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Organic Gardening

Organic Gardening Made Easy: Simple Hacks for a Great Harvest

by Helen
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Welcome to our latest article on organic gardening, where we will discover some essential tips and tricks for maintaining a successful organic garden. Organic gardening is becoming increasingly popular due to its benefits, such as producing fresh produce while protecting the environment. This post will cover everything you need to know about soil quality, organic fertilizers, pest control, seed variety, tools, companion planting, watering, and harvesting. Let's explore the world of organic gardening together and learn how to create a thriving and bountiful garden. As an organic gardener, I have learned new tricks and hacks from other gardeners and by trial and error.

If you're new to organic gardening, don't worry; we've got you covered. Here are some tips and tricks to help you start and maintain a successful organic garden. Gardening can be a therapeutic and rewarding hobby, helping to reduce stress and promote well-being. Studies have shown that spending time in nature and tending to plants can positively impact our mental health. So, gardening is the activity for you if you're looking for a way to reduce stress and improve your mental health.

Adding outdoor lighting, a fire pit, or a sitting area can significantly enhance the look and utility of your hardscaping. You can place solar lights along the border of your garden or above ground garden bed to create a beautiful and functional touch. Consider adding lights to highlight your walkways, patio, or other hardscaping features. You can choose from a variety of lighting options, such as solar or low-voltage lighting, depending on your preferences.

Organic Gardening and Pollinators

For those who know me and my story, they will tell you I have severe anxiety and panic disorder. So, anything I can do that doesn't require medication to reduce my symptoms, I embrace wholeheartedly. “I enjoy gardening” – Gardening can be a therapeutic and rewarding hobby. It helps me to reduce stress, and it is gratifying. I especially enjoy providing a continuous food source for pollinators such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. I love to sit in my backyard and watch birds, hummingbirds, pollinators, and other creatures visit my garden. There is something about nature that helps calm me and redirect my thoughts out of my head.

Organic gardeners believe in working with nature rather than against it. They aim to create a healthy, balanced ecosystem in their garden, including beneficial insects, birds, pollinators, and other wildlife. By avoiding the use of synthetic chemicals, they help to protect the environment and promote biodiversity.

To attract more pollinators to your yard, consider providing nesting sites and shelter for pollinators by including features such as bee houses and butterfly boxes in your garden.

Does Gardening Reduce Stress?

Nearly all forms of exercise can reduce stress, including gardening. If you're looking for a way to reduce stress and improve your mental health, gardening is the activity for you. It can be a fun and rewarding hobby, but studies have shown that spending time in nature and tending to plants can positively impact our well-being. In this blog post, we'll explore how gardening can help reduce stress and provide some tips for getting started. So grab your gloves and a trowel, and let's get digging!

Gardening has been found to be very effective in reducing stress and anxiety. It is believed that gardening helps release endorphins, natural chemicals in the brain that promote feelings of happiness and well-being. Gardening can also provide a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, which can help to boost self-esteem and reduce stress levels. Additionally, the physical activity involved in gardening can reduce tension and promote relaxation. Spending time outdoors and connecting with nature has also been shown to have a calming effect on the mind and body. These factors make gardening an excellent way to reduce stress and promote overall mental health and well-being.

7 Gardening Hacks for Abundant Organic Gardening

1) Soil Quality for Organic Gardening

Soil quality is essential for the success of an organic garden. Organic gardens rely on healthy soil to nourish plants and promote growth. Different soil types are available in the market, including loamy, sandy, clay, and silt. Each soil type has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the choice of soil will depend on the plants you want to grow. Soil amendments like compost, manure, and vermicompost are also beneficial for an organic garden. Compost improves soil structure, fertility, and water retention, while manure provides nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

Compost is another excellent soil amendment that is commonly used in organic gardening. It is made from decomposed organic matter, such as leaves, grass clippings, and vegetable scraps. Compost adds nutrients to the soil, improves soil structure, and promotes healthy plant growth. It also helps retain moisture in the soil, which reduces the need for frequent watering. You can create your own compost using a compost bin or purchase it from a garden center. It's essential to thoroughly decompose the compost before using it in your garden to avoid any potential issues with pathogens or weed seeds.

Organic Gardening

2) Fertilizers for Organic Gardening

Organic fertilizers are an excellent way to maintain soil fertility in an organic garden. They are derived from natural sources like animal waste, plant waste, and minerals. Organic fertilizers contain nutrients essential for plant growth, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Some popular organic fertilizers include bone meal, blood meal, fish emulsion, and seaweed fertilizer. Organic fertilizers improve soil structure, promote healthy root growth, and enhance plant growth. They are also environmentally friendly and do not harm the soil or the ecosystem.

3) Pest Control

Pest control is an essential aspect of organic gardening. As an Organic gardener, I rely on natural methods to control pests and diseases rather than using harmful chemicals. Many organic pest control methods and products are available in the market, including companion planting, crop rotation, and the use of insecticidal soap and neem oil. Crop rotation involves planting different crops in a particular area each season to disrupt pest cycles. Companion planting involves planting two or more plants together that have a mutually beneficial relationship. Biological control involves introducing natural predators like ladybugs and praying mantis to control pests.

Nematodes are a natural way to control slugs in an organic garden. Some nematodes, like Phasmarhabditis hermaphrodita, are parasitic to slugs and can be used as a biological control. When applied to the soil, the nematodes enter the slug's body and release bacteria that kill the slug within a few days. This method is effective, safe, and environmentally friendly, making it a popular choice for organic gardeners. It's important to note that nematodes are living organisms that you should handle carefully to maintain their effectiveness. Also, following the manufacturer's instructions when applying nematodes is essential to ensure you use them correctly.

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4) Organic Nongmo Seeds for Fruits and Vegetables

Choosing the best seeds for an organic garden is critical for a successful harvest. Organic seeds are free from synthetic chemicals and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The best seeds for an organic garden are open-pollinated heirloom and non-hybrid varieties. These seeds are genetically diverse and adapt well to local soil and weather conditions. Organic seeds are available in different varieties, including vegetable, fruit, herb, and flower seeds.  Learn how to start your vegetable garden from scratch.

Harden Off Your Seedlings: before transplanting your seedlings into the garden, they should be hardened off. This means gradually exposing them to outdoor conditions over a period of a week or two. Start by placing them outside for a few hours in a sheltered spot, then gradually increase the time and exposure to sunlight and wind.

Organic Gardener

5) Companion Plants for Organic Gardening

Companion planting is a technique organic gardeners use to pair plants that grow well together in an organic garden. Companion planting promotes the health and growth of plants. Some popular plant combinations that work well together include tomatoes, basil, onions and carrots, beans, and corn. Companion planting also helps to deter pests and attract beneficial insects like bees and butterflies.

Some examples of companion planting that work well together in an organic garden include:

  • Tomatoes and basil: Basil repels insects that are harmful to tomatoes, and it can also improve the flavor of tomatoes.
  • Carrots and onions: Onions repel pests and can help improve carrots' flavor.
  • Marigolds and beans: Marigolds repel pests that can harm beans and attract beneficial insects like bees and butterflies.
  • Cucumbers and radishes: Radishes can help repel cucumber beetles, and they also help loosen the soil, making it easier for cucumbers to grow.
  • Corn and beans: Beans fix nitrogen in the soil, which corn needs to grow, and the corn provides a structure for the beans to climb.
  • If you plant thyme, chives, mint, and borage alongside your strawberries, they can act as excellent companion plants.  Be sure to prune strawberries in the spring.

These are just a few examples of companion planting, but many more combinations work well together in an organic garden.  Use your homegrown vegetables in your recipe for homemade Mexican Picadillo or Albondiga Soup  (Meatball Soup).

6) Watering

As an organic gardener, we know watering is critical for an organic garden's success. Plants need water to grow, and the right amount of water is essential for healthy growth. Organic gardeners use different watering systems or methods suitable for their garden's needs. Some popular watering systems include drip irrigation, sprinkler systems, and hand watering. Drip irrigation is an efficient watering system that delivers water directly to the plant's roots. Sprinkler systems are helpful for large gardens, and hand watering is a great way to water specific plants.

Lomi Compost Bin

courtesy: Lomi

Lomi Classic Composter

7) Harvesting

Harvesting is a critical part of organic gardening.  Harvesting vegetables or fruits at the right time ensures peak flavor and freshness.  Organic gardeners use different storage methods for harvested vegetables or fruits, including canning, freezing, and drying.  Canning preserves vegetables like tomatoes and beans for later use.  Freezing is an excellent method for preserving fruits like berries and peaches.  Drying is a popular method for preserving fruits like apples and pears.

Organic gardeners often use natural soil amendments like compost, manure, and vermicompost to improve soil quality and promote healthy plant growth.  Additionally, they may choose to use cover crops, crop rotation, and other techniques to maintain soil health and prevent soil erosion.  Organic gardeners can enjoy a bountiful harvest and contribute to a healthier environment by maintaining healthy soil.  Starting your seedlings indoors in the spring is a great way to get a jump start and improve your harvest.

Final Thoughts: Tips and Tricks for Organic Gardening

Pro Tip: I could have done better in growing veggies in my first year, but I enjoyed the process nonetheless. So be gentle with yourself if you don't have a high yield your first year. Enjoy the process.  

We hope these tips and tricks help you create a successful organic garden. Remember to have fun and enjoy growing your fresh produce while protecting the environment.  

By following these 7 steps, you can create a thriving organic garden that is both beautiful and environmentally friendly. Remember to start with healthy soil, choose the right plants, use natural pest control, water wisely, mulch your garden, rotate crops, and compost kitchen scraps. Sustainable, organic gardening requires more effort and patience, but the rewards are well worth it. Not only will you have a gorgeous garden filled with healthy plants, but you will also be doing your part to protect the environment and promote sustainable living. So, get your green thumb ready and start planting!

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