The big top ten organic gardening tips (Google / Beautiful Home and Garden)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

http://beautifulhomegarden.blogspot.com/2008/09/big-top-ten-organic-gardening-tips.html

The big top ten organic gardening tips

By using only organic gardening supplies, your gardening tasks will be easier and more enjoyable.• Compost, an all natural soil amendment is made through the use of composters. Composters break down organic materials such as leaves, grass clippings, and food scraps to make a 100% organic, all natural soil additive. Composters come in varying shapes, sizes and designs. Research composters and choose one that meets your needs. Making your own natural compost is a great alternative to other organic gardening supplies you would ordinarily have to buy, and it’s free!

• Rain Barrels collect water from your roof and store it until needed. Rain water is softer and chemical free. Rain Barrels are great for keeping your plants healthy and saving water. Many rain barrels are made from reused food drums and recycled plastic, keeping with the commitment to sustainable living. You can collect approximately 675 gallons of rain off your roof from a single rain storm. Stored rain water supplies much needed moisture to your gardens during extreme dry spells where rationing is necessary.

• All Natural and organic fertilizers supplies much needed nutrients to plantings. Natural and organic fertilizers generally have a slow release so nutrients last over time. Natural and organic fertilizers such as liquefied worm poop and tea from composters, are among the top natural and organic fertilizers and an essential ingredient to your organic gardening supplies.

• Push reel mowers are a great way to be eco friendly! Push reel mowers use no gas or electric, only your own energy. Push reel mowers are lightweight, easy to use and gives your lawn that golf course look. Owning a push reel mower is an important part of organic gardening.

• Grow native plants. Native plants require less water. They are also naturally more insect and disease resistant than other plants. Healthy, lush gardens made from indigenous plants also make a natural home for birds.

Container gardening is good for planting your favorite flowers and vegetables when space is limited! Use large containers such as steel buckets and wooden barrels for creative container gardening. Container gardens do not require a lot of organic material due to being enclosed. Many gardening containers such as green pots are all natural, made from all natural elements such as rice hulls and coconut fiber.

• Using only natural and organic gardening supplies such as Insecticidal Soap, Horticultural Oil or Organic Disease Control will keep your garden healthy, naturally. Organic gardening supplies leave no hazardous residue and break down naturally into the soil. Natural predators such as bats, praying mantis and ladybugs are great organic insect controls. Bat boxes are effective for keeping bats nearby and supplies shelter through the harsh winter months. Enjoying and benefiting from organic gardening is dependent upon the use of the highest quality organic gardening supplies.

• Mulch your flowerbeds and vegetable garden to retain moisture around plants. Mulch supplies your plants with much needed moisture throughout hot, sunny days. Mulching also keeps weeds away. Apply all natural worm poop fertilizer around plantings when mulching. Your organic garden will love you for it. • Create a bird habitat by placing bird houses, birdbaths and bird feeders in your yard. Birds are fun to watch and will control the insect population in a natural way. Pick a quiet section of your yard to keep a variety of birding supplies to attract birds of your choice. Bird food such as sunflower hearts and suet are great treats. • Whether you are working on your lawn, flowerbed or vegetable garden, have fun. Remember, all natural supplies will make organic gardening easier and more enjoyable. The following is a list of recommended all natural and organic gardening supplies: composter, rain barrels, organic fertilizers, push reel mower, natural gardening containers, birding supplies, natural homemade compost, These are the best equipment, tools and supplies for keeping your plants, turf and environment healthy.

Happy Gardening!

This article may be reproduced and/or distributed. This article was written by Mark & Vera Pappas, Co-owners of http://www.greennationgardens.com/?Click=23GreenNationGardens.com, suppliers of unique and eco-friendly garden supplies.

Living Breathing Plants: the Best Mulch of All (Google / Veggiegardeningtips)

Read at : Google Alert – gardening

http://www.veggiegardeningtips.com/living-breathing-plants-the-best-mulch-of-all/

The Scoop on Mulching a Vegetable Garden

Living Breathing Plants: the Best Mulch of All

Recently I outlined the limits that I set when mulching the veggie garden. But I do away with all reservations when it comes to my favorite type of garden mulch — a living one! If you’re not familiar with the term, a “living mulch” simply refers to the use of live vegetation growing in the garden to produce many of the same benefits as your ordinary straw, wood chips, shells, needles, grass clippings, plastic films, shredded leaves, landscape fabrics, sawdust, newspaper, or stone mulches.

Mulching the Vegetable Garden with Plants

With a living mulch the same plants that are being cultivated to yield a delicious harvest will also provide the additional benefits of shading the soil to conserve moisture, reduce competition from weed growth, and protect the garden’s soil from exposure to the elements just as an organic mulch would.

This mulching strategy is best employed in concert with the use of raised beds, and works to perfection when the entire growing area is covered from one end to the other by a crop of veggies spreading their canopy of leaves across the bed.

The key is proper spacing when you seed or transplant the crops within the raised bed and keeping the weeds under control when the veggie seedlings are just starting out. Try to space the plants just far enough apart in each direction so that upon maturity the crop will fill out the beds and the tips of adjoining plants will just barely touch each other, as shown in the broccoli photo above.

If you plan and plant it right you’ll wind up with a garden bed that’s covered with healthy plants all shading the ground to conserve moisture, boost humidity levels, protect the soil, and provide a micro growing environment that your vegetable crops will love.

Choking Out Weeds While Building Soil Fertility

Another good example of a living mulch is a thick and lush cover crop such as oats, buckwheat, rye, or legumes. The right cover crop can blanket the garden all winter long or during periods when the beds are temporarily vacant in order to prevent erosion, loosen soils, and increase the garden’s fertility.

Planted thickly, a cover crop will deprive weed seeds of the sunlight and favorable growing conditions that they need to germinate and thrive in the garden. Some cover crops are useful for attracting beneficial insects, or can even yield an edible harvest of their own if you desire.

Growing mulches of cover crops is also a great way to produce large amounts of organic matter for use in building compost piles to further enrich the garden. You really can’t go wrong by incorporating cover crops into your planting rotations.

If you like the idea of allowing your plants to shoulder some of the responsibilities of water conservation, weed control, and general maintenance, then it’s time to put living mulches into play in your own veggie patch. The result will be a productive and attractive garden with soil that is healthy and fertile, along with increased resistance towards weed growth.

Mulching house and container plants (Dave’s Garden)

Read at : Dave’s Garden Weekly Newsletter

http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1002/?utm_source=nl_2008-05-05&utm_medium=email

Add a little zing to your pots! Mulching house and container plants.

By Glynis Ward (girlgroupgirl)
May 1, 2008

Want to take your houseplants from potted plant to living art? Try some creative mulching ideas! Mulches retain moisture, help keep pets out of soil and keep your “dirt” from looking so dirty. This little extra touch will have your indoor (and outdoor) potted menagerie looking like you paid a bundle for something that cost you a buck!

I admit, my houseplants are naked and bare. They probably shouldn’t be, especially the plants that are not yet very full, but they are. To tell the truth, I just haven’t thought much about it. A few years ago a friend of mine began mulching all her plants with Spanish moss. It looked great! I did try a few with decorative stones, one of which still survives today (which tells you how hard I can be on houseplants!!).

When I started to work at a garden center, my garden partner, LeAnn dutifully set to making gorgeous containerized plantings. She has a real knack for them, and part of her artfulness is in the decorative mulching she chooses. Continue reading Mulching house and container plants (Dave’s Garden)