We’re all becoming more health conscious, so it’s easy to see why organic gardening has become a lot more popular. If you’re thinking of starting an organic garden of your own, we offer you some top tips. From investing in a polytunnel to using the right type of organic matter – here is some great advice.
1. The Importance Of Mulch
If you aren’t planning on using any type of chemicals on your plants to prevent fungal diseases from developing you’re going to need to come up with another way of protecting them from these problems. One way is to mulch well.
Better Homes & Gardens magazines suggests that adding a good layer of mulch over your garden’s soil will not only help to prevent the spores that cause fungal diseases from getting to your plants but it will also help to reduce the number of weeds that you will have to remove. By using an organic mulch you will also be adding extra organic matter into your soil to improve its quality.
2. Use The Right Organic Matter
When you choose the right type of organic matter you’ll find that your soil structure improves and your plants will also thrive. One of the best types of organic matter to use on your plants is horse manure, however if this isn’t available you could always use a home-made compost.
Gardener’s World says that to make good quality compost at home you need a half and half mix of carbon rich and nitrogen rich materials. These can be obtained from mixing grass cuttings with cardboard and woody stems in equal amounts to ensure an excellent compost that will make your plants look their best.
3. Controlling Weeds
Controlling weeds in your garden can be challenging when you decide not to use any kind of chemicals. The Royal Horticultural Society suggests that regularly hoeing and forking your garden can kill weeds effectively, and in some situations, for example on pathways where no threat is present to any kind of wildlife or plants, you could use a flame gun to eradicate problem weeds.
Preventing the dispersal of seeds is a key element to stopping excessive weed growth in your garden, but one way of helping to protect your soil is to cover it with black sheeting or to consider choosing ground cover plants for your flowerbeds since they can also effectively guard against weeds taking hold.
4. Preventing Pests
In standard gardening pests can be prevented by using chemical insecticides and pesticides, however this isn’t possible when organic gardening. Luckily, there are several safe, natural methods which can be used to eradicate common garden pests from your plants.
Covering your plants with an insect proof mesh will help to guard against infestations, while using pheromone traps is another useful way of eliminating pests like the codling moth. If you grow cabbage in your garden, you may want to consider planting clover since this has been shown to be effective in reducing the number of common cabbage pests present.
5. Harvesting Your Crop
When growing vegetables organically you will need to harvest your crop regularly as this is the best way to encourage your plants to produce more. Check your garden on a daily basis, and always use a sharp knife or gardening scissors to cut produce instead of pulling with your fingers as this can damage the delicate plant tissue.
If you are growing organic herbs, it’s important to harvest them at the right time. If you are planning to use them fresh, you can pick them immediately before using them, however if you are planning to dry them and use them later you should always wait until just before they begin to flower as they will have more flavour. Herbs should generally be harvested in the mid-morning, however basil is the exception as it should be harvested late in the afternoon.
First Tunnels is a leading supplier of high quality polytunnels for both commercial and amateur gardeners. Contact us today and find out more about how our innovative products can help to create a perfect growing environment for you.