Are you looking to grow your own organic garden, but have no idea where to get started? Or, maybe you already have one, and you’re looking to spruce it up a bit? No matter where you are, these top 10 organic gardening tips should help.
Little daily stressors have a way of getting to us, don’t they? Maybe your weekends are spent doing more laundry than you’d like, and you’re feeling like you need a new creative outlet.
Gardening just might be perfect for you, then. Over 90% of people who garden say it improves their mood. If you’re ready for a new project that’ll nourish your mind, body, and soul, gardening might be for you.
Getting started can be intimidating, but with these 7 organic gardening tips, you’ll be on your way to eating gorgeous, homegrown veggies for dinner every night! Read on to learn more!
Start Seeds Right
Unfortunately, starting a garden isn’t as simple as burying a seed in the ground. If you want healthy plants that will live for a long time, you need to start those seeds ahead of time.
While there are some awesome seed starter kits out there, this doesn’t have to be expensive. You can use almost anything to start seeds, from cardboard boxes to newspapers to eggshells!
If you live in a cold climate and are starting seeds indoors, don’t worry. You can start seeds beneath fluorescent tube lighting. In fact, baby sprouts love this type of light when they’re young, so don’t let a cold climate stop you from sprouting that garden!
It’ll make you happy to see your little sprouts in a corner of your home, too!
You don’t necessarily need raised beds to start a garden, but they sure do help. With a raised bed garden, you can control the environment that your plants grow in. Often, natural soil isn’t as nutrient-rich as it needs to be for a garden to thrive.
One of the biggest benefits of raised beds is the ability to create a loose, well-aerated environment for plants. This will allow more space for roots to spread out and minimize root rot.
Raised beds are also great at preventing unwanted pests from entering the garden. Many won’t be able to climb those tall walls! For soil parasites like nematodes, line the bottom of your raised beds with plastic.
DIY Your Trellises and Cages
Organic gardening doesn’t have to cost a fortune to get started. If you want to grow tomatoes and beans but don’t want to invest in trellises and cages, don’t fret. You can DIY them!
DIY bean trellises tend to work best with raised beds, but you can create them in a flat garden, too. There are tons of DIY bean trellis tutorials online– most will require wood strips, a few tools like a hammer and nails, and some tough string for the beans to grow up along.
For tomatoes, you can create DIY tomato ladders in place of cages. These are fun, functional, and they look really nice in the garden!
If you don’t have the time or resources to hammer together a tomato ladder, don’t worry– there are tons of other hacks for creating tomato cages using items you already own. Perhaps the most interesting is hanging five-gallon buckets upside down.
Upside down tomato planting is all the rage among tomato lovers right now!
The Joys of Composting
If you’re not familiar with composting, you need to be. It’s one of the gardening basics that will reap the most rewards for your garden.
Composting is the process of leftover food breaking down and turning into soil. Although you can purchase compost at your local garden center, it’s never as nutrient-rich as home compost is. For instance, eggshells are 96% calcium— throw those into your compost for some seriously delicious plant food.
Just be sure not to include any animal products in your compost. These can breed harmful bacteria that will definitely not make your plants happy.
There are a ton of other things you can compost, though, to create the best nutrient-rich soil for your plant friends. You can even compost dryer lint!
Sure, you can buy fertilizer, but why not make it yourself with things you already have at the house? Gardening supplies can get expensive, so it’s a good idea to practice sustainable gardening as often as possible!
How much coffee do you go through in a week? Be honest! We’re willing to bet you throw away tons of grounds.
Did you know you can use these grounds in your garden?? Acidic soil loving plants will go gaga for the stuff, and an added bonus is that it’ll ward away unwanted pests.
Mix your grounds with a neutral soil to be sure it’s not too acidic. This way, it won’t alter your soil’s pH too much as it decomposes.
If you’re not a coffee drinker, you can add vinegar to your soil for a similar effect! It doesn’t matter which type you use– your plants will be happy with good ol’ white vinegar.
To create this natural fertilizer, mix one tablespoon of vinegar in with one gallon of water. Every three months, water your plants with it. Voila!
Implement a Residential Retaining Wall
Do you want a huge garden, but don’t want to build a raised bed that big? Well, residential retaining walls could be your solution. They prevent natural soil from becoming soggy, and will protect your garden against flooding if you live close to the water.
Learn everything you need to know about residential retaining walls here to find out if implementing one at your home is a good idea for your garden!
Welcome Helpful Friends
While there are certainly some pests who are not your plants’ friends, some creatures will help get rid of those unwelcome guests and help your plants grow bigger and stronger!
Plant flowers and greens that welcome good guests, like:
- Lantana for butterflies
- Lavender and Rhododendron for bees
- Dill and Fennel for ladybugs
- Yarrow for praying mantis
Besides getting rid of unwanted pests, good bugs like bees play a huge role in pollinating your garden!
Bees often work hard to forage and pollinate plants, helping the latter grow and reproduce. As they gather nectar and pollen from the area, bees also spread diversity and sustainability. Getting started with beekeeping is quite easy. You only need to do a little research about the kind of bees you’d prefer and look for honey bees for sale online or in-store. You can then begin looking for the materials you will need to set up the hive and prepare for the arrival of the bees.
Organic Gardening Tips and More
Now that you’ve read up on some of the best organic gardening tips for newbie gardeners, hopefully you’ve picked up a few tricks to start your own organic garden!
Want to read more about garden design? Try transforming your outdoor space with a hardscape approach!