26 Organic Gardening Tips and Tricks
Gardening requires a lot of work. But seeing those first few ripe, red tomatoes and the satisfaction of knowing your family is eating organic fruit and veggies straight from your garden makes it all worth it.
Of course, there are a few gardening tips and tricks we’ve discovered over the years that make gardening a lot easier! We also partnered with some well-known garden bloggers who have shared their favorite hacks in our slideshow below.
Organic Gardening Tips Recap
Keep a bar of soap in the foot of old pantyhose tied to the outdoor faucet for easy clean up after gardening.
Insects don’t like garlic, onion, chives and chrysanthemums. Grow these plants around your garden to keep bugs away.
Compost needs time to stabilize the soil – apply 2-3 weeks before planting.
Get our free compost ebook here.
Watering with a sprinkler? Place a cup in the range you’ll be watering to make sure your plants get 1 inch of water.
Adding 1-2 inches of mulch around your plants will keep the moisture in the soil and weeds down.
Plant buckwheat as a cover crop over winter to replenish the soil and attract bees since it blooms early.
- water from cooking vegetables
- wash your veggies over a rain barrel to reuse the water and soil
- You can even dilute your urine and use as fertilizer
Slug problem? Fill a jar with cornmeal and turn on its side near the affected plant. Slugs eat cornmeal even though it kills them.
“Chopsticks are the cheapest, most versatile gardening tool that you didn’t realized you already owned.” – David Oblas, producer at RodalesOrganicLife.com, a seasoned organic gardener, and in charge of the employee garden at Rodale. Click to see more uses for chopsticks in your garden.
Creating a Container Garden? Fill the bottom of large pots with foam peanuts to improve drainage and make them easier to move.
Sprinkle coffee grinds around plants to keep pests away and nourish the soil.
Stick a plastic fork with the spikes side up near seedlings to keep birds and pests from destroying your garden.
Soak your seeds in warm water the day before you plant.
Use an unused, opened diaper to help retain moisture in hanging plants.
“Plant chives and onions strategically in the garden around the tulip bulbs to keep deer away from spring blooms.” – Bren Haas, gardener with over 20 years of growing experience and the administrator of #gardenchat
Use a large coffee filter in the bottom of a flower pot to keep dirt from falling out.
Use a mixture of vinegar, dish soap and water to get rid of weeds.
Here are six more ways to get rid of weeds naturally.
Cut off the top of a clear soda bottle and place over young plants that need a mini-greenhouse.
Pre-sprout your seeds to speed up the germination process.
- Lay a damp paper towel on a flat surface (such as a cookie sheet).
- Place the seeds in the middle of the wet paper towel. If pre-sprouting different plant types, use a different paper towel for each kind.
- Fold the right third of the towel over the middle seeds and then fold the left third of the towel over that. Pat down so the seeds get moisture. Then fold the top third of the paper towel over the seeds and then the bottom third over that.
- Place your damp paper towel pocket with the seeds inside a plastic bag. Keep the plastic bag open to breath and check the towel every day to make sure the seeds have just enough moisture to sprout
“Think outside the planter box when creating a container garden. Isn’t a container basically any receptacle you plant in? You are only limited by your imagination when choosing your container.” -Robin Horton, founder and creative director of Urban Gardens.
Design curved raised beds to get a few extra feet for planting and to make it easier to mow around.
Poke an empty soda bottle with a dozen holes or use a plastic nursery pot with holes to plant near your veggies. Allow just the opening of the bottle to be above ground so you can fill it with water to make a drip feeder.
Use half of an egg shell or lemon peel (poke a hole in the bottom to help it drain) to start your seedlings inside and then plant the whole thing when it’s ready.
Add crushed eggshells to your compost pile or to the bottom of a planting hole for veggies that tend to get calcium deficient, such as tomatoes or peppers.
Use a permanent marker to draw lines on the long handle of one of your gardening tools to have easy access to a measuring stick when spacing plants.
“Put some art in the garden. It never dies and the bugs don’t eat it. It’s also a great way to create interest 12 months a year.” -Dave Epstein, meteorologist and horticulturalist from Growing Wisdom.
Do you have some gardening tips and tricks you would like to share? Post them in the comments below or visit Safer® Brand on Facebook and share them there with our community.