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Organic Gardening Blog

Welcome to my organic gardening blog. At certain times of year I post gardening tips weekly and other times much less frequently. Sign up for my ebook over to the right (or near the very bottom of the page if you're on mobile) if you want to get my best stuff :)

Phil Growing A Vegetable Garden

We had a family get together a couple of weeks ago.

It's always fun trying to explain to family or friends who I haven't seen for awhile about what I do for a "living."

"I have a website where I teach people about growing a vegetable garden, and organic gardening in general."

Intensive Gardening With Permaculture/Biological Gardening Principles

The scope of this topic probably calls for at least a few thousand words.

But this isn't meant to be an authoritative or conclusive comparison on these organic gardening topics.

It's just a few thoughts I've been having this week that I figured I'd pass on to you.

First, a few notes:

Growing Organic FoodThe 3 sisters: corn, beans and squash

Today, I have an excellent companion planting chart to share with you.

But first, let's briefly get into what companion planting is and why it can be useful.

Companion gardening involves pairing plants that work well together.

I'll use the 3 sister guild as an example, which are 3 plants that were originally combined by Native Americans in such a way that the plants all helped each other out.

Praying Mantis In My Self-Sustaining Garden
Insects like this praying mantis take care of my garden for me.

One of my goals is to have a self-sustaining garden.

Today is a good example of why. Heather and I are visiting her brother and his family in New York City.

I don't know how anyone gets anything done with a 3 year old (sorry, 3 and a half) and a new baby in the house!

Compost Tea Recipe

Update: Nearly 2 years after writing this, I decided to start selling the same compost tea brewer that I use. You can check it out (and learn more about compost tea) here.

A compost tea recipe doesn't have to be complicated in order to be effective.

In fact, the simplest compost tea recipes are often the best because they're easier to experiment with.

In case you don't know, compost tea doesn't look like my literal interpretation in the picture here.

Watering Vegetable Garden - Adhesion

Watering the vegetable garden. Chances are you don't want to spend much time reading about it, because water is just always there for us.

We take it for granted because it comes so readily out of our tap, so we find the topic rather boring.

But man, is it ever important, vital for all living things. Go 24 hours without drinking it and we would all become more interested. The fact is, we're made of it. Throughout the course of our lives, our bodies contain between 50 and 80% water.

Studying plant sickness is fascinating because we know pests only dine on sick plants.

What I have for you today is some info on why those plants invite pests when they're sick, and how to avoid that.

10-10-10 Fertilizer

10-10-10 fertilizer is certainly one of the most popular fertilizers. This week, I received a great question about the nutritional difference between it and compost:

Most bags of compost and manure say they have about .1-.1-.1 of the big 3. I have tested my own compost and it is somewhat higher but still not in the 10 10 10 range recommended for most plants. So, how do you get enough without using fertilizers? Is 10-10-10 the same as .1-.1-.1? Am I missing something?


I'm really glad you asked. There are 3 things I'd like to address...

Garden Fertilizer Tips From The Sun

Today I continue with the garden fertilizer tips.

Last week, I outlined a basic fertilizer schedule and received a couple of comments from people who disagreed with my suggestions, so I thought I'd address their concerns here in more detail.

I always appreciate any feedback people have to give, even when it runs counter to my advice. Some great learning opportunities come when we have these discussions.

Soil Building Fertilizer Schedule

If you want a fertilizer schedule to follow, I have some tips for you.

Fertilizer companies often create a schedule for you that outlines exactly when to fertilize, but that's often done to maximize their revenue, not the health of your garden.

The thing is, there's no such thing as an off-the-shelf fertilizer schedule that is right for every garden. We can, however, follow some well-established guidelines.