50 Tips, Hints, Tricks and Facts for Natural Gardening

  1. Pest management begins with healthy soil. It produces healthy plants, which are better able to withstand disease and insect damage.
  2. Organic fertilizers are safer than chemicals. Chemical fertilizers may, in time, build up salts.
  3. Apply compost to your garden about two to four weeks before you plant, giving the compost time to integrate and stabilize within the soil.
  4. New beds need soil amendments and double digging for that extra starting kick.
  5. Soak finished compost in water to “brew” compost “tea,” a nutrient-rich liquid that can be used for foliar feeding or for watering plants in your garden, backyard, or houseplants.
  6. Specimen plants which need a warmer climate zone than you have do well in sheltered, south-facing walls. The wall acts as a solar collector, absorbing heat during the day and releasing it at night, creating a small zone that is warmer than the rest of the garden.
  7. Begin deep watering your trees and shrubs in the spring if you don’t get a soaking rain every 10 – 14 days.
  8. Outdoor potted plants and baskets are the only plants that need daily water on the hottest, driest days of the summer.
  9. Once a seed sprouts it must be kept watered. If it dries out, it dies. If seeds are lightly covered with soil, they may need to be gently sprinkled with water once or twice a day to keep them moist.
  10. When planting in clay soil, cover seeds with vermiculite instead of clay. Clay absorbs heat and may bake the seeds and stop germination. Clay also forms a top crust, forming a barrier for the young seedlings.
  11. Throw a handful of finished compost in the hole for a flower or vegetable transplant before transplanting. The compost gives the transplant a bit of an extra boost that lasts throughout the season.
  12. Check moisture in container plants often with your fingers. Potting soil is often lightweight and dries out quickly.
  13. Short on space but like vining vegetables? Train your squash, melons, and cucumbers onto a vertical trellis. Support the fruiting vines gently and thoroughly.
  14. Watering is necessary when transplanting, but be careful not to over water.
  15. Water your gardens and plants in the early morning or dusk to save water. Watering during the heat of the day burns plants and increases evaporation and loss of water.
  16. Picking off flowers frequently encourages most annuals to flower more abundantly.
  17. To continue blooming, container plants need large amounts of nutrients and water. Since water tends to wash out the nutrients, use finished compost or a good organic fertilizer as top-dressing.


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