The 700 Club
Basic Organic Gardening Techniques
Courtesy of: Growing Green Acres
CBN.com - Many people think of organic gardening as growing without the use of pesticides or herbicides. This is true but there is so much more. Using companion planting methods, you create habitats for beneficial insects, deter problem pests, and enrich your soil to create a living ecosystem of beneficial bacteria and helpful fungi. By enriching your soil, you are able to grow vegetables and herbs that are much more nutritious than those at your local supermarket.
The first step in insect control is to cultivate strong, vigorous plants by cultivating a healthy place where they can grow. Normally (about 90% of the time), insects only attack unhealthy plants. Just as a healthy person who eats good food is less susceptible to disease, so are healthy plants on a good diet less susceptible to plant disease and insect attack.
Here are some basic good gardening techniques:
- Water in the early morning or late afternoon (not in the heat of the day). Most plants require about 1” of water per week. (approx. 1hr with sprinkler; check by setting out a can/glass to measure water.)
- Weed in the later part of the day. When you weed, you expose the soil and thus make it more susceptible to evaporation. Weeding also eliminates competition for nutrients in the soil. It’s easier to weed after a watering, the roots will be loosened.
- Harvest leafy and fruiting vegetables in the morning. (lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, etc), they have the most moisture in them at this time. Harvest root crops or winter squashes late in the day. They will store longer because they will have less moisture in them.
Properly planning your garden can eliminate many insect and disease problems.
- Companion plant. Grow vegetables and flowers together that grow well with each other. You can find companion planting information at your library or one of these links:
- Fertilize: Use an all purpose organic fertilizer when the plants shows signs that they need it: spring before planting; when plant puts on buds; when plant begins to set fruit.
- Add Compost: Make sure to add compost each time you harvest and plant a new crop.
- Rotate your crops; follow heavy feeders with heavy givers and then light feeders.
- Use Natural Insect Control enlisting the aid of nature.
Birds eat thousands of insects and weed seeds. Set up a bird feeder or two.
Plant flowers & herbs to deter unwanted insects. Borage: deters many pests including tomato hornworm. Marigolds: deter nematodes, leaf hoppers, mexican bean beetles and other pests. Nasturtiums: deter aphids, cabbage looper, squash bug, white fly, cucumber beetles. Hand pick unwanted pest if needed and feed to happy chickens!
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