Tips to Prepare Your Organic Garden & Landscaping
Part of the fun of gardening is picking out the plants. Spending time with loved ones planting your new crop is another benefit to gardening.
Most people want to begin an organic vegetable garden but do not know where to start. Typically, they end up not creating a garden because they either feel they do not have enough time or enough knowledge.
An organic vegetable garden should begin with composting, and you will quickly find out that creating an organic garden is good for you, and good for the environment. There are many different types of organic gardens such as organic vegetable gardens, flower gardens, as well as herb gardens and organic fruits.
When to Plant
Growing an organic vegetable garden need not be a daunting task and can be one that proves valuable in many ways. Nothing is better than biting into your own homegrown organic vegetable. To make it happen, you’ll need to time your planting schedule appropriately!
- Autumn Duties — Planning for next year’s organic vegetable garden actually begins after harvesting the current year’s crops. In the autumn, remove plant remains, debris and anything else that pests or their eggs can use to protect themselves over the winter.
- Time to Till — With your garden clear, you will be ready in the spring for tilling. Do not till if the soil is too wet. It will make it difficult for seeds and plants to grow if the soil is too compacted.
- Select Your Seeds — The best time for purchasing seeds is early in the spring. You will have a larger selection and you can choose the seeds that will best fit your preferences. Check not only for varieties in the type of vegetable you want, but also at the length of time for maturity and for pest and disease resistance.
- Monitor Temperatures — Different vegetables require different temperatures and conditions for planting. Check the seed’s package for the plant’s temperature ranges or ask the professional at your local garden center or greenhouse.
- Wait for Spring — Keep in mind that standard planting time could be altered by a particularly early or late spring. Your local garden center should be able to advise you accordingly.
- Fall Harvests — Another consideration is plants that can be planted during the late spring or early summer and harvested in the fall.
- Make Them Hardy — Plants that have already been started indoors should be acclimated to the sunshine and weather before they are placed in the garden soil. Take the plants outside each day for about a week or so and place them in the sunlight for graduated periods of time throughout the week.
- Water Schedule — Be sure to water the plantings the day before you will be placing them in the garden. Transplants should be planted in the late afternoon or on a cloudy day.
Our Gardening 101 section is packed with information to help you get your garden started and remain pest free all year long.
What to Plant
As organic gardening becomes more commonplace, gardeners are seeing more options available for planting. Your choices aren’t just limited to organic vegetables – you can also bring organic practices to any plant, including fruit trees, flowers, shrubs and ornamental trees.
For a beautiful splash of color, annuals are the perfect choice. Typically annuals are more affordable than perennials and many types bloom throughout the spring and summer.
As the name suggests, annuals do not come back year after year with the occasional exception from seeds that were sown by the plant and made it past your weeding process in the spring.
Over time, annuals are a bit more labor intensive than perennials because they must be replanted every year but that is part of the fun!
- Recommended Product: Safer® Brand 3-in-1 Garden Spray will keep your annuals free from disease and insects.
- Examples: Garden petunia, periwinkle, celosia and Mexican Heather.
There is such a large array of perennials, it’s tough to classify them into categories. There are many different shapes and sizes, and that’s a great way to add depth and character to your landscaping areas.
The colors on perennials aren’t typically quite as vibrant as annuals, with roses being a notable exception to that rule.
With a little care and maintenance throughout the year, perennials can be enjoyed for many years.
When planting perennials, it’s a good idea to plant some that boom in the spring, summer and late summer so you have color throughout the season.
- Recommended Product: Safer® Brand Rose and Flower Insect Killer will keep insects off of your perennials and help them stay healthy all season long!
- Examples: Black-Eyed Susans, Hostas, Peonies, Goldenrods and Yarrows.
Fruits, Vegetables & Herbs
Growing your own fruits, vegetables and herbs can be a lot of work, but can also be a lot of fun, too.
If you’re just starting your first backyard garden, tomatoes are a good choice. They are easy to grow in most climates, delicious in salads, sauces, on sandwiches & more. Plus most varieties of tomatoes continue to produce fruit from the time they mature to the first frost. Be sure to share your harvest with friends, co-workers and family.
Most vegetable plants are not as aesthetically pleasing as flowers, shrubs and ornamentals but they are delicious and save you money at the grocery store.
If you want to add beauty and produce to your yard, consider a fruit tree. Make sure the tree you choose will thrive in your climate zone and enjoy the fruits of your labor for years & years.
- Recommended Product: Try Safer® Brand Fruit and Vegetable Insect Killer to protect your crops from insects. Best of all? This OMRI Listed® treatment will not persist in the soil or harm beneficial insects!
Daffodils and tulips are the most popular plant bulbs but there are many varieties to choose from. As harbingers of spring, bulbs grow best when they are planted in the fall and allowed to lay dormant until spring. You can also buy them in the early part of the planting season. The result is always the same: A splash of color from their delicate flowers, usually arriving before the rest of your garden starts to bloom.
Bulbs are great filler too. Plant them mixed in with other plants and watch them grown and bloom before some of the perennials even have their spring leaves.
- Recommended Product: Safer® Brand Insect Killing Soap will keep your bulbs free from insects all season long!
- Examples: Hyacinth, iris, lily and allium.
Trees, Shrubs & Ornamentals
Trees, shrubs and ornamental plants come in tons of shapes and sizes – and if you don’t like them, you can shape them yourself! Mix these with your annuals and perennials to provide foliage, character and depth to your landscaping.
When planting trees, make sure you know how big they will get and ensure you have enough space. Don’t plant large trees too close to your home’s foundation or other structures because the roots grow with the tree and you may accidentally cause structural damage.
Check with your local garden center expert to make sure you are planting the right size tree for your property.
- Recommended Product: Use Safer® Brand 3-in-1 Garden Spray to keep your plants healthy all year long and provide them with extra protect them from insects and diseases.
What are Your Organic Plans?
Are you preparing an organic garden this season? Let us know about your plans in the comments below. Whatever you do, know that Safer® Brand is here to help you with its extensive product line of OMRI Listed products that are compliant for use in organic production.
You can keep up to date with our efforts to make organic growing easier and easier by joining the Safer® Brand community on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our E-Newsletter for links to the OMRI Listed® products you need, new articles on organic growing and regular announcements of new products.