In the last several years there has been a resurgence in home gardening not seen since the victory gardens of the second world war. Environmental concerns, an interest in organic foods and an economic downturn combined with rising produce prices, have created the perfect storm for gardening.

People who have never had a houseplant, are now starting gardens. The first step in beginning a garden is the planning stage. You should begin planning your garden in the fall in order to plant in the spring.

a well-planned garden blossoming tremendously

It is essential that the plants you chose are suitable for your area. You can research the choices you are considering online, or you can contact the agricultural extension of your state university.

Once you have made your choices, you must decide how to place them in your garden. Remember that you will need to use a system that allows you access to care for your plants.

Most gardens are planned in rows, allowing the gardener access to walk between the rows. You will have to check your plants for insect pests and remove any weeds that could interfere with the health of your plants.

Organic gardening methods can cut down on garden pests without the use of chemical fertilizers. Ladybugs and praying mantises eat garden pests like aphids. There is also a technique known as companion planting that helps minimize the damage caused by pests.

A good book about organic gardening is an excellent investment. Again, you may contact your state university’s agricultural extension for advice. Also, go a bit further down this article for some extra info on organic gardening.

Do some research on each plant you plan to use in your garden. Different plants have different requirements for sunlight, water and soil. If you want healthy plants, placing them in areas where they will attain the conditions they require is crucial to success.

Natural fertilizers like manure work well in organic gardens. There are chemical fertilizers for the gardener who prefers not to use organic methods. Always check the soil to make sure it has the right balance of nutrients.

Natural fertilizers are also “earth-friendly.”Further below, I’ve included a list of five-earth friendly reasons to utilize natural fertilizer in your gardening endeavor.

The state agricultural extension can perform the tests and advise you on how to correct problems with your soil. There may be a fee for soil testing.

If you are planning to garden organically, testing the soil is especially important. Chemical fertilizers or pollutants can remain in the soil for years. If the soil is contaminated, your garden can’t be organic. You may have to remove much of the existing soil and replace it with organic top soil.

Gardening is a rewarding hobby and provides tasty treats for your dinner table. The way to ensure your success as a gardener is to plan everything before you plant the first seed.

So start planning, and next year you will reap summer’s bounty and enjoy vegetables fresh from your own garden.

bounty from a healthy veggie garden

You might want to look into aquaponic gardening, which has become a popular and exciting method for growing vegetables and, yes, even fruit trees! If you are interested in getting started or learning more about aquaponics, have a look at this article.

Start With A Good Organic Gardening Guide

More often, these days, we hear about organic gardening. After people understand the benefits of it, many end up wanting an organic gardening guide so they can get started.

It really is important to find the kind of help that can take you from the beginner stage into “advance” gardening techniques and styles with ease of learning. A book that is simple in its explanation and layout can be worth a lot to a gardener who does not want to waste time.

If we are going to garden organically, it simply means that we are choosing not to use chemicals (or any man made products) on our plants. These chemicals can be harmful for both us and the environment.

You will find more nutrients in plants that are grown organically. This is not debated. It is a fact. And the vitamins found in these plants can help tremendously to fight illness.

This is one of the main reasons that people want organic food. It takes away the risks that are associated with some of the harmful things found in fertilizers, pesticides, etc. Of course, a good guide-book can walk you through the steps for success in avoiding the harmful chemicals.

Feed The Soil With Organic Materials

Fertile soil and compost made completely from organic materials is a recipe for nutrient rich growth. Feed the soil right, and you feed your plants right. And in turn, you put the best of the best in your kitchen.

When we speak of proper feeding for the soil, we are talking about “natural nutrients”. And we want to feed this soil every spring and fall. The food for our soil is peat moss, animal manure, if you like—but not necessary, and our home made compost.

Protecting the plants is a hot topic when it comes to marketing pesticides. But the fact is that not every single insect that takes a stroll into our garden is actually bad for our plants.

And for the pests that have decided to fight us in this growing venture, remember that there are a lot of of “nature-friendly things” that we can do to keep them away.

Organic Gardening Pest Control

Have you ever thought about these ideas: selecting the right plants that work well with certain soils, carefully choosing the location, using a variety of plants together, having on hand a solution of water and organic dish-washing liquid soap to apply to the leaves? These are some of the simple tricks of the trade.

But certain insects are not the only enemies. Weeds are a problem also. But we need not spend too much time fighting the weeds either. Because we have the “newspaper trick” up our organic sleeve.

Old newspapers, in thick layers, can be effective for an entire growing season or longer. When placed down around our plants, before the mulch, we can prevent weeds—and save quite a bit of money while avoiding harmful chemicals.

a garden pest called stink bug

These are some of the organic gardening pest control tricks that we will find in good organic gardening books.

Don’t just settle for any vegetable gardening guide. Find one that is simple to read, and specific in what to do with the various steps.

And what about organic fertilizer from the store?

Well, organic fertilizer from the store can have it’s attractive qualities. Actually, we should say, “One” attractive quality: A bag! Anything in a bag is convenient. But the problem is that it is often not just “One” bag.

What if I could tell you about fertilizer that you did not have to cart home in several bags? What if it was available in your backyard anytime, saving you the gas money you would use to drive to the store?

What if I told you that this convenient fertilizer was actually more (yes, more!) full of nutrients than the organic fertilizer at the store in a bag? Would you be interested?

Sure you would. You would be getting better food for your plants, and eventually for your body. When we buy organic fertilizer from the store we get the same nutrients that the cows get when they eat (because we are getting their manure in a bag).

What do you think those cows were eating? Organic green beans? Organic squash? Organic carrots? Of course not. They were eating grass and grain.

But what if you were getting fertilizer that came from your own kitchen table scraps? You would be getting the leftovers from organic vegetables. This means that you are getting the best nutrients to feed your garden.

More about making compost in this article.

Earth-Friendly Reasons to Use Natural Fertilizer

Natural fertilizer is fertilizer made from naturally occurring plant and animal products. Some natural fertilizers contain the same nutrients as synthetically produced fertilizers.

Other natural fertilizers contain much more than synthetic fertilizers, or different types of plant-boosting elements. If you currently use synthetic fertilizers, here are five reasons to switch to natural fertilizer.

plants grown using natural fertilizers

1) Natural fertilizer is made from plant and animal parts, and not from a chemical reaction. The chemical reaction to artificially produce synthetic fertilizers uses a huge amount of energy-mostly from carbon-producing fossil fuels. (The myth that synthetic fertilizers are made from fossil fuels is just that—a myth; however, the energy used to produce them is a source of pollution.)

2) Natural fertilizers contain less active ingredient than synthetic fertilizers, making it less likely that gardeners will over-apply and cause nutrients to leach into groundwater. The active ingredients in natural fertilizers are “fully chelated” so they are available for immediate uptake by plants, further reducing the risk of polluting groundwater.

3) Seaweed fertilizers, one type of natural fertilizer, contains many micro-nutrients needed for plant growth that synthetic fertilizer formulas do not contain. Micronutrients such as calcium, magnesium, zinc, manganese, iron, copper, boron and molybdenum are just as important to plant growth as nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, but most standard fertilizers do not contain these nutrients.

4) Natural fertilizers are not salts, as synthetic fertilizers are. Natural fertilizers are less likely to burn your plants if you over-apply by mistake. Applying synthetic fertilizers can cause plant stress if the plants have experienced a dry spell and are under stress. Natural fertilizers will not cause the plants stress.

5) Most natural fertilizers are made from renewal resources—particularly the seaweed based natural fertilizer. While synthetic fertilizers are made in labs, the energy used to produce them is usually not derived from renewable sources.

Aside from the lowered environmental impact of natural fertilizers, they are great choices for gardeners because they provide more balanced nutrition for plants, resulting in healthier plants overall.