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LizzieWeakley posted a blog entry in Lizzie Weakley's Green BlogIf you’re looking to start your own garden, there’s a good chance that you want to grow your plants organically without using artificial pesticides or fertilizers. Organic gardening, however, comes with its own set of challenges that can make it a difficult task for beginners. Here are four expert tips to help you start your own organic garden. Start Small Many novice gardeners get ambitious and try to handle a large plot very early on, but it’s best to begin with a small area of land. To start, try growing in an area 50 to 100 square feet wide per member of your family. This may not seem like much, but you can grow plenty of plants in a small area if you plant densely and care for your plants properly. Beginning gardeners who start with a large plot often end up feeling overwhelmed and quitting, so start small to ease yourself into organic gardening. Use Quality Soil If you’re determined to grow your plants organically, it’s important that you use high-quality organic soil. The best way to do this is to incorporate a few inches of compost into the top layers of soil. Making your own compost is easy so long as you stay dedicated to composting all the natural food products you consume, and quality compost can do wonders for your soil quality and help keep your plants healthy. Use Organic Fertilizer Quality fertilizer increases your soil health and crop yields, and even if you decide to grow your garden organically, there are a variety of organic fertilizers available from places like Nature Safe. Reliable organic fertilizer formulas will provide excellent nutrition to your plants and help them grow faster without relying on chemicals or other artificial substances. Buy Plants When Starting Out Even if you plan to eventually start your own plants indoors, it’s best to buy most of your plants when starting out, as growing your own plants can be tricky for beginners. You can usually get starter vegetable plants for 25 cents to $3 per plant, which makes buying plants cheaper in many cases than starting your own plants, especially when you consider all the materials needed to use your own plants to start. By utilizing these four tips, even novice gardeners can start their own organic garden. Gardening can be a fun and rewarding hobby, especially when you know that you’re growing your plants without any artificial chemicals that may be harmful to you, your plants and the environment. Just remember to start small, buy your plants when starting out and use sufficient compost and fertilizer, and you’ll have a beautiful organic garden in no time.
Meghan Belnap posted a blog entry in Green Living BlogA lush, green yard starts with healthy soil, and that usually means using soil amendments to make sure that it's as nutrient-rich as it needs to be. With all of the different types of fertilizer on the market, it can be tough to make the best choice for you, your plants, and the surrounding environment. When it comes to organic fertilizer, there are some key advantages that shouldn't be overlooked. Long-term Improvement Most people don't really look past the nutrient boost that fertilizers give their soil, but a good organic fertilizer like Nature Safe has benefits above and beyond its nutrient content. As it breaks down, it can actually help improve the moisture-retaining capabilities and overall fertility of the soil itself over the long term. Better for the Environment Organic fertilizers are produced using the natural processes of decomposition, making them easily biodegradable. The production of conventional fertilizers relies on petrochemical byproducts, and is implicated in air, water, and soil pollution. Not only is it destructive to the environment to obtain the raw materials necessary to make it, its manufacturing process can actually damage vital ecosystems, drive out important plant and animal species, and spoil water sources. Wildlife Friendly Since they're so often hidden from view, it can be easy to forget just how much a yard depends on tiny creatures like earthworms and beneficial insects to stay healthy. While organic fertilizer has always been a part of nature, conventional fertilizers often end up adding nutrients to soil at the expense of the local fauna. Earthworms and other creatures have a harder time living in chemically amended soil, and the soil's overall quality suffers as a result. Slower Break Down This may not sound like a benefit, but it is. Conventional fertilizers deliver nutrients quickly, which is not the way plants or soil fauna have evolved to receive them. Organic fertilizers break down slowly, providing a sustained release of nutrients in a readily bioavailable form. Rather than having to cope with sudden gluts of nutrients, your yard can grow the way nature intended. When it comes to amending soil, organic fertilizers are far and away the superior choice. While it is possible to use them irresponsibly, organic fertilizers have far more benefits than risks even for novice gardeners. When used properly, the end result is a vibrant yard, healthy soil, and a cleaner environment.