Organic gardening the simple way (Google / Twin City Daily Planet)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/article/2008/05/20/no-need-complicate-organic-gardening-means-letting-nature-do-most-work.html

No need to complicate—organic gardening means letting nature do most of the work

May 25, 2008

Let me tell you about my first garden: I had moved into an apartment on Marshall Avenue in St. Paul some 30 years ago and was determined to grow tomatoes, just as my father did. So I picked a sunny spot in the back, took a breath, and thrust my shovel at the ground, only to have it bounce back up and nearly hit me in the teeth. I eventually found a soft spot next to the fence where the weeds had been growing unchecked and the leaves had been allowed to accumulate, and my two tomato plants grew happily there that summer. I’ve learned a few things since then, and continue to learn, of course, and I hope in the next few months to share some of my blunders and successes with you, and that you will find something both useful and interesting in them. I am convinced that gardening is often made to seem much too complicated, and that we would all enjoy our gardens more if we could just get a few elemental things down and let nature take care of the rest. So let’s consider the first element of gardening: earth.

Letting things rot

Here is the mantra of organic gardeners everywhere:

Continue reading Organic gardening the simple way (Google / Twin City Daily Planet)

The basic NPK of Organic Fertilizers (Dave’s Garden)

Read at : Dave’s Garden Weekly Newsletter

http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1064/?utm_source=nl_2008-05-19&utm_medium=email

The basic NPK of Organic Fertilizers

(Illustrated)

By Glynis Ward (girlgroupgirl)
May 19, 2008

Home gardeners can easily turn to more organic means of sustaining their gardens with all the current interest in going “green”. Most garden centers, feed stores, nurseries and hardware stores are carrying more organic elements that make organic fertilizing easy. All it takes is a few ingredients to have a complete fertilizer that also contains oodles of “micro nutrients” not normally available in chemical fertilizers – plus the benefit of improved soil composition and microbial life.

Organic fertilizers are basically fertilizers made out of something that was once alive. They are decomposed living matter and will decompose more and release their nutrients in the soil. Non-organic fertilizers, those that are man made are chemical compounds are carried into the soil by salt. When the salt dissolves in water, the nutrients are made available to the plant. Chemical fertilizers, as well as most organic fertilizers are rated by their N-P-K rates. That is how much N=Nitrogen, P=Phosphorus and K=Potassium is contained in the bag. Home compost from vegetative matter usually has fairly low rates of all of these elements, which is why you can add a lot more of it to your soil than you do any other fertilizer. In general, home compost is usually considered more of a “soil amendment” than a fertilizer when applied in a small amount. Remember, any bag of fertilizer you buy will tell you how much you need to spread over a specific area to get the proper NPK value listed on the label. Nitrogen helps plant growth – plants and soil need just enough and not too much. Phosphorus provides the means for growth and flower bloom and potassium helps plants make fruit and also to stave off disease. Continue reading The basic NPK of Organic Fertilizers (Dave’s Garden)

Organic gardening techniques and philosophy (Google / USA Weekend)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

http://www.usaweekend.com/08_issues/080511/080511gardensmart-organic-garden.html

Organic gardening techniques and philosophy

Biointensive, sustainable and permaculture explained

By Fran Sorin

Organic gardening often is thought of as simply gardening without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers — but it is so much more than that.

Organic gardeners strive to replenish resources the garden consumes by adding organic matter to give the soil the nutrition it needs.

And they work in harmony with nature by selecting plants best suited for the site. As a welcome bonus, plants that thrive in your existing climate and conditions won’t require as much time and attention.

Under the umbrella of organic gardening, you’ll find several types of natural and eco-friendly gardening. Each type offers slightly different techniques and philosophies. Here’s a look at three of them.

Permaculture gardening is an integrated approach; plants, animals, land, people, buildings and nature work together to support a multidimensional ecosystem. In other words, you’re working with, not against, nature.

To be a permaculture gardener, repurpose an area of your lawn to create a food-producing garden that includes fruit trees and vegetables. Or just grow meadow mixes and other flowers that are beneficial to wildlife.

Sustainable gardening contributes to, rather than takes away from, the planet. This type of gardening conserves water, doesn’t use chemicals and doesn’t add to pollution. And because it is sustainable (which really means it sustains itself), this gardening technique requires less work and input from the gardener, which also makes it more efficient and less time-consuming. As with all of these forms of organic gardening, the foods grown via sustainable gardening — whether they’re vegetables, herbs or fruits — are much healthier to eat. So it can have a positive effect on our health as well as the environment.

To be a sustainable gardener, maintain soil health by using increasing amounts of compost. Use only natural fertilizers such as seaweed and kelp, which encourage plants to grow at a natural rate and help prevent pest problems. Choose hardy plants that are well-adjusted to your climate and will feed birds and attract other types of wildlife.

(continued)

Fran Sorin is the author of “Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening” and is a CBS Radio News contributor. To sign up for her newsletter, go to fransorin.com.

Improve Organic Gardening Using Composting (Google / Beautiful Home and Gardening)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

http://beautifulhomegarden.blogspot.com/2008/04/improve-organic-gardening-using.html

Improve Organic Gardening Using Composting

Building up sustainable soil for organic gardening starts right after the garden soil testing has been completed. The testing of the soil helps to identify the additional fertilizers and conditioners that can be added. When attempting to garden organically, testing, maintaining and improving the soil is a constant process and one that is well worth the effort, according to those who advocate organic farming and gardening. Creating sustainable soil for gardening organically means that you have to be able to replenish the topsoil of the garden. One of the best substances to have for keeping the soil rich and healthy enough for an organic garden is a good supply of compost. In addition to compost, it is good to have enzymes, earthworms, and beneficial microbes available to add into the soil mixture as well. Continue reading Improve Organic Gardening Using Composting (Google / Beautiful Home and Gardening)

Create your edible garden with Heart Beet Gardening (Google / Emerald City / LA Times)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/emeraldcity/2008/04/feel-the-beet-c.html

Feel the Beet: Create your edible garden with Heart Beet Gardening

If $3 a lb. for heirloom tomatoes at the farmers market is more than you can afford, why not make it your Earth Day resolution to grow your own veggies? In the latest New York Times Magazine, author of “An Omnivore’s Dilemma” Michael Pollan waxes lyrical about growing your own edible garden:

It’s one of the most powerful things an individual can do — to reduce your carbon footprint, sure, but more important, to reduce your sense of dependence and dividedness: to change the cheap-energy mind.

Feel daunted by the prospect of creating your own edible estate? Then give the girls at Heart Beet Gardening a call. Run by three Marlborough School alumnae — Megan Bomba, Sara Carnochan, and Kathleen Redmond — Heart Beet Gardening is a little local company that’ll help you set up your own private, organic edible landscape. Continue reading Create your edible garden with Heart Beet Gardening (Google / Emerald City / LA Times)

What Is Organic Gardening? (Google / Better Gardens)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

http://titchmarsh.com/gardenextra/general-gardening/what-is-organic-gardening

What Is Organic Gardening?

More and more people are switching to organic gardening now – but exactly what is organic gardening? In this article we will look at the five vital methods that will keep your garden on the right side of the organic divide.

1. Considering The Garden As A Whole

Organic gardening takes a holistic approach, seeing the garden as one entity. Within this, different elements like soil, insects, worms, microorganisms and all of the different plants work together to create a mini ecosystem in the garden. Everything is important, not only the fruit and vegetables. Your decorative plants, trees, lawn and even your garden furniture should be treated with a view to the environmental implications of all of the choices that you make.

2. Making The Most Of Your Garden’s Strengths

All gardens have strong points and weaker points. Consider the situation, soil type, climate, neighboring environment, sunny and shaded areas, and play on the strongest characteristics of your garden as you plan its organic development. Continue reading What Is Organic Gardening? (Google / Better Gardens)

Basic Organic Gardening (Google / Greensgarden)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

http://greensgarden.wordpress.com/2008/04/17/basic-organic-gardening/

Basic Organic Gardening

When you get a few of the fundamentals down about gardening organically and basically re-thinking how you garden, you can get more creative.  But to touch on the basics again:

  1. The Soil is the Focal Point – Everything is dependent on the fertility of the soil.  Countries rise and fall based on soil fertiility, in actuality.  Once the soil is where it needs to be, pests and weeds will diminish.  The old-timers called it being in “good heart”. You get the soil back where it needs to be by returning organic wastes and letting them rot.  The rotting is caused by microbes in the soil which are the keys to fertility.  They unlock the nutrients plants need to thrive.  In a real sense gardening is about growing microbes.
  2. Diversity is Healthy – Diversity is not only beautiful, it’s the healthies way to go.  Different mulches, different plants, different manures, different minerals, gives the microbes a wealth of foods to digest.  Different materials exude different vitamins, enzymes, hormones, and minerals.  The best thing is to mix it all up and use different materials!  Bunches of earthworms is a good sign along with other soil invertebrates.
  3. Resist the Urge to Micro-Manage – A garden is an ecosystem filled with different plants, animals, insects, bacteria, fungi, algae, invertebrates, etc.  Go to the garden to learn rather than dominate.  Try to encourage what is working already.  Dominating nature will only reward you with more work and more failure.
  4. Have fun! Don’t get too bent out of shape if you have some losses.  Plant plenty of extra so you have it to fall back on.  Try new ways to stake your tomatoes, for example.  Experiment.  And don’t take it too serious.  Realize too, that the ditch may be doing better than your garden.  Lambsquarters, curly dock, plantain, dandelion, wild mustards, and wild garlic are nourishing foods that we mistakenly call weeds.  If you can’t produce better foods in your garden than these (which are nutrient powerhouses), consider picking them instead.  You might learn a few tricks from how they grow and what they need.
  5. Go for perennials! Less work, less chance to screw it up.  Find their preferred spot and they’ll be there for your grandchildren.

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Organic gardening : Restoring the Natural Balance (Best Gardening)

Read at :

Bestgardening

http://www.bestgardening.com/bgc/howto/organic.htm

Organic gardening

Have you thought of using more organic gardening practices… even if only to ensure that the vegetables and fruit that you eat are free of pesticides and chemical residues. It is not as hard as you think – and you can go as far as you like, for example, retaining your spray programme for your roses but eliminating chemicals from your vegetable garden and lawn. Organic gardening is gardening with nature- using the natural controls to reduce or eliminate pests and disease in your garden and natural sources of enrichment for your garden soil. Many people are gardening organically in the ornamental garden. Living with a little black spot on the roses and using natural solutions to coping with pests and disease. Now more and more people are turning to growing their own vegetables, or even just their own salad crops, to avoid unwitting consumption of chemical residues or other nasties. Growing your own vegetables from seed is one of the best ways of ensuring that you have control over what you eat. Seed sowing is also immensely satisfying, easy and fun. Continue reading Organic gardening : Restoring the Natural Balance (Best Gardening)

Weed Free Garden Blanket (Google Alert / Enquirer)

Read at :

Google Alert for gardening

The Enquirer

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070728/LIFE0803/707280316/1035/LIFE

System makes organic gardening a snap

Benefits of organic gardening (Google Alert / philly Burbs)

Read at :

Google Alert for gardening

phillyBurbs

http://guides.phillyburbs.com/index.php?p=16541&cat=6

 So what is organic gardening all about?

Organic gardening is growing without chemical fertilizers, naturally building the soil to support healthy plant life. Organic gardening is a constantly evolving dance that allows you to be a full participant in your garden. It is not a fad or new in any way. In fact, it is the oldest method of cultivation and had its first serious beginnings in Europe. It’s good for your family, and it’s less expensive to do. Organic gardening is really about designing the garden as a complete ecosystem, a natural environment where the gardener is a participant, not an observer. The key to organic gardening is to work with nature in the growing of plants so that the resources consumed by the garden can be replenished both minimally and consistently. Although organic gardening does require a few changes in the way things are done from traditional gardening, you will quickly discover organic gardening is easy and fun. Reduced pollution of the environment through recycling of garden, household and other wastes rather than dumping or burning them is seen as a beneficial by product. Continue reading Benefits of organic gardening (Google Alert / philly Burbs)