Organic Gardening Tips

 

EASTON, PA JUNE 16--LAFAYETTE ORGANIC GARDEN--Jodie Frey, Assoc Dean & Dir of Rec Svcs, works at Lafayette's organic garden near Metzgar Fields on Sullivan Trail in Forks Twp. recently.

  1. If you can not use finished compost for a while, cover the pile with a tarp to avoid leaching 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. Coffee

Vegetable Gardening Soil Conditions

Vegetable-Garden-Soil

Overview

Several separate but related factors control vegetable garden soil conditions. These include drainage, organic matter content, pH reading and nutrient content. All can be manipulated and managed to some extent by a gardener who understands what qualities are needed by leafy and root vegetables.

Drainage

Sandy soil drains well, while clay soil drains poorly. The ideal lies between these extremes. A sandy silt loam soil will allow water to drain slowly but easily. Percentages may vary, but a soil of this type will have about 45 percent sand, 40 percent silt and 15 percent clay. A classic loam has percentages closer to 40-40-20.

Organic Matter

A silt loam will have a fairly high organic matter content–perhaps as much as 5 or 6 percent. This organic matter is sometimes called humus. It consists of vegetative matter (compost or cover crop residues) that has decomposed to a point at which it is stable and can break down no further. In the garden, it helps retain moisture and plant nutrients.

Soil pH Reading

The soil pH scale is a measure of acidity and alkalinity that runs from 0 (acid) to 14 (alkaline), with pH 7 being neutral. Most vegetables like soil

How to start Gardening by your own

how to start

Gardening is the most interesting job that I have ever seen in my life. It is not only practice of greener house, but also it gives a lot of joy for creating life and taking care of them. It also contributes a large to the greener and cleaner environment. If you look at gardening at once, it may look very strange and confusing for you. But it is pretty simple to start with. If you have the passion and zeal for the most precious creation, then you can start off at any point of time.

Simplicity is the Key

If you start thinking about the garden designing that you would create at the first point then you are just complicating the process. Gardening is not the decorating, it is creation. You need to understand that you must plant and grow flowers and plants at first to decorate it later. Just go with the flow and grow what you love. If you are fond of flowers then start growing it. The location of the garden is however very important. The open it is in front

Vegetable Gardening Tips for Central Florida

Central Florida encompasses the middle of the “Sunshine State,” including major counties and cities like Orlando, Brevard and Volusia. Gardeners in these areas can raise dozens of types of vegetables, including quintessential backyard crops like tomatoes and pole beans. The University of Florida has region- and season-specific tips and suggestions for the Floridian gardener to help her maximize her Central Florida harvest.

Fertilization

Many Central Florida gardens have soil that’s low in nutrients; the University of Florida’s “Master Gardener Handbook” recommends spreading a basic garden fertilizer to help encourage vigorous vegetable growth. The university suggests using 3 lbs. of 6-6-6 fertilizer or 2 lbs. of 15-15-15 fertilizer for every 100 square feet of garden space. Split the fertilizer application in half, applying the first half 2 weeks before planting and the second half when you plant your vegetables.

Soil pH

Most vegetable species thrive best in soil that has a pH level ranging between 5.8 and 6.3. Many garden stores sell soil testing kits. Soils with a high pH can be lowered with approximately 2 lbs. of sulfur per 100 square feet of soil, according to the University of Florida. If the pH is below 5.8, it can be sufficiently raised using approximately 3

Gardening Tips for Beginners

Getting Started: How to Grow Vegetables From Seeds or From Plants

Starting From Seeds

If you’d like to start from the source—the seed itself—follow these gardening tips for beginners to get your garden up and going:

  1. Buy pots and planting soil.
  2. Depending on the vegetable, prepare your seeds by soaking them. When they look swollen, they are ready to be planted. The moisture helps them to grow better. Make sure to not soak them too long (several hours or over night should be long enough).
  3. Plant in May and keep indoors for 1 month in the window where they will get sunshine before transferring outdoors.
  4. Water daily until the soil is damp. Do not over water.
  5. After 1 month, transfer to an outdoor garden.
  6. Follow the steps below on where and when to plant and how to tend to your garden.

Note: The best plants to start from seeds include cucumbers, peppers, pumpkins, squash, and tomatoes.

Starting From Plants

If you are open to starting your garden from plants you buy at your local nursery, follow these simple gardening tips for beginners to get on your way to a hearty vegetable garden:

  1. Buy the plants from your local nursery.
  2. Keep the root ball in tact when transferring from the plant container to your

Beginning Flower Gardening Tips

A garden full of color and beauty is easy to achieve with the right planning. The success of any beginning flower garden is following a few basic steps before the flowers are even planted. Careful forethought and planning will produce beautiful blooms that last all growing season, and require little maintenance.

Location

The location of a flower bed is determined by the requirements of the specific flowers. Most flowers, like roses and lilies, prefer the warmth and light of the sun. Certain types of flowers do better in the shade, such as lily of the valley. If you are fortunate to have a spot with good drainage, bright sunlight and good soil, the blooms will be endless from spring through fall. Beautiful blooms are also possible in shady locations. Beginning gardeners who are planting in locations where there is full sunlight should choose flowers that are easy to grow, like marigolds, zinnias, morning glories and bachelor buttons. These seeds can be sown directly into the soil when the weather turns warm and the sunlight warms the soil.

Soil Preparation

Productive flower gardening begins with quality soil. There are three types of soil in most gardens: clay, sandy and loam. Clay soil is hard, does

Flower Fertilizing Gardening Tips

Flowers depend on soil nutrients for good growth, and it is up to us to supply these constant nutrients. Good nutrient content can be maintained in soil by an annual application of organic fertilizer and an occasional side dressing during the growing season. Organic fertilizer is safer for your garden. It can be homemade or commercially purchased. “Every home garden should have a compost pile” reports the Cornell University Cooperative Extension paper on good fertilizing practices. Fertilizing needs can differ for various plants, and there are some cautions about over-fertilizing to be aware of.

Types of Fertilizer

Organic fertilizer continually releases nutrients into the soil for your flowers’ healthy growth. Soil repeatedly treated with chemical fertilizer is often called “dead soil.” Organic fertilizers are safer in the garden because they do not kill beneficial insects or harm pets. There are many brands of organic fertilizer especially for flowers. There are also specialized commercial formulas for rose care, azalea care, and vegetable care. Check your local garden center for a certified organic general flower garden compost.

Make Your Own Fertilizer

Flowers benefit from a yearly application of compost. Start your own garden compost pile in a back corner of your garden. Commercial compost makers come

Gardening and Transplanting Plants

Overview

For millions of Americans, gardening is a hobby that can be relaxing, satisfying, and productive, while providing a moderate amount of physical exercise. Backyard gardens can produce armloads of flowers and bushels of vegetables, and form an attractive view for the homeowner and their neighbors. Beginners and experts, the very young and the very old—all can enjoy some type of gardening.

How Plants Are Started

Some plants can only be propagated from cuttings, or by grafting, while most plants are started from seed. It isn’t difficult to learn how to take cuttings and root them to get a new plant—and with just a little more skill, fruit trees and other plants can be grafted. An easy-to-read guide is “Seeds and Propagation” by Susan McClure (Workman Publishing, 1997).

Seeds Versus Transplants

Seed catalogs offer thousands of varieties, so when you find a favorite tomato variety you can keep growing it year after year, or at least for as long as the seed company continues to sell it. The range of transplants (baby plants), whether from mail-order catalogs or a local garden center, will always be more limited—they offer only the most popular varieties, and your favorite might not be among the top-sellers.

The Advantages of Transplants

Transplants

Hydroponic Gardening Tips

Hydroponic gardening is the technique of growing plants in a solution to which nutrients have been added. Because the roots do not have to stretch for food, hydroponic gardening is perfect for small spaces, allowing for indoor gardening all year. Complete hydroponic gardens can be purchased along with the solution, or you can make your own system and solution.

Planting

The best way to get the largest crop from a hydroponic garden is to keep growing, according to the “Complete Guide to Gardening.” Because the plants receive the nutrients directly through the solution, they grow in half the time, so seedlings should be continuously started in smaller containers while awaiting transplant to the larger system. This works in reverse as well. Use the hydroponic system to start seedlings for later transplant outside or start houseplants in a hydroponic solution for later transplant to a pot or container.

The Hydroponic Environment

Plants grown in a hydroponic garden need a suitable environment, including enough light, ventilation and the proper temperature. Use the correct high-intensity discharge lights, specifically metal halides, which emit blue light for leafy green vegetables and high-pressure sodium lights for flowering plants or plants that produce fruit, according to “How To Hydroponics” by Keith

Homemade Gardening Insecticide

Overview

Which is worse, the insects helping themselves to your garden or the outrageous expense of the remedy from the boutique nursery in town? Thankfully, it’s not a choice you have to make, as many simple, inexpensive, organic formulas do a good job of killing or repelling bugs in the vegetable patch.

Dormant Oil Spray

If your trees and shrubs play host to the same pests year after year, consider making the effort to make this oil-soap spray that is applied while the plants are dormant. The film kills overwintering eggs and larvae, preventing their emergence in the spring. To make a concentrate, combine a gallon of oil (mineral, lemon or fish) with a lb. of olive-oil based soap and 1/2 gallon of water into a large pot. Heat on medium until all is one mixed, cloudy suspension. Immediately take one part of this mix, add to 20 or so parts of water, and spray it on dormant foliage, preferably in the very early spring, right before buds swell, and at a temperature above freezing. Make sure every part of the bark gets a good coating.

Nicotine Spray

Nicotine is toxic to bugs and people. Crush four

Rose Food & Pest Control

Overview

Roses are hungry plants. Roses are also tasty to hungry bugs and animals, which makes it important to know how to feed as well as the common pests associated with growing them. In order to have the largest flushes of fragrant blooms and healthy plants possible it is important that each plant get the proper food and pest control they require. Many of the problems rose growers face can be prevented by diet and pest control.

What to Feed Roses

Roses require large amounts of food in order to grow properly. Well-rotted manure mixed in with rotting vegetation gives the micronutrients that make roses thrive. Some gardeners swear by adding fish heads beneath the plant roots for healthy foliage and better blooms. A fish based emulsion is commonly employed successfully as an organic method for feeding roses. This fish emulsion is used for foliar feeding as well as directly at the base of the plants. Other fish-based products include fishmeal and fish hydrolysate. Seaweed, kelp, grass clippings, aged livestock manure, vegetable, and fruit clippings are also commonly used in the feeding of roses.

Identifying and Controlling Aphids

Aphids are the vampires of the plant world. They

Tree Pest and Disease Control Tips

Many people think that the trees in their yards are invincible because they are so large and solid. However, trees are just as susceptible to disease as other plants, but they are a much bigger problem to treat and remove if the infection really sets in. Fortunately, there are a variety of simple pest and disease control tips that you can use to keep your trees happy and healthy.

Sterile Pruning

Sometimes you will notice discolored or spotted leaves or even dead, brittle branches on your tree. Remove these immediately to prevent the spread of disease. Wipe the pruning shears down with rubbing alcohol after every cut. Throw all debris into a garbage bag and dispose of it or burn it rather than allowing it to fall on the ground, where bacterial or fungal infections can reinfect the tree. Quick removal of infected areas of the tree is essential to controlling the spread of infection

Watering

Trees sometimes need additional watering. Water in the early morning to prevent water from creating a humid environment later in the day that is conducive to mold and mildew. Water using a drip hose to prevent splashing, which can lead to fungal infections and

Marigolds As a Pest Control

Overview

Marigolds grow approximately 6 inches tall in a mounded shape. They are considered a tender annual with a strong susceptibility to cold. Flowers appear in yellow, red, orange, maroon and cream depending on the variety. The foliage is fine and feather-like in appearance. Marigolds require very little care once planted. They have been used in the garden as a successful pest repellent for centuries.

Marigold Smell

The smell of the marigold flower is quite pungent. It is believed that the strong smell often confuses flying insects, which aids in repelling pests. Marigolds are commonly planted beneath tomato plants and bell peppers to repel white flies. The smell also seems to repel carrot flies, which often attack garden carrots.

Beans, Cucumbers and Marigolds

Marigolds are often planted between the rows of a variety of beans to ward off beetles and spider mites. Planted at the base of trellised cucumbers, marigolds protects them from numerous pest infestations.

Mexican Marigolds

Mexican marigolds are believed to have an even stronger and more pungent smell than other marigold varieties. It is a common practice to ring the entire garden in Mexican marigolds to help drive off foraging rabbits who do not

Budget Friendly Gardening Tips

Gardening is a great way to save money from your everyday groceries. I myself think there are plenty of benefits you can get from gardening. The vegetables you grow on a garden is fresh and there is a peace of mind when eating those. Lot of people think the cost of gardening is too much and they don’t want to go for that budget. But it a mere misconception, you can have a beautiful garden within a tight budget. You can enjoy healthy and fresh vegetable from your garden within few months. So here are few tips from me to have a garden with in your tight budget.

Sunshine is probable the first thing you need for the gardening purpose. Your plants the sunshine for their growth. So you have a find a place where there is sunshine available during most of the daytime. The place of your garden can save a lot of money for you. If the plants get enough sun they will grow a lot quicker and faster. So be sure to consider the location for gardening. The growing season need a lot of sunlight and using a greenhouse can be a bit costly. One of the companies

Home Gardening Tips To Help Beginners

There are quite a few benefits associated with home gardening and they may include:

  • Saving money
  • Family activity; home gardening is one activity that you can engage in as a family
  • Stress reliever
  • Home gardening give you an opportunity of growing your own herbs and spices

Starting your own home garden is an easy process if you know the fundamentals of the activity.

How to start your home garden

  1. Factors to consider before starting your garden

There are a few factors that you will have to consider before you start your garden.

  1. Type of garden to start; there are a different types of gardens; vegetable garden (most common type), herb garden and flower garden. After you select the type, you will have to consider the type of crops you are going to plant. Remember that different crops have different requirements.
    Spot to plant; this is one of the most important considerations to make. You need to observe the different spots you want to grow your crops. Be keen to check how the sun moves across the spot.
  • Consider your garden conditions; you need to check the conditions of your soil in terms of nutrients and acidity. The type of soil you have is very important too.
  1. Buy your seeds

You need to

Tips For Kitchen Garden

If you are one fond of plants and believe in organic gardening, then this piece is for you! with winter waiting to bid adieu, and summer all ready to shine, you should be making plans to make your own kitchen garden. But, are you worried that kitchen garden is something you can set up only in huge kitchen backyards? Then, you are mistaken! You can set up a kitchen garden even in a small space.
You can grow your favorite vegetable and enjoy making sabzi’s with it! Are you finding the seed catalog’s coming directly to your mailbox, then don’t wait much. Make best use of your free time and make a kitchen garden.

CHECK THIS OUT: Pot Soil Gardening Tips You cannot expect the lavishness of planting everything and anything in your kitchen garden. However, you can plant many things that you intend too. You can also enjoy eating fresh veggies rather than the ones you buy from the market. You can grow greens, cucumber, tomatoes, chillies and coriander in your kitchen garden. If you plan to grow onions or potatoes, then you may need some extra space for it. Here we bring to you some kitchen garden tips, that

14 Simple Gardening Tips and Tricks

From using leftover coffee beans to preventing dirt from getting underneath fingernails, master gardener shares his top 14 tips and shortcuts to make spring gardening a breeze.

  1. To remove the salt deposits that form on clay pots, combine equal parts white vinegar, rubbing alcohol and water in a spray bottle. Apply the mixture to the pot and scrub with a plastic brush. Let the pot dry before you plant anything in it.
  2. To prevent accumulating dirt under your fingernails while you work in the garden, draw your fingernails across a bar of soap and you’ll effectively seal the undersides of your nails so dirt can’t collect beneath them. Then, after you’ve finished in the garden, use a nailbrush to remove the soap and your nails will be sparkling clean.
  3. To prevent the line on your string trimmer from jamming or breaking, treat with a spray vegetable oil before installing it in the trimmer.
  4. Turn a long-handled tool into a measuring stick! Lay a long-handled garden tool on the ground, and next to it place a tape measure. Using a permanent marker, write inch and foot marks on the handle. When you need to space plants a certain distance apart (from just an inch to

Home Garden Design Trends

A home garden is something you want to design beautifully so it looks elegant. There are many ways to design your precious little garden. You can use different tools to make your garden look even more beautiful. Sometime arranging your garden with a new design will reduce your effort. So designing your home garden is about knowing the perfect combination. You don’t need to be overwhelmed if you already got a lot of ideas. Here are some top design trends for home garden which you can follow:

Black Fence

A black fence around your garden will look elegant and stylish. It is about the color combination. The color green goes well with a black contrast. The black fence will work as a perfect background to highlight your garden. This contrast will create a dramatic environment and you can get this design with a low cost. Painting your fence with black color won’t cost much. The painting job is really simple; you can do it yourself or you can hire a professional. Make sure the paint job is done perfectly.

Painted Number

This is a new trend which has become quite popular now a day. Adding your hose number to a wooden plate or a

Cleaning Your Little Garden

Whether you have a small garden or a tiny terrace is not a problem to make them an outdoor haven! According to the latest housing survey, the area that is allocated to gardens has increased from 470 m² to 720m2 as for example in France.

If you are not owner of so much m2, well, you just have to follow our 6 tips and tricks to develop smart gardens where you enjoy spending time

  1. Choose your plants and accessories carefully: With little space, consider having more plants in pots and do not forget adding some lights there to enhance all the setup! We love theses chasing lights that go here and there in between branches and leaves. They look as charming as small candle jars placed all around your garden. These always look timeless and classy. Take seat in a small cocoon made up of cushions and pillows. These interior equipment can definitely help transforming your garden into an outdoor additional and cosy room.
  2. Using boundary walls: These separations between your neighbour and you can rapidly become a major issue if not dealt with properly. It you don’t like the dull-grey-look of the walls, you can always add some boards or bamboo just

Six ideas for a low maintenance garden

If you want to spend more time enjoying your garden than working in it, then you surely need a low maintenance garden. Here are some tips on how to plant a garden that will save you time and also look great.

  1. Plant perennials

Plants like day lilies, peonies and daisies come back year after year. In fact the term “perennial” is used to describe plants that live more than two years. That means you don’t have to get down on your knees every spring and re-plant the garden. There are actually some species that keep their foliage all year long. You only have to buy them once to enjoy them for many years to come.

  1. Chose water wise plants

Landscaping that is designed to save water is called zeroscaping. By grouping together plants with similar watering needs and focusing on plants that don’t require as much moisture, you use less water. Water wise plants include cone flowers, day lilies ornamental grasses and butterfly weeds. You can also look for the water wise symbol on your plant tags when you buy them. This means that the plants require less moisture to grow and maintain, and as a result they are perfect for areas that are