Growing Natural, Organic Food

Healthy Organic Gardening at Home

Nothing tastes better than produce you grow at home. Forget farm-to-table. Backyard-to-table is the next big thing. While it is easy to buy strawberries at the grocery store anytime of the year, if you’ve tasted a freshly picked berry, you know fresh is best. In a single bite, you can instantly taste the difference.

Through the rise of farmers markets, we’ve been able to get back in touch with our food and our farmers. These markets not only help us to know where our food comes from, but to also to learn more about nutrition, cooking and agriculture. Growing your own, natural, organic garden is easier than you think. And, you will save hundreds of dollars on groceries. Plus, it’s so rewarding to taste the food that you have nurtured and grown yourself and know exactly how it was grown.

It you’re just starting out, try growing organic herbs. They don’t require much work and will enhance the flavor of your meals, are aromatic, and can be used for natural medicine.

If you have children, plant tomatoes. Eating them fresh off of the vine teaches your children where their food comes from and encourages healthy eating habits. Besides, even the pickiest eaters will be much more likely to eat what they grow.

Organic Gardening Tips

1.) If you cannot use finished compost for a while then cover the compost pile with a tarp to avoid leeching the nutrients out of the compost.

2.) Companion planting is an excellent way to improve your garden. Some plants replenish nutrients lost by another one, and some combinations effectively keep pests away.

3.) Dry your herbs at the end of the summer by tying sprigs together to form small bunches. Tie them together with a rubber band and hang, tips down, in a dry place out of the sun. Keep the bunches small to ensure even circulation. Store dry in labeled canning jars, either whole or crumbled. Freezing is also a good way to preserve herbs.

4.) Water in the morning to help avoid powdery mildew and other fungal diseases that are often spread by high humidity.

5.) The longer the growing season the more compost is needed in the soil. A longer growing season requires more nutrients and organic matter in the soil.

6.) Attract ladybugs to your garden with nectar-producing plants such as parsley, dill and fennel.

7.) Coffee grounds make excellent mulch around acid-loving plants.

8.) In general, thinner leaved plants need more water to stay alive, thicker leaved plants need less.

9.) New beds require plenty of compost, soil amendments and double digging for that extra kick.

10.) When watering, try to water deeply and thoroughly. Frequent, shallow waterings train your plants to keep their roots near the surface, making them less hardy and more likely to suffer when deprived of water.

11.) Rotate your crops each year to help reduce pest and disease problems as well as correct nutrient deficiencies and excesses.

12.) Pest management begins with healthy soil. It produces healthy plants which are better able to withstand disease and insect damage.

13.) Diatomaceous earth makes an excellent organic insecticide – it is an abrasive white powder used to damage the cuticle, skin and joints of insects. It also makes an excellent slug barrier.

15.) Once a seed sprouts it must be kept watered. If it dries out, it dies. If seeds are lightly covered with soil, they may need to be gently sprinkled with water once or twice a day to keep them moist.

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