Gardening: Keeping your organic garden healthy

Five tips every gardener should know.

| June 2009

So you have gone through the trouble to plant a garden to be proud of. You have planned it, collected the proper supplies, and sown your seeds. You are all done now, right? Wrong! You have to help that organic garden thrive.

There are five simple things that most new gardeners overlook when they plant their first garden. Once everything is planted, the real care begins. You have to tend your garden well in order to produce the best results.

Tip #1: Water your garden.

Watering is the number one responsibility you have when it comes to a garden. The best practice is to get into a routine and water consistently every day at about the same time. Don't let a rainfall get you off track; you still have to water the next day.

Tip #2: Water in the morning.

I know this goes hand in hand with Tip #1, but this one is equally important. If you water in the afternoon, the heat from the sun can evaporate the water before your plants have fed. It is best to water prior to 10 a.m. when possible.

Tip #3: Weed your garden. It sounds like a no-brainer, but weeds are a vampire to your garden. They suck the nutrients and the water out of the soil. You have to get out there every day and pull weeds before they are allowed to take root. Dig them out when possible to remove all traces.

Tip #4: Rid yourself of pests. Since you are growing an organic garden, over-the-counter pesticides are a no-go. You can make your own homemade pesticide that will assist you if your garden is being overrun. Mix two teaspoons of dish soap with one cup of vegetable oil. Add a couple of teaspoons of this to a spray bottle with water in it. Then spray the heavily infected areas with this solution to control pests.

Tip #5: Care for your spot all year round. If you let the garden just be overrun with weeds, leaves, etc, in the off season, you are asking for trouble. Even if you are just seasonally growing, you should keep that patch of earth clean. Caring for your garden area year round will lead to a more bountiful, disease-free harvest the next season.

Armed with these five tips and a 'can do' attitude, you are well on your way to a healthy organic garden.


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