home; you can have a flower or vegetable garden. Although the herb garden falls under the vegetable garden type, there are different reasons for establishing herb garden in one’s home. Having this indoors or outdoors, the herb garden can be your source of medical remedies and culinary needs or it is simply decorative in your kitchen window sill or vertical garden.
Your garden tips will always emphasize that the planning stage is the most critical. If you do not plan it right, there is a big chance that your herb garden project is a disaster. But planning correctly and ahead of planting time, you will find things to fall into proper place. You will smell the exotic fragrance of basil, cinnamon, mint and others forming a special kind of scented garden.
There are different designs for the herb garden. You can plant different kinds in small pots and place them in the window sill of your kitchen. You can have a small herb garden where you plant different herbs in one big pot. If you want a formal herb garden, you will have a precise design that may include proper landscaping. Whatever is our desired design, your search for garden tips will center on soil or ground, garden location and size.
Garden tips on soil and ground condition
A novice in herb gardening will search for black, hearty and nutrient-rich soil. Garden tips will tell you that this is not so because herbs are comparable to weeds such that they can grow in any type of soil and environment. They will surely flourish in soils where other plants would not. However, it is always a good idea to make your soil fertile by adding natural organic matter like compost. Going organic is beneficial to your health if you use them for culinary purposes because they are chemical-free. Your organic herbs will not only smell good but your harvests will have a perfect taste too.
Location of the garden
As for location garden tips, it is your decision as to where you want the herb garden to be. If you intend to use the herbs regularly in your cooking expedition, the best location would be near the kitchen. Bear in mind that when they are frequently called for in your recipes, have them as nearly as possible to your kitchen or at least it is accessible easily through the kitchen.
There are other herb garden tips. You have to consider the chosen location relative to sunlight. Most herbs need to be exposed to the sun’s rays but you must never forget that they should not be placed under direct sunlight for too long. It is best that your herb garden will be under partial shade in the afternoon.
Size of the garden
As these plants do not really grow very robust and high, 6 to 10 square foot area will already suffice to supply you with fresh herbs for the whole growing season. When planning this garden, you also have to remember again that herbs are like weeds in that they tend to spread out fast. So early on, determine how big you want your herb space to be.
Did you know that following these garden tips will make your herb garden a good part of your home? But as you start setting it up, you must ensure that you have planned well and that you have considered its location, size and soil type.
Weeds are also plants that grow in the garden. They are undesirable because they siphon the nutrients that should otherwise go to the preferred plants. As the weeds multiply fast, you will have to control the growth; the best technique involves organic weed control. In this period, the use of chemical weed control sprays is discouraged. This is extremely harmful to the environment and to the health of people.
In reality, the chemical herbicides can be considered more harmful than being useful. These do not only destroy the undesirable weeds but they too kill the needed organisms. The toxins in the chemical herbicides pollute the soil and they too contaminate the ground water. Have you realized that you can deal with the harmful plants through harmless organic weed control? This does not mean that you depend on the natural herbicides that can be acquired from garden shops; you can apply a number of proven natural garden practices.
Common organic weed control ways
As you begin exploring the various ways of organic weed control, take note that in so doing, you may also endanger the good plants so take are. The most common way of getting rid of the weeds is just pulling them off. Your hands are your instruments. But this too time consuming and tiring too. Moreover, you might skip some weeds and such will start the growth of other weeds as their seeds germinate. You can use digging implements like hoe to dig the soil and kill the weeds.
There are some other ways being commonly done like spraying organic weed control herbicides. You can make your own or you can buy the commercial organic herbicides from garden stores. It is easier now to concoct your own spray as the internet guides you on their preparation. However, it is more convenient to just buy a bottle from the nearby garden depot.
Mulching, solarization and smothering to control weeds
Controlling the growth of undesirable weeds is not only done through herbicides. Other ways which can be considered as organic weed control methods are mulching, solarization and smothering. You can consider them natural as they do not incorporate chemicals as they deter the growth of weeds.
• Mulching is layering protective materials on the surface of the earth. This is organic in nature if you only spread natural materials like grass clippings, wood chips, straw, hay or organic compost. It fails to become organic if the spread consist of stones, rock and brick chips. When you cover the ground, you choke the weeds and you attract also beneficial insects.
• Soil solarization is removing the weeds by burning them out. Actually this is a non-chemical process to kill weeds as well as pests through the use of high heat generated from the sun. If the process is conducted at 99 degrees Fahrenheit for two to four weeks, the emergence of annual weeds is prevented.
• Smolthering is cutting off the weeds from the supply of sunlight. You cover the weeds with natural materials like organic mulch, barks of trees or pine needles. Depriving the weeds of sunlight will kill them.
Home recipes for natural control of weeds
You can try commonly used organic weed control herbicides. Here are some that are easy to do at home.
• Mix 4 cups white vinegar, ¼ cup salt and 2 teaspoons liquid detergent. Mix all ingredients well and place in a sprayer. Spray and eradicate weeds.
• Use salt dissolved in warm water. The proportion is 1 cup rock salt to 2 cups warm water. You can increase the quantity of your spray but adhere to the proportion of 1:2. You will find the weeds turning brownish in color.
There are some people who make use of vinegar and salt combination for herbicide and there are those who make use of solely vinegar. More garden enthusiasts allege that the resulting organic weed control spray is more potent with the inclusion of detergent.
This may be the era of organic farming; people switch to consumption of organically produced foods. Is the fear for the adverse effects of chemicals in foods really mounting? Because of the demand for these sorts of foods, farmers have increased their production of organic agricultural products. And you too can make your backyard garden into an organic kind. It is easy; all you have to do is follow organic gardening tips. You will find that starting and maintaining organic garden is just like maintaining a conventional one.
Organic gardening tips prescribe the use of the same gardening tools and equipment. The planting process is the same. Crop yield is as high and you can do this right at your own backyard. So what is the difference? You have to use organic things instead of the chemical inputs. Traditional chemical fertilizers are replaced by natural composts; you do not use chemical pesticides. Yet you reap the same high yield.
How to start up per organic gardening tips
When you contemplate on starting a natural garden, know what organic gardening tips say about the space to be used as your organic garden. The location has to be an open space where your vegetation can be supplied with sufficient daily sunlight. That will be sunshine for at least 7 hours per day. Your soil should have been amended to become organic soil. That will be making use of compost.
Preparing the garden
There are three things to think of when you prepare this project. Organic gardening tips give advices on tools and materials, bed preparation, seed selection and planting.
• Tools and materials – You will be using the same supplies that are used in regular gardening. So, if you have already these things, you do not have to buy new tools. If you don’t, you will purchase rake, hoe and shovel. You need water hose or drip system in order to ensure that your garden will have the needed moisture. You will be able to control the garden’s temperature. For materials, you will need seeds or seedlings, mulch and compost.
• Bed preparation – Raised beds are solutions to growing the plants. You can make use of this and with some creativity you can construct these raised beds in your desired shape. In your backyard, the unique shape can create an attraction. The raised bed will not compromise your organic soil. You can add borders to the bed using materials like stones, rocks, bricks or wood. The border will have an important function and that is to separate your raised bed from contaminants. It is advantageous to make the bed high so that roots are protected. Once ready, you can spread the bed with compost.
• Seed or seedling selection and planting – Choosing the crops to plant is very crucial. According to organic gardening tips, there are plants for every climate or region. You will have to seek the plants that will thrive best in your area to ensure your successful organic gardening. You can have primary plants as the center of your garden. You can include some companion plants to create variety in your garden.
Maintenance and upkeep of the garden
With organic farming, fertilizing is no longer your problem because the compost you have spread on the soil surface will suffice to provide the nutrients that are needed by the plants. The main concern on maintenance is about water or moisture. You may water your plants manually or you may install a soaker hose or a drip system. If you water the plants manually, you do it in the morning.
Organic gardening tips also recommend maintenance of 6.5 to 7.0 soil pH and pest monitoring. In case your companion plants are not able to repel the pest, you can install slug traps as pest deterrents. Every two weeks, check on infestation possibility.
What are the ways by which you grow plants inside the house? With indoor gardening, you can also adapt different media by which you can grow your vegetation. You can plant on fertile soil or you can go soilless. In lieu of soil, you can plant in water or in the air, hydroponics and aeroponics respectively.
Any plant can grow inside the house but not all plants will survive in soilless medium. This makes non-traditional indoor gardening more overwhelming. You should also know that the soilless way of vegetation is not limited to indoor plants as hydroponics and aeroponics can also be done outdoors. Just like any farming method, indoor plants will need nutrients, water and sunlight. Can water and air as media supply all these? It is time to discover your optionsyou’re your indoor garden.
Indoor gardening – growing plants in soil
Planting in soil is the conventional method of gardening. It is from the soil that plants get the nutrients for their growth. When growing the flora inside the house, you should be picky in the choice of soil. Today, organic gardening is the best way to grow plants. You get away from harmful toxins and natural indoor gardening will make your indoor air free from pollutants.
You can make use of soil from your backyard but to use this for organic indoor garden, you add compost or natural organic mix into the soil. You can also purchase good commercial organic soil or organic mix from plant depots. Remember that when using the soil dug from the backyard without any soil amendment, you run the risk of infestation. That soil could carry unwanted weeds and insects. Furthermore, the soil texture can either be too compact or porous; that will be detrimental to good water drainage.
Hydroponics – growing indoor plants in water
Hydroponics is derived from the word “water”, meaning that your plants will be grown in water instead of soil. This is a good alternative method for indoor gardening. Plants that are grown hydroponically will have a smaller root system. This does not mean though that the plants will not be supplied with abundant nutrients. The roots do not function to seek nutrients, instead, they are provided through special hydroponic fertilizer and water solution.
With your plants grown in water medium, maintenance is easier as it would not require weeding Moreover it is not prone to soil-borne plant diseases. You would not worry about infestation. Plants grow healthy because with this method of gardening, you can easily control the light, temperature, pH levels, humidity and nutrient and water supply.
Indoor garden with aeroponics technology
Aeroponics is another indoor gardening method that will let you grow plants in a soilless manner. Instead, your plants will thrive in air. With this method, plants are grown in chambers like tubes and troughs. Typically the chambers consist of upper and lower chambers.
The roots of the plants are suspended in the air giving the roots more space to grow. The method makes use of strong neoprene collars that are flexible to support and accommodate the growth of the plants. The plants get their food and nutrients from nutrient mist and smart lighting. What may be critical in the aeroponics indoor gardening is the right choice of superior fertilizer. You should ensure that the fertilizer, when sprayed will not clog.
The roots benefit a lot in aeroponics as they have more space to grow. Hanging in the air will enable the roots to absorb the nutrients and oxygen easily. With this method, plants have minimal chance of getting root zone diseases. And without solid materials, pathogens can be hindered from getting into the plants making them less prone to diseases. Aeroponics provides high plant survival rate and floral production.
With very limited space in your home, indoor gardening is the best option to have plants around. With the myriad of flora species, you can have a choice for plant cultivation – in soil, water or air. Would you prefer to grow them in soil or in soilless way?