Organic Gardening 101 | Living the Country Life
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Organic Gardening 101

Cultivate a more earth-friendly garden with a few simple changes to your gardening habits. Here's how.
  • Improve Your Soil

    When taking care of your garden's health and productivity, nurturing your soil is key. Adding organic materials in the spring, like compost and chopped leaves, will improve any soil. Decomposed animal manures are beneificial soil additions, as well.

    Date Published: January 15, 2018
    Date Updated: January 15, 2018
  • Make and Use Compost

    Create your own compost material by collecting organic wastes in an outdoor pile or bin and letting nature take its course. Naturally decomposed waste materials add fertility when dug into soil, aid plant growth, encourage soil organisms, and help retain moisture.

    Date Published: January 15, 2018
    Date Updated: January 15, 2018
  • Practice Prevention

    Prevent weeds, pests, and diseases by different locations each year to reduce disease. Select plant varieties, such as heirlooms or improved hybrids, with proven resistance to disease. Water the garden early in the morning or late in the afternoon, directing water to the soil and keeping foliage dry. Use mulch to prevent weeds and preserve soil moisture. 

    Date Published: January 15, 2018
    Date Updated: January 15, 2018
  • Choose Right

    Plants need plenty of sun exposure, soil conditions, moisture levels, and nutrients to survive. Keep plants where they'll naturally thrive. A plant deprived of the light it needs will be more susceptible to disease. Healthier, stronger plants fend off disease or pests and yield more. Avoid pampering plants with too much water or fertilizer. 

    Date Published: January 15, 2018
    Date Updated: January 15, 2018
  • Avoid Chemicals

    Learn to identify problematic insects and beneficial ones (natural predators), and research solutions to problems. Start with the least-toxic solution. Instead of reaching for an herbicide, pull weeds. Instead of depending on pesticides, minimize and manage pests. 

    Date Published: January 15, 2018
    Date Updated: January 15, 2018
  • Consider Alternative Controls

    When managing a pest or disease problem, think about the consequences and devise a strategy before you act. Some pest problems are mainly cosmetic. If a disease has infected a plant, remove and trash affected plant parts. Banning the use of pesticides allows beneficial insects to deter insect pests. The Japanese lady beetle, for example, feeds on aphids. Instead of pesticids, spray soft-bodied insect pests with a blast of water. A hot-pepper-and-garlic spray gives plants armor against aphids, flea beetles, caterpillars, cabbage worms, and a host of other chewing and sucking insects. 

    Date Published: January 15, 2018
    Date Updated: January 15, 2018
  • Observe and Act

    Regular walks through the garden will allow you to look carefully at leaves, stems, flowers, fruits, and the ground around plants to spot signs of problems in time to try effective controls. Most steps taken to manage pests of all kinds require repetition because insects, weeds, and diseases have life cycles. Repeating a method of pest control several times within a month helps minimize the problem and successive generations. 

    Date Published: January 15, 2018
    Date Updated: January 15, 2018
  • Invite Wildlife

    Feathered friends will return the favor by eating insect pests in your garden throughout the gardening season. Set out birdhouses, bird feeders in winter and early spring, and birdbaths as further enticement. Also include trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals that will sustain birds with their favorite berries and seeds as well as shelter. Replace large lawn areas with native plantings, which sustain wildlife. 

    Date Published: January 15, 2018
    Date Updated: January 15, 2018

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