1. Make compost: with a compost bin or a trash can. Compost bin- wooden structure with side and a top. Have vents for air to flow through. Stir every week. Trash Can- Drill holes in the bottom sides. Lay on side and roll every week. Have a small container for under the sink for convienence. Make sure it has a tight fitting lid! Empty into larger compost bin every night.
2. How to make compost.
- straw - tea bags
- leaves -coffee grounds
- wood ships -egg shells
- plant stems -fish scraps
- hay -horse manure
- nut shells -fruit & vegtable scraps * NO citrus and nothing cooked!*
- pine needles
- shredded paper
- saw dust
- wood ashes* NO coal or charcoal ashes!!*
- dead flowers
**No chemically treated wood ***Shred everything small and layer with topsoil!
**No meat, fat bones, or dairy
**No perrenial weeds or plants
**No diseased plants
3. Make seed starters/ Seedling Pots
- Trays: cardboard egg cartons, paper towel tubes or toilet paper tubes. Cut toilet paper tubes in half. Cut the bottoms of the cardboard tubes in four places about an inch. Fold in to the center to make a bottom. Fill with gardening soil. Plant seeds as directed on package.
- Coffee Filters: Dampen the filter. Place a few seeds on one side of the filter. Fold the filter over. Place in a ziploc baggie. Place in a drawer(darkness). Wait 2 weeks for seeds to sprout. Transfer to larger seedling pots. This way keeps you from having to "thin" seeds out.
-Newspaper- As a can as your guide; wrap newspaper around can and around the bottom, tape to secure together. Should be as thick as a normal seedling pot. You can make larger pots with larger cans, like coffee cans.
-Jiffy brand planting pots. Already done for you, but costs more.
4. Simple Frugal Green House: Put clear plastic over a metal or wooden shelving unit. Put in sunny spot in yard.
5. Once the seedlings sprout to about an inch or more, make sure you transfer plants to larger pots to allow for bigger growth.
1. Till a spot of your land or make raised beds with wooden timbers. Till in your compost.
2. Do not plant the same plant in the same spot every year.
3. Plant in rows that are easily accessible.
4. Plant marigolds around the edge of the raised beds. Plant in between rows of the plants in a regular garden. The marigolds keep certains bugs and insects away.
5. When planting from seedling pots, plant it deep enough that the soil covers 2/3 of the plant. Makes deeper, better root system.
Mother Earth News is one of my favorite magazines for organic gardening and other ideas. Check it out at http://www.motherearthnews.com/
info from motherearthnews.com Spring Planting:
FALL HARVEST CROPS
Days to Maturity
beets 55 to 60 broccoli 70 to 80 Brussels sprouts 90 to 100 cauliflower 55 to 65 cabbage 70 to 80 carrots 85 to 95 Chinese cabbage 75 to 85 cilantro 50 to 55 (leaf); 90 to 105 (coriander seed) collard greens 60 to 100 daikon radishes 60 to 75 green beans 50 to 60 green onions 50 to 60 kale 40 to 50 kohlrabi 50 to 60 leeks 100 to 120 lettuce (leaf) 40 to 50 lettuce (head) 70 to 85 mustard greens 30 to 40 onions (seeds) 130 to 150 onions (sets) 60 to 80 peas 50 to 60 radishes 25 to 30 rutabaga 70 to 80 spinach 50 to 60 Swiss chard 30 to 50 turnips 55 to 60
info from motherearthnews.com
Very early spring (as soon as the ground can be worked)
After last frost date
**Please check out your frost dates at http://www.farmersalmanac.com/
For more organic pest control ideas:
1. Use grated ivory soap flakes on vegtables as an organic choice for pesticide.
2. Use red pepper flakes around garden and flowers to keep dogs and other animals away.
3. Water everyday.
4. Fertilize every week or two, depending on the directions of certain brands.
5. Cut okra when its about an inch or two long in length. The longer it is, the tougher it will be.
6. Over watering or not enough watering will cause tomatoes to crack.
7. Use wooden poles or triangle cages for tomatoes to grow taller. Make the poles into a triangle. Tomato plants can grow as tall or even taller than you if taken care of properly.
8. Use wooden poles for green beans and peas to grow taller.
9. If you plant a berry bush along a fence, use a trellis to train it to grow upward for easy picking.