Easy Steps in Starting Your Organic Garden

With a renewed focus on healthy eating and living, more people are turning to natural and traditional gardening methods in their own backyards. This essentially means gardening without the use of any artificial fertilizers or pesticides.

Organic gardening utilizes nature itself for balance by using micro-organisms, insects, and plants to maintain a healthy environment naturally. By adopting this approach you are producing healthier and more nutrient-rich vegetables, herbs and other garden plants and flowers.

It’s not difficult to start your own organic garden but it does takes a bit of planning.

The Space

Space, or the lack of it, shouldn’t stop you from growing an organic garden. For those who live in cramped spaces and don’t have the luxury of square footage to work with, pots are the perfect solution. There are a plethora of containers available in a variety of styles that can be adapted in just about any way to create your own designs in limited spaces.

Wooden containers are probably the best as they allow for better airflow. Ceramic pots are a good choice as well but must have holes to allow for draining and air circulation. You should however avoid clay pots as they are too porous, and have a tendency dry out faster.

For people who do have the ground area to work with, start your planning with research. Find the plants you would like to grow and see if they are suitably zoned for your area? When should you plant and how far should they be spaced apart? Learn which plants complement each other and will work together effectively to deter pests.

The Tools

Basic garden tools remain the same for organic gardening. It’s always a good idea to purchase the best quality you can afford and maintain them religiously.

  • For digging and compost turning – spade,shovel, pitchfork.
  • For weeding – hoe, trowel, rake.
  • For cutting and pruning – secateurs (pruning clippers), pruning saw.
  • For loading and carting soils and mulches – a wheel barrel.
  • For watering – several hoses and watering cans.
  • If possible rain barrels strategically placed to minimize water consumption.

The Soil

Going organic primarily means that there is no use of synthetic chemicals in the gardening process of any kind. It’s vital to maintain a healthy soil level in order to grow plants which are less susceptible to pest damage. The best way to achieve this is to include compost in your garden bed. Anything from dead leaves and cut grasses to kitchen wastes like coffee grounds and vegetable peelings. These are readily available and costs very little when you have your own compost station set up.

The Bugs

Not all insects are harmful and in organic gardening, you will need to incorporate them into your beds. Earthworms help mulch and enrich the soil continuously and Ladybugs love aphids. Again, knowledge is your best friend when you are introducing new critters to your gardens. Frogs love to eat flying insects so, if your garden is near a pond, you’re in luck.

Place a birdbath near one of your gardens. Attracting birds is a great natural defense. You can also create physical barriers, such as sheer netting which can prevent insects from getting through. You will, however need to be diligent with pest control and a bucket of soapy water will do the deed when necessary on caterpillars and other unwanted pests.

The Plants and Seeds

The type and size of your garden partly dictates the kinds of plants you should grow. You want to choose seeds that can adapt to your soil type, available sunlight, and humidity of your garden. Don’t be afraid to mix and match plant selections that grow healthy together and may actually need each other to survive. If you do chose starter plants you need to make sure they come from strictly organic sources, or you would be defeating the purpose.

You might want to start with vegetables that grow into small shrubs, like tomatoes or peppers, or root crops, like yams and potatoes. Since you are still a beginner in organic gardening, smaller plants will give you good practice.

Add A Little Garden Love

Plants much like people, do best if they are well cared for and loved. Growing your own organic garden is taking it one step further by removing the unhealthy chemicals that surround gardening and using Mother Nature to keep it simple. By going back to basics, some practical know-how and a good solid effort you are well on the way to living a healthier life by growing your gardens naturally.

A Simple Guide to Herb Garden Types and the Simplicity of Herb Garden Kits

Starting and maintaining an herb garden is an exciting journey, at least for me it is. I first started a medicinal herb garden using herb garden kits. Kits are a wonderful way to start growing your very own fresh herbs for a novice or experienced gardener. If you choose to start an herb garden the traditional route you want to make sure that you are organized when starting your herb harden, like anything else without a plan and organization in place you are likely to crash at some point.

So, in essence when staring your herb garden you want to first conceptualize the design of your herb garden. This is achieved by first choosing a location and the type of herbs you want to grow. Your location can be in your windowsill, on your porch or in your yard. The type of herbs you choose to grow will determine where your garden will be as some herbs mostly prefer full sunlight and there are some herbs that require more of a shady area, so familiarity with your herbs that you have interest in growing is essential.

The first thing we will discuss is container gardens. Containers as we know them come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Container can be old barrels, boots, dishes, tubs, buckets, etc; there are absolutely no limitations as to the type of container you choose to use for your plants. Typically herbs grown in a container will need to be watered a bit more than ones grown in ground. This is due to the fact that there is less soil used in pot, and when this is the case it is exposed to more air which means the water evaporates and dries your plants out quicker.

There are many herbs that grow very well in containers, like culinary herbs. Some culinary herbs are thyme, basil, oregano, dill, and parsley. Some benefits of growing your herbs in container is that you can move them around as you need too, they are very easy to maintain and they release awesome fragrances that everyone can enjoy.

You may also want to consider a raised garden. Raised gardens are grown above ground and have high sides. A raised garden can be any depth you choose and is actually a good avenue to take that will allow your garden to be well organized, the only disadvantage of a raised garden is that it could be very costly to build.

Typically, raised gardens can be made with cement bricks, rocks and wood. When creating a raised garden for your edible or herb garden you will want to refrain from using any treated wood material due to the chemicals that is in it.

Next, we will discuss an indoor herb garden. Herb plants are versatile and will grow well inside the home. As long as you meet the growing requirement specific to your herb plants needs you can use any part of your home to cultivate your herb garden. Some benefits to growing your herbs indoors are that they are easily accessible; you can control the temperature, lighting and moisture. In fact, a large number of herb gardeners prefer to grow herbs that are considered difficult to grow indoors because of the control they have over them verses growing them outdoors.

After you have made your decision on how you would like to grow your garden, it is essential to continuously monitor and provide them with the best care possible. This way, you can spot any signs of harm early on and control it without losing your entire plant that you have worked so hard to cultivate.

Happy Gardening!

Creative Ways to Make Your Garden Look Amazing With Outdoor Garden Decorations

Outdoor garden decorations can be any item that helps to enhance the outdoor living area. Over the years more people have began to spend a greater amount of time outside, either relaxing or entertaining. Garden decorations can help the style and improve the area. Although there are thousands of different decorations to choose from, selecting the right ones can be daunting. How to decorate the outside living area may need to be carefully considered depending on the user’s needs and budget.

No matter what the style of the garden there are garden decorations that will suit the area, and help to make it more personal and inviting. Although the outside space is being used often, the weather still is a hindrance, and the outdoor garden decorations need to be weatherproof or they will become damaged. Adding even the smallest of items to the garden area will help to turn it from a garden into an outside living area. Having a theme is becoming very popular, and enables people to choose the perfect outdoor garden decorations.

Pots and plants are an excellent way to enhance the look of any garden. They are affordable, and available in many different colors and styles. Pottery is also ideal and can be used to place small plants in, or simply on its own. If the right pottery is chosen it will withstand all weather conditions, and remain looking great for many years. The amount of different garden decorations that are placed in the area depends on the overall look that is trying to be achieved. Although some gardens look great when packed with different items, others look better with a minimalist look.

Lighting is an extremely important feature in any garden, and incorporating this into outdoor decorations is perfect. There are many different styles of lighting available to enhance the overall effect of the area. Lantern lighting is very popular, and can look great when included in many different themes. Tropical, Mardi Gras, Chinese and Bamboo are all available in this style of lighting. Solar lighting is another great alternative that can save money as well as serving a purpose.

Plaques, statues and planters are all fantastic garden decorations that can add another dimension to the garden. They can be as garden themed or as whimsical as the owner wants, there are no rules when it comes to outdoor garden decorations. Statues look great when carefully considered, although they need to be seen if they are over the top they may dominate the area. Chinese plaques and symbols are very calming to have in the garden, as well as water fountains and features. These can help to set the mood in the garden, and to enhance the environment and feeling.

Encouraging nature is always a great idea in the garden; birdbaths make great outdoor garden decorations. They not only encourage the wildlife, but also allow the water feature element to be enjoyed. No matter what garden decorations are used, the outdoor area should simply be an extension of the inside living area. They should both flow very easily from one to another, allowing guests to move freely throughout the whole house and garden.