What benefits are in organic gardening besides having a more beautiful garden or eating healthier veggies and fruits? Actually there are more special benefits than most people and organic backyard gardeners ever think about. This article will tell you about the additional benefits and give you some thought provoking ideas that may surprise you.
Did you know you can feed children around the world with your organic garden? “How in the world can you do that?” you ask. It’s really quite simple and only takes a little more planning and work on your part.
Share Your Backyard Garden
When you began to plan your own personal natural garden you should layout a larger and grander garden. It doesn’t make any difference if it’s for flowers, veggies, fruits or bushes to beautify your yard. That’s right! Make it bigger. When it’s harvest time you will have more flowers, plants and veggies than you can possibly use.
Instead of plowing under the excess crops from your organic gardening or inundating your friends and relatives with it take it to the local Farmers Market or the Flea Market and sell it. Chances are you won’t have a problem selling it and you may end up with a pocket full of cash. Take the cash from the sell and donate it to your favorite “Feed The Children” charity. When you do this a starving child will benefit from your garden, long after you harvested your crops.
Another great benefit from raising your own organic fruits and veggies is it’s a great school project for your child’s school. Help your child and their classmates set up their own organic garden. The immediate lessons they learn will be about how to help the environment, healthy eating, teamwork and it makes learning fun for them. Again, set it up, so the children can take the crops to the local Farmers Market or Flea Market to sell. The proceeds from the sell can be used to buy something which will benefit all of the children of the school.
This next benefit is one that is seldom thought about by your children or possibly by you. This is the benefit of the physical exercise you and the kids will receive by working in the garden. You know that the kids today don’t play outside the way you did when you were a kid. An hour a day of working in your garden will help in weight loss (burning calories), lowering blood pressure, strengthen the heart and lungs, build muscle, sharpen the mind. Relieve stress and sleep better. The end result being you and kids will be much happier and healthy to boot.
One last benefit you will realize by you when working with the earth and growing things organically is the restoration of your spirit and soul. You will receive such a sense of well being when you have a fruitful harvest, you just can’t beat it. You will know you have done your part to help “Mother Nature” return to her natural state and touched all the other human beings by doing so.
As you have just read the benefits to organic gardening can benefit not only yourself and your family, but you can actually reach out and make a difference in the world.
Herbs are an important addition to the fruits and vegetables that we grow in our gardens. However, they do not have to be just plain old green plants. Most flowering herbs can more than hold their own when put up against any flower garden.
They have beautiful foliage and bright blooms. The herbs give you a double bonus by not only looking beautiful, but also being practical as well because they can be used for your crafts or cooking needs.
Flowering Herbs In Your Backyard Garden For Color
Having a border made of flowering herbs is a great compromise for those that have limited space because the plants serve double duty as a perennial border as well as an herb garden. There are many easy to plant beautiful herbs that you can use for foliage and flowers. Most of them bloom with colors ranging from silver, pink, lavender, and bronze, as well as white and yellow.
One of the first perennial herbs that you can use is anise hyssop. This perennial will grow bushy clumps, having stems that branch upright and are topped with lavender blue flowers. These flowers will bloom somewhere between mid to late summer.
The flowers are very attractive to beneficial insects and pollinating bees, which in turn will benefit your entire garden. Both the flowers and leaves of this plant are very fragrant when they are dried or fresh and are great to use for a potpourri mix.
Bee balm is another great flowering herb. This usually blooms in the summer with red flowers, however, some may also come with purple, pink, or white blooms. This herb will also spread on its own.
A delicate looking but very sturdy and easy to grow plant is feverfew. This herb will bloom from early in the summer to early fall. The flowers are white pedaled with yellow centers and look like mini daisies. These plants will grow up to 2 feet tall.
The very distinctive fragrance and look of lavender is also a great addition to your garden. The tall spikes of purple blue flowers sitting on very slender stalks over narrow leaves that have a silvery color give lavender a distinctive look.
It will bloom around midsummer and makes a great border. The only consideration for lavender is to be sure it has very good drainage.
Meadowsweet is a great perennial herb that blooms with white clusters of flowers during mid to late summer. Dark green large leaves will grow in clumps and spread by creeping. You will need to divide these plants around every 2 to 3 years to help control their spreading.
The purple coneflower otherwise known as echinacea, will produce sturdy stems in clumps that are topped with large daisy like rosy pink flowers that contain raised centers that are brown and orange in color.
Using flowering herbs in your garden as a border, or just in general, can make a great addition to the look of your garden as well as providing great herbs for your cooking and craft needs.
Walking through the garden center of your local store, it is easy to get caught up in all the beautiful colors and textures of the plants. With so many choices available, you might fall into the trap of buying plants on impulse. Instead of thinking about how they fit into your garden design, you start filling your cart with any plants that catch your eye. Then, when you get them home you realize that there is no place in your garden that is well-suited to the types, sizes or styles of plants that you bought.
To avoid this problem, it is best to be prepared before you head to the nursery. Instead of just winging it, you should take the time to consider the growing conditions in your yard. Is your soil densely-packed or filled with sand? Do you have a lot of shade, or does your yard get sun most of the day? Pay attention for several days, taking notes about soil type, sun exposure and moisture levels for each of the areas you plan to plant.
If you really want your garden to flourish, you should also consider testing your soil. Most county extension offices offer soil testing for a small fee. Understanding the overall pH of your soil can help you determine which types of plants are best. Keep in mind that it is possible to alter the pH of the soil by adding certain amendments. However, it is almost always smarter to choose plants that grow well in the soil you already have.
When you go to the garden center or nursery, take your notes with you. Instead of picking and choosing flowers solely based on color and appearance, pay attention to which types of plants will thrive in your unique growing conditions. After all, there is no point in buying a beautiful plant only to have it die once you plant it because it can’t tolerate the conditions in your yard.
Once you get your plants home, it is time to arrange them. Before you start digging and placing them in the soil, it is a good idea to play around with different arrangements. With the plants still in their pots, experiment with different planting arrangements. Try grouping several plants in small clusters, or spreading them out in even rows. Pay special attention to the height of each plant when it reaches full maturity. Taller plants should go in the back of your flower beds, while shorter plants should go up front. Once you have an arrangement you like, you can go ahead and put the plants in the ground.
Taking the time to understand the growing conditions throughout your yard and garden can help you choose plants that will flourish. Rather than wasting money on flowers that are poorly suited to your location, you can focus on buying plants that are guaranteed to thrive. With careful planning and attention to detail, you can have a show-stopping garden that will add beauty and depth to the outside of your home.
The demand for organic products has become quite overwhelming in recent years. Wherever you go, many people are choosing to buy organic products over regular ones, whether it’s food, cosmetics, toiletries or cleaning products. The reason is that organic products tend to be much safer. They contain no toxins or artificial chemicals.
When it comes to fruits and vegetables, there is no doubt that organic varieties do offer more health benefits. However, many people still prefer to buy the regular types because of the cost factor. With the added processes and regulations that apply to the production or manufacture of organic products, it’s only natural for them to be priced slightly higher than their regular counterparts.
Starting Your Own Organic Garden
Does this mean you have to pay top dollar in order to enjoy the health benefits of organic produce? Not necessarily. There is another option, and that is to start your own organic garden. By planting your own organic fruits and veggies, you can have yourself some healthy produce without having to spend a lot of money.
Contrary to what many people may think, it’s not very difficult to start an organic garden. It’s basically the same as regular gardening except that you won’t be using any chemical fertilizers or pesticides at all.
If you already have an existing vegetable garden and you want to make it organic, it’s a good idea to make the switch gradually. This will give both you and your plants time to adjust to the change, and will eventually yield far better results.
One of the basic chores that you need to learn when starting an organic garden is composting. You can begin by digging a compost pit in a corner of your yard, where you can dump your vegetable cuttings, fruit rinds, dried tree leaves, and other organic matter that you would ordinarily throw into the trash can. Over time, these bits of garbage will turn into an excellent soil amendment and fertilizer, which you can add to your planting soil to make it richer.
Getting Rid of Pests
One of the biggest challenges that you may have to face when starting an organic garden is getting rid of pests. This is particularly difficult if you have become used to spraying pesticides onto your plants, which is what most people do.
In organic gardening, chemical pesticides are not used at all. You will need to find an organic replacement or find another method for taking care of the pests on your plant.
There are many natural pesticides you can use. You may just have to try a few of them before finding the one that works best. These natural pesticides include cayenne pepper, wood ash, lemon juice, diatomaceous earth, and neem oil. In any case, it is best to be vigilant so that you can address pest problems before they get any worse.
In the beginning, growing your own organic fruits and vegetables may take time, effort, and some getting used to. But once you get to reap the rewards of your hard work, all your efforts will definitely have paid off.
The summer is a busy time for gardeners – some plants will grow like wildfire and others will be liable to perish under the hot summer sun. With a little TLC and plenty of water there is no reason why every plant shouldn’t flourish and bloom in the summer months – extra water and fertilizer is really the key to having a beautiful backyard summer garden.
Here are a few more backyard garden tips to help you get the most from your garden this summer.
” It can be a little tempting to over water lawns during the summer months, I know, you wouldn’t think it possible but a lawn only really needs two – three inches of water per week.
” Watering your lawn (and the rest of your garden) early in the morning will reduce the amount of water which is lost because of evaporation.
” You need to treat your lawn every 4 or 6 weeks with some lawn food – the slow release food is the best choice.
” Don’t forget to mow your lawn quite regularly. You should mow the grass every time it has grown around a half an inch to an inch for the best results.
” Flower beds need to have plenty of organic mulch to help them retain as much moisture as possible.
” Give your flower beds plenty of water – the soil should be always moist but never soggy.
” Your flower beds will also need to be fertilized quite regularly through the summer – at least every three or four weeks.
” Dead head flowers to promote more bloom and new growth – pinch back any stems which are becoming leggy.
” You may need to water newly planted flowers more than once per day until they become established and settled in the flower bed.
” Trees also need lots of fertilizer to encourage rapid growth during the summer, especially citrus fruit trees, deciduous fruit trees and desert trees.
” When you water these trees make sure that they have plenty of water to around 3 inches of depth.
” If you want to plant any citrus, fruit or desert trees now is a good time to do it.
Summer Gardening Pests
The plants may be glad to see the summer but it is also the time when you have to be most vigilant against diseases and insects.
” Keep an eye on your trees and shrubs for foliage which suddenly begins to wilt
” Branches which begin to die at the end (around 6 – 8 inches at the end) may be victims of the female cicada – she may have selected to lay her eggs. If you can see slash marks measuring around ¼” that’s probably the culprit – you can’t do anything to control it but the damage is usually pretty limited.
” Prickly pear cactus is extremely susceptible to cochineal scale – white fluffy globs – blasting them off with water jets is usually sufficient to sort them out.
Summer is the time when most people can really enjoy their garden and following a few of these summer gardening tips will ensure that you have a beautiful garden to enjoy.