Címke: organic gardening

Tips for Ripening your Organic Fruit

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Best Organic Garden Fertilisers

A good fertilizer is the secret to any successful garden and organic fertilizer holds many more benefits than its traditional peers. Organic variants are often cost-effective, easy to find or source and, perhaps most importantly, offer sustainable, green ways to enhance your gardening prowess. Furthermore, it’s free of harmful pesticides and chemicals found in traditional fertilizers. Here are some of the best examples of organic fertilizer available to you and your garden.

Compost

Compost is one of the easiest ways to help your crops grow and it’s also one of the easiest things to make. Organic waste is full of nutrients that plants love, making it an ideal compost resource. Do you have leftover vegetable skins, coffee ground remains or egg shells? All of these can be put into a compost bin and, with a little time, turned into a healthy, nutrient rich compost plants will love! As an added bonus, this cuts down on your waste, helping you to stay greener and save money.

Manure

Manure is very similar to compost, in that it takes left over food and uses the nutritious values within. Specifically, manure can take the waste from herbivores such as cattle and sheep, turning it into a substance very similar to compost. If you own an animal, such as a rabbit, this is always useful, while it’s never too hard to find someone willing to let you take their waste for them, either! In addition to the various ingredients, manure can improve the water retention in your soil, making it a highly useful component.

Mulch

Expert gardeners never leave their soil exposed and, for this reason, mulch is always useful. Soil needs to be protected from the elements, otherwise it will lose its nitrogen, phosphorous and other much-needed ingredients. Mulch comes in many variants, from simple lawn clippings and leaves to wood chips and bark shavings, meaning there are a variety of ways to source it. Even using your own grass cuttings makes a simple mulch that can protect soil, increase water retention and improve the health of your plants. Mulch can also keep your soil warm and, perhaps even more importantly, stop weeds from growing!

Blood and bone meals

When you need to increase the amount of protein in your soil, bone and blood meals make very useful additives. These are ground from bone and blood respectively, sourced from slaughter-houses. This makes for a cheap product that is easy to find, thanks to its constantly replenishing source. One of the main benefits of these meals is that they have a slow release, meaning the fertilizer will release its nutrients slowly, for maximum effect.

Fish emulsion

Fish have always been used as source of vitamins throughout life and, even when it comes to gardening, the likes of cuttlefish bones have used as a form of bone meal. Similarly, you can also buy emulsion, made from grinding down fish. It may not be the most pleasant – odor-free versions are available – but it gives plants plenty of vitamins. It also contains vital nutrients, such as phosphorus, potassium and a high amount of nitrogen.

Milk

As a cheap source of fertilizer when you need it, raw or unpasteurized milk is a quick fix for giving your garden a dose of calcium. For the best results, it’s always recommended that you blend the milk with equal parts water, to create a consistency that agrees with your soil and plants. As a liquid based fertilizer, milk can also be sprayed. If you have a large area of ground to cover, or want to water the plants in your home or greenhouse too, why not add a little milk to the mix?

4 Simple Steps for Growing Your Own Organic Food

Reasons

There are a lot of good reasons to grow your own organic food. In fact, there is a lot of increasingly disturbing evidence that presents equally good reasons not to buy non-organic supermarket produce. For example, one recent study of pesticide exposure in children in a major U.S. metropolitan area found that traces of garden chemicals were found in 99 percent of the 110 children who were tested. Further, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, 90% of fungicides, 60% of herbicides and 30% of insecticides are considered carcinogenic.

On a happier note, growing your own organic food is not only healthier, but it can save you a lot of money. Produce departments are taking full advantage of an educated public’s desire for organic food, a fact reflected in the huge difference in price. In addition to reducing your grocery bill, by transforming your lawn into a garden, you’ll also save money on your water bill. Trees and shrubs require anywhere from two and a half to four times less water than maintaining a lawn.

Simple Tricks to Start Off

As the person in charge of production of your own herbs, fruits and vegetables, you can replace chemical pesticides with natural alternatives. One such alternative is a little cayenne pepper or horseradish mixed with garlic paste added to a gallon of water. It’s important to test the strength on a leaf or two because if it’s too strong, it can burn the plant. However, it’s remarkably effective as a pest repellent.

You’ll also be able to decide what kind of soil you want to use to grow your food. Different plants thrive in different types of soil. For example, some, such as flowers and annual vegetables prefer peat-free soil, while blueberries require lime-free compost. Fruit trees benefit most from a soil based mix that releases nutrients slowly due to their long lives.

Mulching

No matter what kind of soil composition you choose, mulching is an important factor in preparing it for planting. Mulching is the process of enriching the soil. Two benefits of mulching are weed reduction and water conservation. Organic mulches are commonly made from decomposing plant materials. Many people set up a worm farm to provide natural compost for mulching. Worms are also able to detoxify soil of due to their ability to break down substances, including heavy metals like cadmium and lead.

Experts recommend not using live green materials rather than those already in an advanced state of decomposition because they can leach needed nitrogen from the soil. Proper mulching requires the soil to be covered with up to three inches of material to achieve the maximum benefits. However, the mulch should not cover the plant’s base, but only the root zones.