As the trend of organic gardening becomes more popular, so do holistic lifestyles. People who want to develop a more environmentally friendly attitude may not know where to start to reap the benefits of organic gardening. Read these tips to get started.
Use groundcover perennials in sunny areas. Groundcover perennials can be used as an alternative to grass where there is minimal foot traffic, or in an area where grass is difficult to maintain, such as on a slope. They are also handy in between larger perennials, as they help to suppress weeds and keep the soil moist and cool. Good choices for groundcover perennials are creeping thyme, ajuga, various sedums, alyssum and armeria.
If you are new to gardening, be sure to keep it simple. Overplanting at first can lead to stress and a backyard that’s a mess rather than a beautiful garden. Also, larger gardens are more prone to weeds. Keep it small at first, and you will have a better experience.
Use organic matter in your garden. When you remove a plant, fill in the soil with organic matter so that the soil can renew itself quickly. You can use a small quantity of organic matter if you notice that some of your plants do not look healthy, or to prepare the soil at the beginning of a new season.
Protect your seedlings from frost with clay pots. Early spring is a perilous time for a new garden. You want to get your plants going as soon as possible to ensure plenty of grow time, but a single frost can wipe out your fragile seedlings. To protect your tiny plants from frost at night, simply place a small, upside down clay pot on each seedling. They will insulate from the cold and protect from the wind.
Think about leaving some areas of your lawn uncut. Long grass provides a great habitat for beetles, young amphibians and grasshoppers. Grass is also an important food source for some butterflies and caterpillars. Gardens without wildlife would be very sterile environments, and most plants can’t reproduce without the help of wildlife.
Think about planting perennials rather than annuals when it comes to flower gardening. The life cycle of an annual lasts only one year at most, which can be a waste of money and time. Perennials come back year after year for as long as four years, which means less time planting each year, and more time to enjoy instead.
Make sure the hole you plant for a tree or shrub is at least three times wider than the root ball of the seedling. Most of the root system of a tree or shrub is found in the top foot of the soil. Planting a seedling in a small hole will result in slower growth and failure to thrive.
Treat your flowering bulbs correctly after they finish blooming and they will return again next year. Allow the foliage to remain for at least eight weeks after flowering to ensure that your bulbs are able to photosynthesize enough food for the following season. Removing the leaves earlier could result in weak flowers or no flowers at all the next year.
The easiest way to dry out herbs is by laying newspaper across the backseat of your car and arranging the herbs in a single layer on top of it. The herbs will dry quickly in warm weather, your car will smell remarkably fresh, and cleanup is a breeze.
Deadhead annual flowers constantly. This will encourage new growth and promote flowering all season. With perennials, cut the entire plant down by a third after flowering. It will bush out and provide you with a new flush of flowers later in the season. At the end of the season, leave the spent flowers on plants until they dry up, and collect the seeds.
To keep air flowing through your compost pile, stand a large PVC pipe with punched holes in the center of your pile so the air flows up and down the pipe, and then through the holes directly into the pile. The air movement helps your soil decomposers create the heat needed to jumpstart the decay process.
You’ll save time and energy if you keep tools nearby while working in your garden. Put them into a basket you carry with you, or use an apron with many pockets and hanging loops. Tools you’ll need to garden efficiently include towels, gloves, pruning shears and other plant-specific tools.
Research plants before bringing them home. When you are trying to get the best plants for your organic landscape, you should take the time to get educated. Chose plants that are suited to growing conditions you already have, rather than trying to build an environment for a plant you didn’t properly plan for.
The more organic gardening tips you are able to pick up, the easier gardening will eventually become for you. Remember that these tips are only the starting point.