Monday, April 06, 2009
Organic Gardening In Five Easy Steps~
To garden organically means using no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.
And remember....it's not just about what we don't do-but more about adopting a more holistic and natural system that rewards us as individuals and builds a better eco-system.
Starting with your soil-get it tested, or , you can purchase the small inexpensive soil test kit and do the testing yourself. Just know what you have and what you need and the rest is easy.
After the growing season has ended for most things, early in the fall start applying any organic nutrients, lots of organic humus-rotting and composting leaves, grass, kitchen waste...such as-egg shells, vegetable peelings, coffee/tea grinds...nothing cooked or any animal products such as bones and grease.
Fully composted animal manure from any non-meat eater is a great additive-horse, cow, chicken, rabbit, etc.
This should compost for at least two/three months before planting in the soil.
( be sure to build your compost pile in alternating green(nitrogen) and brown(carbon)
layers with a thin layer of soil in-between each layer.
Top the pile with about 6" of soil. Water to keep it slightly moist...not wet.
This will encourage microbe action. You will have good compost ready to use in 2 to 3 months.
Built and maintained properly a compost pile does not smell and will not attract critters or ants. If it does then you need to add more dry carbon to your mix. (leaves, straw, sawdust etc.)
It's always a good idea to keep the compost pile covered. This helps the cooking process and keeps any unwanted invaders away.
At least once a week the pile should be turned and tested for successful decomposing.
When your compost has finished cooking you will have everything you need for planting and growing a healthy and abundant garden.
PS: We compost directly into the beds we will be planting in the spring.
This bed was about 24" high with composting material in November of 2008...it cooked all winter and is now a level bed of nothing but good rich organic soil...no tilling, no weeds, no insects.
This bed will soon be abundant with more lavender plants.