Four Outstanding Organic Gardening Hacks

CrystalCove

 

Gardening is hard, and organic gardening is even harder. If your thumb is any color other than green, you probably have a hard time keeping any plants alive, let alone those delicate-seeming heirloom varieties, and opting out of chemical enhancers like packaged fertilizer and weed-killer feels like a risk.

However, organic gardening definitely has its benefits ― no harmful chemicals for one and better produce for another ― so it is worthwhile to learn some tricks to make the practice a little easier. Here are four of the best (and cheapest) organic gardening hacks to help your garden grow big and strong.

Compost, Compost, Compost

Instead of tossing leftover food scraps into the trash, you can use them to build your very own compost pile. Compost is decayed organic matter that can feed the soil in which your plants grow, and when you make it from home, you can be sure it is 100 percent organic. Composting is safe and easy, and it is even safer and easier with a few simple hacks, including:

• Use yard care leftovers, like dead flowers and leaves or grass clippings, to add extra carbon and nitrogen to your compost.

• Avoid adding fatty foods to the compost pile, as they will attract pests that might infect your compost and spread disease to your plants or you.

• Turn your pile regularly to add air and disrupt anaerobic processes that tend to stink.
Composting may sound gross ― after all, it is allowing waste products to decompose in your backyard ― but it is a natural and healthy way to give much-needed nutrients to your organic garden.

Use Old Food Scraps

If you don’t have space to compost, you can still make good use of kitchen scraps while you garden. Food waste is still incredibly nutritious for plants, even before it turns into compost, so using particular scraps in particular ways might help your organic garden grow big and strong. Here are a few leftover food hacks:
Eggshells. If you are interested in starting your garden from seeds, you might consider using hollow eggshells as vessels for seedlings. When the plants grow too large, you can crack the shells a little more and place them directly into the ground. Additionally, you can scatter crumbled eggshells around your garden to discourage snails and slugs.
Milk. Sour milk isn’t good to drink, but it is an excellent way to save plants dying from mildew. Spraying turned milk on leaves and stalks will kill any fungus growing there naturally and safely.
Fruit peels. Slicing peels (especially from bananas, oranges, and lemons) into small bits and mixing those bits into your garden soil will provide extra phosphorous and potassium as well as keep aphids away.
Vegetable hearts. Some veggies can be regrown from a small sliver. You can preserve your lettuce, celery, onion, and garlic hearts in water until they sprout, and then you can add them to your garden.

Conscript the Experts for Professional Care

Some parts of your garden will always be a headache to care for organically, which means sometimes you will need to call in the experts. Lawns are tricky, even when you aren’t trying to be all-natural, so it’s usually best to hire a professional to administer organic weed control, pest control, and other lawn care. The same can be true with larger plants, like tall trees or broad bushes, that require special tools to treat properly.

GardeningHacks2

Use the Buddy System

Just like people, plenty of plants have best friends that help them grow. By choosing to plant your garden according to a buddy system, you can help weaker plants become bigger, stronger, and more flavorful. There are a variety of systems, and the one you use should depend on your organic gardening problems.

Spatial buddies. Choosing plants of different sizes and shapes can help each type grow better. For example, corn provides a stalk up which beans can grow, and squash can cover the ground to keep roots cool.
Beneficial buddies. Some plants establish a healthy space for good insects, like ladybugs and hover flies. You can plant a number of herbs, like cilantro, chives, and dill, to facilitate a beneficial habitat.
Taste-enhancing buddies. A few buddies actually influence the taste of the produce they create. For example, strawberries tend to be sweeter when grown next to thyme. You can research good companions for more ideas.

About Heather Jones

I'm a coffee addict wife, "work at home mom", mother to two boys, blogging about the latest life hacks, recipes, DIY Projects and crazy "momisodes".

Heartfully Heather

 

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Heather Jones

I'm a coffee addict wife, "work at home mom", mother to two boys, blogging about the latest life hacks, recipes, DIY Projects and crazy "momisodes".

16 thoughts on “Four Outstanding Organic Gardening Hacks

  1. This is great information, I really didn’t know that about the strawberries and I have tried regrowing from the heart but I must be drowning them or something.
    @tisonlyme143

  2. Banana peels chopped up are great food for the garden and used tea leaves as well. Crushed egg shells around plants deter slugs and snails too.

  3. I keep crushed egg shells in a big bottle of water & then I water my household plants with that water. I change the eggshells every 2 or 3 weeks. The water does tend to smell. But the plants don’t seem to mind it ? I would love to include a pic of my “plant” room sometime!
    I don’t do outside gardening anymore.

  4. I love gardening and I do use coffee grounds on Azaleas and Rhododendrons. But I gave up my tomatoes a couple years ago after two unsuccessful years in a row. Now I occasionally splurge on heirloom tomatoes at the local Farmers Market. And our food scraps (those that aren’t eaten by our dog) go into our weekly Green Recycling bin which is then made into mulch and fertilizer!

  5. I never knew that milk would save mildewy plants! Now on the (rare) occasion we don’t finish the gallon, the remainder won’t go to waste. Thanks for the tip!

  6. I’m so DON’T have a green thumb so I was just curious. Turns out my mother (who always gifts me a new plant when the last one she gave me dies) does a lot of the things you listed here. She takes raw fish heads and buries them under her rose bushes!

  7. These are some fantastic tips. I love that it’s not only good and natural for us, but it’s also cost effective. Why not use things that you’re just going to throw away anyways?

What do you think?