I love to grow organic vegetables they taste so much better than chemically grown. If you think that it is hard to do you are so wrong. It is actually easier once you get established.
First thing you need to do is decide if you are going truly organic or semi organic. If the thought of any bugs in your garden just makes you cringe, well you may be the semi organic type, but you need to realize bugs are a gardener's best friends. So spraying or dusting every bug you see is more harmful then helpful because the good bugs will get killed off and the bad bugs will just multiply like dust bunnies. Before you know it, your lettuce looks like lace and your carrots have tunnels. Spiders, Ladybugs, Praying Mantis, even wasps eat the weevils, caterpillars and flies. I have planted marigolds and other flowers around my beds and the spiders who live there do a great job as the guards keeping the perimeter safe. And birds are so much fun to watch as they hop around eating those fat worms that want to munch on your veggies. I've even watched a cardinal work it's way around a tomato cage to get at a fat tomato worm!
Second, the more organic material you put in the garden will make it easier to till. It will also hold water better, won't burn your plants like chemicals and will encourage the microscopic organisms in your soil to break down the organic matter to make it easier for your plants to get their daily nutrients. I also noticed that the more organic material is in the garden, the less fire ants I see. Seems they don't like the good stuff, mostly go for the "fast food diet".
Third, you need to consider starting to compost all your fruit, vegetable and yard scraps/clippings. You will be making the "black gold" that you can add to your garden or even your potted plants. Just don't use any clippings that you have applied chemical weed and feed, it tends to weed the vegetables too.
I could go on and on but make the effort to go organic, your carrots will be sweet, your broccoli will make your kids ask for seconds and the tomatoes will taste like tomatoes. Check out your local library for books on gardening, google organic gardening on the web and check out this website: http://www.gardensalive.com for great organic products and tips. I have been using their products for years and have seen great results especially when using their Tomatoes Alive and the WOW- (with out weeds) which really works to keep the weeds in check which makes the weeding chore much easier.
Don't get discouraged it takes longer for the effects of organic gardening to show but the benefits are far reaching,and knowing that you are not eating the chemicals that you used to "KILL" the bugs with should make you much happier.
I have shared my garden abundance with friends and they are the best advertisement for going organic when they say they have never tasted 'sweet' broccoli or really sweet carrots that come from the grocery store. And by the way, don't be surprised if you have bigger, brighter and healthier plants. Take a look at the photo, this is what organic gardening and soaker hoses on timers can do for Broccoli. I picked these after Thanksgiving last year. Each head was about the size of a dinner plate and I wasn't trying to enter any contest!
By piki viki from Abbeville, AL
I'm impressed, that is a really pretty head of brock!
I am going to try it next year! That looks wonderful!!
I would like to know if anyone has any good ideas to keep deer from eating my plants. I had five lovely tomato plants, and the deer chomped them all down to the ground. Can't be mad at the deer-they're so beautiful. But I would like to be able to grow something edible.
Now I have a small Meyer lemon tree in a pot. A couple of small green lemons have already disappeared, so I assume the deer like them.
I'd appreciate any ideas that would discourage the deer without harming them.If it makes any difference, I'm in southern California.
To keep deer at bay try scattering hair clippings around your plants or bloodmeal. There is also a product called "Not tonight deer" that supposedly works like a liquid fence. Google it and you're sure to get many hits. I live out in the country and my two dogs are the best deer deterent ever and we have a LARGE deer population here. To keep other critters out try mothballs(naphtalene only)or sprinkle pepper-red or black in beds and reapply after it rains.
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