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Ideas To Help You Start Organic Gardening

The world of organic gardening is very vast and exciting. There are so many ways that one can enter and use their knowledge of this field to help themselves grow healthier “green” plants. It depends completely on your skills and environment. That said, no matter what your organic gardening skills are, here are some tips to help you along.

Choosing a tree. When buying a container-grown tree, remove it from the pot and examine the roots. Don’t buy a tree that is pot-bound with a mass of congested roots, or one that has roots growing out of the holes in the bottom of the pot. Make sure that the container has been thoroughly watered, and check for any yellowing leaves or dead branches.

To maximize the benefits of compost, put it in your garden about two weeks before you plant. Compost actually needs time to integrate with soil and once you combine the two they need time to stabilize. Plan to gather enough compost to fertilize your garden a couple of weeks ahead of planting to produce healthier and stronger plants.

Sow plants in succession to each other for a steady harvest. When growing vegetables such as corn, snap peas, and lettuce that mature on a very predictable schedule, make two or three sowings two weeks apart to lengthen the harvest season. You can also plant two different varieties on the same day with different maturation times to ensure a longer season.

During the hot season, water your lawn a couple of hours before the sun rises. If you water during the day, much of the water will evaporate before it gets a chance to be absorbed into the ground. When you water before the sunrise, the water will have a chance to go deep into the soil, allowing the roots to absorb the water.

Vegetable water makes a wonderful fertilizer. Next time you boil or steam your vegetables to eat, set aside the cooking water. This water is chock full of nutrients, and will provide a nice, nutritious boost to your garden. Make sure the water is thoroughly cooled first hot water can damage and even kill plant roots.

Start with a small manageable garden if you are new to gardening. If you are inexperienced, gardening can be stressful and frustrating. By starting with a smaller size, you keep your experiences positive and your plants under control. Gardens do require work and upkeep on a regular basis so keep that in mind.

You can get most of the gardening tools you need second-hand. Visit yard sales and estate sales near you to look for gardening tools at a very low price. You can also visit online trading or donation groups to trade items you have for gardening tools, or even to find find free tools.

Grow crops that have a high value to you. Planting flowers that are attractive can be great. However, planting fruits and vegetables that you consume on a regular basis will save you money and allow you to eat healthier. It can be anything from tomatoes and carrots for your salads to herbs for seasoning.

Treat yourself while you garden with a little petroleum jelly. Before donning your gardening gloves, apply a bit of petroleum jelly or your favorite moisturizing cream to your hands. The gloves protect from the dirt, while your hand movement works the cream into your skin. You will finish your gardening with silky soft hands!

Install a sprinkler system to water your garden. It can be difficult to find the time to water your plants each day, particularly if you work outside of the home. Proper hydration is essential to the success of your garden, so putting in a simple sprinkler system can save you time and energy.

Once you begin gathering produce from your garden, share it with your friends and family. It is extremely satisfying to give them a gift containing something that you made with your own hands. Seeing the pleased reactions of the recipients, also motivates you to continue working hard on your garden.

Make sure your garden will get sun before planting the seeds. Plants love the sun and will grow better when exposed to it. If it is not too much trouble, consider moving your garden to another area to get the maximum amount of sunshine. This way your plants will grow bigger.

If you live in the city, you can still reap the benefits of organic gardening through container gardening. Herbs especially will thrive in indoor pots, as long as they are large enough. Container gardening can be easier than outdoor gardening when going organic, as there is less risk of exposure to insect pests or weeds.

Organic gardening is a fascinating and exciting world that is only limited by your knowledge and environment. There are endless products and techniques you can sue for your organic garden. Start experimenting to find something new to use on your organic garden or even improve upon a technique. Use these tips to grow!

A Healthy Start: How To Grow An Organic Garden

Gardening is a great hobby. Whether it’s a small patch in your back yard or your entire lawn, it makes your home look beautiful and inviting. But if you’re a beginner, you might not know where to start. This article contains many suggestions that can help you answer some of the questions you might have and get started.

If you have a vegetable garden and plan on eating the vegetables, you should inspect them carefully every week. Look for bugs and worms or traces of disease and damages. Do not eat a vegetable that does not look healthy. Make sure you wash your vegetables carefully before you cook them.

Wait for the right moment if you plan on dividing a plant. Leave perhaps two years to grow and divide it at the end of the season when it looks at its best. If your plant shows signs of diseases or has areas with fewer leaves and flowers than others, it is too late.

Easily dry herbs using your car. Your car is the perfect place to dry herbs, providing a safe, dry, and warm location. Simply place some newspaper or other protection on a car seat, and arrange the herbs in a single, even layer. Make sure the windows are rolled up, and close up the car. Your herbs will be dry and ready to store. Length of time will depend on the temperature, but can be as little as an hour or two. As a bonus, your car will smell wonderful!

If you are going to be doing a lot of work in your garden very close to the ground, such as weeding or planting, use a garden stool or pad to protect your knees. This will make it easier to get back up again and move once you finish, and will also reduce bruising on your knees.

Make sure to pick the right seeds for your location and zone. Certain crops grow better in certain locations. Seed packets usually have information regarding USDA zones. Information regarding USDA Plant Hardiness Zones is also available online. A good example of this is growing oranges in warmer climates and apples in cooler climates.

An excellent way to store the goodies from a homegrown garden is to freeze them in small batches. Using small sealable plastic bags and cutting small amounts of fresh vegetables every few days will help store the extras from the garden. Just bag and toss in the freezer and the packets can be added at any time to soups and pastas year round.

Test your soil before purchasing fertilizer. Fertilizers provide essential nutrients to plants, such as phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen. However, fertilizers can be very expensive. By testing your garden soil to see which nutrients it is lacking, you can avoid spending extra money on a complex fertilizer, and instead purchase a fertilizer containing only the nutrients that your soil requires.

Make your own compost ahead of time rather than purchasing it. Adding compost to your garden gives your plants a needed boost to grow successfully. Begin saving your grass cuttings, raked up leaves, egg shells, and skin from fruits and vegetables in a sturdy bin 6 months prior to your gardening season. Your compost will then be ready to mix in with your dirt on planting day.

Treat yourself while you garden with a little petroleum jelly. Before donning your gardening gloves, apply a bit of petroleum jelly or your favorite moisturizing cream to your hands. The gloves protect from the dirt, while your hand movement works the cream into your skin. You will finish your gardening with silky soft hands!

Know your climate zone. This can be the difference between a thriving garden and one that never grows. Knowing your climate zone will help you choose flowers, fruits, vegetables and trees that are perfect for where you are. This way, you get a bit of a headstart when designing a garden.

Make sure your seeds have enough room to grow. It is fine to have many seeds in one container before they sprout, but you will have to replant them as they grow. Use containers that are actually big enough for one plant, and avoid having more than one plant in each container.

Use mulch to fertilize your beds. You have to make sure you spread mulch evenly, as you need a certain quantity and do not want to waste any of it. Sprinkle mulch as best as you can and use a rack to spread it flatly and evenly. Make sure you cover all the areas that need it.

There is a great satisfaction in enjoying your garden after all the effort you’ve put into making it. It is a great, fun activity but also one that takes time and patience. If you follow the tips in this article, you will find that making the garden of your dreams is easier than you might think.

Short on Floral Inspiration? Start with the Vessel, Says David Stark

If you ever find yourself lacking in inspiration for a great floral arrangement, take this tip from event designer David Stark: start with the vessel. It’s a simple trick, and a good investment—after all, the vases will stay while the flowers come and go.

The team at David Stark Design created five fall arrangements just for us—all with flowers available now, and all chosen for the beautiful handmade vessels in which they sit. Most of these flowers can be had on the cheap, and all the arrangements are simple enough to recreate at home. So find a favorite vessel—mug, dish, or vase—and get to work:

Photography by David Stark Design for Gardenista. 

Fall Flower Arrangement by David Stark for Gardenista

Above: The team sourced New Jersey-grown dahlias from the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket in Brooklyn—”Dahlias are the peonies of autumn,” says David—and paired them with black-and-white Splatter Mugs by LA artist Peter Shire. According to David, the key to this arrangement is having the courage to pair a bold color with an equally bold graphic pattern—here, “assertively decorative” magenta dahlias with subtly colored, but strongly graphic vessels. “The flowers arrange themselves!” he says. For sourcing information, visit Echo Park Pottery or Peter Shire Studio.

Fall Flower Arrangement by David Stark for Gardenista

Above: Armed with this bud vase from Gardenista favorite Cécile Daladier, David assures us even a complete beginner can create floral arrangements akin to sculpture. “The dialogue here with this charming vase is not only with the blooms, but also with the gesture and structure of the stems,” he says. 

David’s team arranged drumstick alliums and passion vine in the three-holed shallow vase, which forces skinny-stemmed flowers like alliums to stand on their own. However, notes David’s team, because the dish is so shallow it’s important to keep the water topped up or the flowers will wilt. When arranging several of these vases in a group, “variation is key.” For soucing information, visit Cécile Daladier.

Fall Flower Arrangement by David Stark for Gardenista

Above: Here, the team paired ‘PowWow White’ echinacea with ceramic flower discs of David’s own design. Made in collaboration with Detroit ceramicist Victoria Shaheen for Culture Lab Detroit, the hand-made discs will be available starting October 30 at design shop Nora (in Detroit and online). Stay tuned for more on a David Stark-designed pop-up shop at Nora to be held October 30-November 15.

Fall Flower Arrangement by David Stark for Gardenista

Above: David Stark’s Ceramic Flower Rests come in six sizes, each with different hole patterns and each paired with a cylindrical glass vase. Check Nora for availability beginning October 30.

Fall Flower Arrangement by David Stark for Gardenista

Above: These two designs are all about “architectural juxtaposition,” says David—of shape, form, color, and texture—anchored by sculptural vessels from Brooklyn artist Cody Hoyt. The team arranged scabiosa, French anemones, and optic grass in the shorter vase, and a burst of white sedum blossoms in the tall one. David’s tip: “Because these piece stand a-kilter, have fun with that: cluster various heights of vessels and blooms to create an architectural arrangement.” For more on Hoyt’s high art vessels, visit Patrick Parrish

Fall Flower Arrangement by David Stark for Gardenista

Above: This terra cotta urn by potter Frances Palmer calls out for a full fall arrangement—”lush seasonal abundance,” in David’s words. The team filled it with locally harvested dahlias, basil blossoms, amaranthus, sunflowers, eucalyptus, echinacea, and smartweed. Note: The urn has a drainage hole for planted arrangements, so cut flowers require a watertight liner tucked inside. The No. Five Terra Cotta Two Handle Urn is $ 350 at Frances Palmer Pottery. 

For more from David, see: 

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