Organic Gardening Tips for a Healthier more Environmentally Friendly Lawn & Garden- Green living information & advice for a greener lifestyle

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Organic Gardening - Tips for a Greener More Environmentally Friendly Lawn & Garden

Organic Soil
Organic gardening begins with your soil. Healthy soil breeds healthy plants which can fend off weeds, pests and diseases without chemical treatment. Have your soil tested in early spring; home testing kits are also available at most garden supply centers. These tests will tell you where your soil is deficient and what organic ingredients your lawn needs.

Compost, made from rotted organic material, is the best all around soil conditioner available. It improves the physical and biological condition of the soil, providing beneficial micro-organisms, excellent drainage and both major and minor plant nutrients. Click here for natural composting tips and ideas.

Use a shovel or hoe to turn over and break up soil. Digging is an
important part of conditioning your soil:

• It allows roots to reach deep, unimpeded by stones and clumps of hard earth.

• It adds to good drainage and air circulation in the soil.

• It works compost and other organic material into the soil.

• Digging discourages harmful root feeding insects.

Companion Planting
Companion planting is the cornerstone of organic gardening. There are many plants that repel insects and provide natural protection for other plants that are susceptible. For example: french marigolds repel certain insects that are attracted to tomatoes and potatoes. You should plant them throughout your garden.

• Interplant potatoes and collards to reduce flea beetle damage.

• Garlic repels the larvae of many harmful insects and can be planted with anything else except onions.

• Onions repel many species of insects and should be dispersed throughout the garden.

• But some plants are bad for each other too. Avoid planting broccoli and cauliflower close to each other as well as other varieties of plants that are closely related.

Natural Ways to Rid Pests
• Companion planting is the practice of placing plants which pests dislike around those plants which pests relish. For instance, aphides hate chives, so chives are a great companion plant for roses.

• Hand Picking is time-consuming but unbeatable. Use gloves and remove all visible offending pests.

• Put a cone of birdseed in your garden. Birds are much more efficient than people at killing bugs. Flickers, warblers, finches, jays, robins, grackles, sparrows, cedar waxwings, starlings and many other birds will consume thousands of insects every day.

• You can also plant flowers that attract birds: pincherry, white flowering dogwood, honeysuckle, holly, white pine, Russian olive, sunflowers, marigolds, or ask your local nursery for other examples. The birds will come for the berries and seeds, but they’ll stay for the bugs.

Click here for some environmentally friendly organic pesticide recipes!