Planning Your Organic Gardening Year

Mid- to late spring -

The growing season is changing daily and in full action mode. Have on hand an abundance of organic matter to improve the soil for planting. If you are in short supply you can buy it.

  • Mulch the soil.
  • Stake herbaceous perennials as growth emerges.
  • Harden off bedding plants sown earlier in spring.
  • Plant evergreens, and do transplanting.
  • Cut back ornamental grasses as they start to grow.
  • Sod or sow new lawns, and repair worn-out lawns.
  • Start planting annuals in the garden that you have harden off.

Late spring -

  • Some early spring perennials start to fade away. Bleeding heart and poppies will leave gaps, so now you will need to compensate with annuals.
  • Watering seeds that have been started in the seedbed if there is not enough light rain. Water deeply every few days. When established deeply water once a week.
  • Fertilize every two weeks with compost tea or manure tea.*
  • Keep weeding.

*Compost tea – Put a cloth bag of finished compost into a bucket or garbage or garbage can filled with water. Cover and let sit for a few days to a week. Remove the bag and add it to the garden. Add water until the compost tea is the color of weak tea you would drink. Using it full strength could burn the leaves.

*Manure tea – For a high-nitrogen feed, make manure tea. If you do not have animals around you can buy dry manure at the garden center. Place a few shovels of manure in a burlap sack or cloth bag, and suspend it in the water with a rope to steep. After several hours, a very mild feed may be obtained and can be used directly undiluted.  You can leave the big for about two weeks. The water will heat up and return to a normal temperature. It may be used at full strength or diluted to a weak tea color.

Weed Solutions - The simplest way to prevent an abundance of weeds is to pull weeds before they set seed, but here are a few home solutions for you to try.

  1. Heinz white vinegar poured directly on the weeds. To kill weeds in the garden or between the cracks in the sidewalk and driveway.
  2. Pour salt on weeds on a dry, sunny day kills weeds. Avoid getting salt on any plants you want to thrive.
  3. Give your weeds a stiff drink of Vodka. Mix three tablespoons vodka and two cups water in a trigger-spray bottle. Spray weeds well, without getting the alcohol solution on other plants. The vodka dehydrates the weeds.
  4. You can find corn gluten based products for an organic approach as well. Follow the label directions for application rates and where to use.
  5. Use boiling water in order to scald the foliage and roots.

Happy Gardening.

Have you looked at our other How To Flower Articles or our flower picture gallery?