One of the benefits (if you can call it that) of chemically-enhanced produce is that it grows bigger, faster and cheaper than organic produce. But the risk factor involved is just too much for some people to live with, and thus they attempt to grow their own produce organically. If you fit this bill, check out these gardening tips.
Be sure to test your soil before you plant your garden, if you want to be successful without the need for chemicals. A home testing kit can tell you the pH of your soil, which indicates the likelihood of plant survival. A vegetable garden requires a pH of about 6.5; if your soil is off, you can supplement before your plants start to die.
Establish a precise schedule to know when you should plant your seeds. Even if you are growing your plants indoors, you should follow a schedule that matches the season and outside temperature. Spend some time on your schedule at the beginning of a season and you should be able to improve it the next year.
When starting your own organic garden, you should make sure you choose the right medium for growing your plants. Different plants need different mediums. Many of your seedlings should be replotted into a larger container before you put them in your garden. However, some plants, such as melons and cucumbers, must go from their original containers directly into your garden.
While Mother Nature will eventually do the work needed to create compost from a backyard pile, even if it is not actively tended, you can give her a helping hand by adding compost starter to the mix. Compost starters, available from the garden centers, add microorganisms to the soil that help speed up the decay process.
Learn to water your garden efficiently. A soaker hose can be laid in the garden and left on with low water pressure. This frees you up from having to hand-water the plants, so you can do other gardening work. Take care with seedlings, though — they are still delicate and need to be watered by hand.
Calculate how much water your plants truly need. Thinner plants generally need more water; they contain larger surface area with less capacity to store water. Plants with large, thick waxy leaves are often more suited for water-starved environments. Over-watering may also cause problems with the plant due to microbial growth on their roots.
When maintaining an organic garden, be sure to always wind up your hoses. Dragging and storing a hose that is not wound up can take a lot of time away from you. Try using stationary or portable hose reels to wind up your hoses and to save you some time.
Mass-produced food will always have its own advantages, but it may not be worth it to you or your family to risk your health for a few extra dollars in savings. If you decide to grow organically, however, you can save hundreds while ensuring that everything you eat is fresh and healthy. Just use these tips to help you grow.