Friday, March 30, 2012

5 Easy Ways to Be Organic!

I think in many ways people who garden in the "traditional" or "conventional" methods* don't realize how easy it really can be to garden organically. In fact some of these organic ideas are probably done by everyone who gardens in some capacity. For this Friday's Friday Five let's take a look at 5 easy ways to be organic.  There are many more ways but these five are good to get your started!

5 Easy Ways to Be Organic

  1. Feed the soil with compost!  Whether your purchase your compost or make it yourself, compost is one of the best things you can add to your soil.  It boosts the retention of moisture, improves drainage in clay soils, adds nutrients, and puts beneficial microbes into the soil.  Compost won't burn your plants and makes the soil easier for plants to grow a string root system.  You can't go wrong with compost!
  2. Ditch the chemical sprays in favor of organic sprays.  Sprays with neem oil do a great job at controlling insects and it's extracted from a plant.  Diatomaceous earth can also be used to control insects without doing any harm to animals.  Diatomaceous earth comes from fossilized creatures that are crushed.  The crushed remains are sharp and cause injuries to all kinds of insects.  
  3. Consider companion planting!  I've touched on this before but you can add beauty and function to your garden by integrating flowers and herbs in with your vegetables and fruits.  Once you explore companion planting and learn about it giving it a try is a "no brainer"!
  4. Mulch!  Use organic mulches in the garden to retain moisture, keep plant roots cooler, and help feed the soil.  Organic mulches like shredded bark chips, hardwood mulch, pine needles, and straw all will break down eventually and feed the soil as they do.  Don't choose stone mulches.  You do get some permanency with them but that permanency is at the cost of feeding the soil and is difficult to remove later. 
  5. Make your own compost!  This should go without saying but really can't be said enough. If we go back to number one on this list you can see why we compost but making it yourself rather than buying it is easy and cheap!  Vegetable kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, yard waste, farm animal manure (chickens, goats, horses, cow, etc.), leaves, grass clippings, and many other things can go into your compost bin.  Your compost bin doesn't have to be special either.  There's no reason to spend money when a pile in the back will be sufficient.  My pallet compost bin has produced compost just fine!

Have you explored organic gardening yet?  If not I hope you'll give it a try!  


Previous Friday Fives

*"Traditional" and "Conventional" in this case are used to refer to the methods of gardening that use chemicals.  Prior to their invention everything was organic gardening!

1 comment :

  1. Thank you so much for telling us about the organic insect spray. I thought just soapy water was all I could use. I compost here in AZ...just dump the stuff in a pile, use a shovel to turn it now and then, spray it with water now and then. I don't have a container of any kind. I have made a large bed in this sandy soil. I dumped some cow manure on it, then some of my compost, and finally some garden soil. I've never mulched, but I think I will need to now that we are in AZ. I appreciate all your advice always!

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