You’ve installed an organic garden, or had one professionally installed, and now you want to know how to maintain it.
This section has a bunch of important organic gardening tips on how to do just that.
I cover proper pruning, organic lawn maintenance, organic mulching and other organic gardening tips.
Here are all of my articles with organic gardening tips for maintaining your garden…
I’m a big fan of spraying organic seaweed fertilizer at least once a month in my garden.
I do this primarily to help my plants deal with heat, cold, wind, drought and disease.
Hey, it’s Phil from SmilingGardener.om. I apologize in advance for the wind noise – I don’t have a wireless mic on today so i just have to use the camera mic.
I haven’t been making any videos this time of year because this is what my garden looks like under two feet of snow right now, but I wanted to share a couple of things with you today.
First is if you follow me on facebook and especially on youtube, you’re not really seeing anything from me this time of year, but if you come over to SmilingGardener.com, I am still writing an article every Saturday.
And if you want, you can sign up for my free ebook download and then you get on my email list and then I’ll actually send that out to you every Saturday. So I’m writing about how to improve your soil and control pests and how to grow nutrient-dense food and all of the same kind of stuff that I usually shoot videos about, and sharing tips for the upcoming growing season as soon as this melts.
And actually, I know some of you are gardening already if you live closer to the equator or by the ocean and so your weather is more moderated.
And I actually can see this because I sell organic fertilizers and microbial inoculants to gardeners in the U.S. and in January I starting getting orders from California and Texas and Florida and then gradually going into February and March, the orders come from further north and further east, so I can see when you’re starting to think about gardening.
If you are starting to think about fertilizers, I ship even during the winter because all of these products – even the microbial inoculants – it’s okay if they freeze for a little while. I get all of my stuff in in the winter as well from the manufacturers and it’s all good, so I’m shipping right now.
And you can go to SmilingGardener.com and click on ‘Organic Fertilizer Guide’ up in the main menu, and I sell products there but I also teach you how to make your own fertilizers, and it’s just a great comprehensive guide.
The main thing I wanted to ask of you today, because I am writing still right now and I’m going to be shooting more videos this year, and I’m always looking for more ideas for what to talk about – so I want to hear from you what is the one most important thing you want me to share this year on my website.
So let me know in the comments below, whether you’re on my blog right now or on facebook or on youtube, I will see that everywhere, and then I will have some ideas for what to create and then I’ll create it for you.
So that’s all for now. Talk to you soon.
Masanobu Fukuoka (Photo credit)
Every so often I read Masanobu Fukuoka’s The One-Straw Revolution to remind myself I sometimes have very little idea of what I’m doing in my garden – and my life.
In some ways it’s a troubling reminder while in other ways it’s quite freeing.
Troubling because I teach gardening so I’m supposed to know some things about that, and because I live my own life so I’m supposed to know some things about that, too.
This is what my organic garden looks like today.
Not quite ready to start planting yet, haha, but I’m gearing up for spring.
I’ve been making sure I have my seeds and organic fertilizers and microbial inoculants all ready to rock when the soil warms up.
(Speaking of which, I’ll have an exciting new announcement at the bottom of this post.)
I talk a lot about how to improve garden health because it’s obviously a vital step for growing nutrient-dense organic food.
That’s why the first 6 months of The Academy – my members-only online organic gardening course – are largely about how to optimize the health of your soil and plants.
The reason the following steps are so important is because we’re trying to grow plants that probably wouldn’t be growing in our gardens on their own, plants that often need quite a lot of nutrition, as is the case for a majority of our most common vegetables.
H: Hey guys this is H, Phil’s sister from smilinggardener.com and today we are talking about preparing your garden for winter. How do we know it’s time to winterize our garden?
Phil: I do it right before it’s going to snow.
H: What’s the most important thing for preparing the garden?
Phil: For me it is like one really big step and that is doing something to protect your soil over winter. There are some few different ways you can go about doing that.
H: What’s the easiest thing to do?
Phil: Yeah. Like if I guess if we were talking about like a vegetable garden or a perennial garden, certainly one thing you could do is just leave your plants there, your tomatoes, your peppers, your everything, just leave them right there and they will just die back, the nutrients from the plant will go back into the root system of the plants and the top will just die back and become a mulch for the soil and all those nutrients and all those organic matter will makes its way back into the soil and it’s not the most esthetically pleasing, but if your garden is kind of back somewhere where it doesn’t matter and now it will be easiest way to do it and that’s how nature would do it too, right.
H: But what if your garden is in a really high profile area and you don’t want it to look that messy?
Phil: That’s what I have this garden here, its right up by the house and it’s like I try to keep it as a nice garden. So then what I do is take all of that stuff and put it into the compose bin because I really want to get the nutrients out of that and get the carbon, the organic matter out of that. So I take all that and put it into a compose bin and then I like to plan a carver crop.
H: What about leaves?
Phil: If you are not going to plan to carver crop, you want something to protect our soil and so that’s where mulch comes in and by far the best mulch and the most natural mulch is leaves and this is the time of year that we actually get them for free, especially if we have been clever enough to planting and make wild leaves.
H: I think that’s it. Is there anything else that you wanted to say about preparing the garden?
Phil: I did put a few more tips on the blog, so people are watching on YouTube, they can go over to this blog and there is some extra brownie points, there is some extra things you can do to really improve this process of soil building in the fall.
H: Sounds good.
Phil: Hey you know what I should say because you don’t know how to say it yet is for people who haven’t picked up the 15 vital lessons for becoming a better organic gardener, you can do that right on the Home page of smilinggardener.com and that’s where I teach a whole bunch of really cool tips. H: You are gardening for the winter.
It’s November, which means:
- Christmas music is beginning to waft through stores across North America, and
- I’m preparing my garden for winter.
The most important task for preparing a garden for winter is getting that soil good and covered.
There are a few ways you can tackle that:
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!
I have 3 important organic gardening tips for you. You don’t have to tattoo them onto your knuckles – remembering them will suffice.
If you’ve read my book, you know that I tend to get rather detailed in my organic gardening practices, because I like the process of perfecting my soil in order to get the healthiest possible plants – especially food plants.
But the fact is that we can have some pretty decent gardens by remembering to follow just the basics.
Lawn top dressing with compost produces a thick, green lawn
Lawn top dressing is when you apply a thin layer of material onto the lawn. Lawn dressing is often done with sand and that’s where the problem is.
Sand is used because people think it will improve air space and water infiltration and drainage. These are important organic gardening goals, but top dressing lawn with sand does not help achieve them.
No matter what your soil is composed of, putting sand on top can cause drainage problems and dry pockets in the soil. And there’s more.
Aerating a lawn can cause more problems than benefits
Just like lawn dethatching and lawn rolling, I can see why you might think aerating a lawn with a lawn core aerator is necessary or even beneficial on an annual basis.
Not only is it often recommended gardening advice, but most lawn care companies do this as part of their regular service, organic gardening companies included.
The thing is, it can be beneficial if done right, but it generally isn’t done right, so I’m going to give a few lawn aeration tips here.