Category Archives: Organic Gardening Tips

Growing Organic Strawberries

You’ve decided to grow strawberries, but you know nothing about them? Don’t worry, this article will clear some things up for you. Homegrown strawberries are a thousand times tastier than the ones from the local store. Strawberry types vary in their growth habits and fruiting times. There are several types of them, considering prolonged productivity and the unique flavor of each type.

June-bearing strawberries

This type of strawberries produce their crop over three weeks from late spring to early summer. Because of their earliness, high quality and concentrated set, June-bearers are the best for preserving.

Ever-bearing strawberries

…or day-neutral strawberries, produce a heavy set of berries in early summer followed by several more lighter flushes in late summer and fall. Cool temperatures is what they need to develop a good fruit set. This type of strawberries is good for large containers or raised beds where you can give them attentive watering and regular feeding.

Alpine strawberries

This intensely flavored berries can be red, yellow or white, depending on the variety. Many varieties do not produce runners but do rebloom and set fruit intermittently all summer. Because of their small size, alpine strawberries are easiest to pick if grown in raised beds or roomy planters.

Musk strawberries

Musk strawberries produce small fruits with a pungent aroma and complex flavor. Berries tend to be precious and few. Try to improve the fruit set by adding male plants every couple of years. This type is too tall for containers.

How To Grow Organic Cucumbers

Cucumbers are generally divided into two types – slicing and pickling. Slicing cucumbers are grown for fresh eating and they typically grow around eight inches long, with smooth skin. Pickling cucumbers are harvested much smaller, from two to three inches (cornichons). Bumpy skin is a sure sign that you are growing a pickling cucumber.

If you want to grow cucumbers, you must know that cold weather and cucumbers are not best friends. Cucumber seeds won’t germinate until the soil temperature hits around 70 degrees. Cucumbers demand constantly warm weather. You can start seeds indoors, but they’ll grow really quickly, so it won’t save you much time.

On the other side, cucumbers and water are very good friends. Cucumbers absolutely love water. You’ll need to keep them consistently moist, and once they start to set fruit, they’ll require even more water. Regular watering is essential.

If you choose to grow them in containers, a good organic potting soil with a bit of compost or vermicompost will do the work. Feed garden-grown cucumbers monthly with fish emulsion or compost tea, and feed container-grown ones weekly with a diluted dose of fish emulsion or compost tea, about ¼ strenght.

Reasons To Buy Organic Flowers

People around the world buy flowers for different occasions. Men buy it for Mother’s day, birthdays, to surprise their loved ones… Women buy it to decorate their living space or to give it to someone as a gift. But, have you ever thought about buying organic flowers?
Growing flowers organically has many benefits, including:

• reduction of toxic chemical usage;
• it brings life to the soil;
• it’s good for the environment;
• it’s safer for farmers and farm workers;
• it promotes long-term sustainability of farmland.

The problem with pesticides in growing flowers is that they don’t stay put, they contaminate water supplies, our homes, gardens and bodies. Pesticides can even speed up ozone depletion and increase the risk of cancer. Knowing all this leads you to a conclusion that non-organic flower-growth has a serious impact on our health and environment.

Rather than using toxic chemicals to destroy pests, organic farmers rely on prevention, and also on growing thriving, pest-resistant plants through healthier soil and environment. So organic flower-growers not only reduce the amount of toxic compounds in the biosphere, they actually improve the environment and promote the sustainability of farmland.

Many of the flowers we buy at supermarket floral departments and florists come from other countries where pesticide regulations are far more lax than they are here. Floral workers often suffer the risk of exposure to chemicals that have been banned.

So, buying organic flower is a way of supporting the health of our planet and ourselves. Don’t hesitate next time and don’t be lazy – find a flower shop that sells organically grown flowers!

Why Should You Have Your Own Organic Garden?

1. Get the nutrition you need and enjoy tastier food

Many studies have shown that organically grown food has more minerals and nutrients that we need that food grown with synthetic pesticides. There’s a good reason why many chefs use organic foods in their recipes – they taste better. Organic farming starts with the nourishment of the soil, which eventually leads to the nourishment of the plant and, ultimately our bodies.

2. Save money

Growing your own food can help cut the cost of the grocery bill. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars a month at the grocery store on foods that don’t really nourish you, spend time in the garden, outside, exercising, learning to grow your own food.

3. Prevent soil erosion

The Soil Conservation Service estimates more than 3 billion tons of topsoil are eroded from the United States’ croplands each year. That means soil erodes seven times faster than it’s built up naturally. Soil is the foundation of the food chain in organic farming. However, in conventional farming, the soil is used more as a medium for holding plants in a vertical position so they can be chemically fertilized. As a result, farms are suffering from the worst soil erosion in history.

4. Protect water quality

Water makes up two-thirds of our body mass and covers three-fours of the planet. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates pesticides – some cancer causing – contaminate the groundwater in 38 states, polluting the primary source of drinking water for more than half the country’s population.

5. Save energy

Farms have changed drastically in the last three generations, from family-based small businesses dependent on human energy to large-scale factory farms. Modern farming uses more petroleum than any other single industry, consuming 12 percent of the country’s total energy supply. More energy is now used to produce synthetic fertilizers than to till, cultivate and harvest all the crops in most farms. If you are growing your own food in the city, you are cutting down on transportation and pollution costs.

Organic VS Non-Organic Baby Food

All parents want to give their babies the best possible start in life, and this involves many important decisions. One of them is definitely food. Modern parents have trouble with choosing between organic and conventional baby food.

Conventional baby food

Most baby foods are made from cooking, pureeing and packaging fresh foods. For non-organic baby foods, the source food, such as apples, green beans, or rice, is grown using conventional farming or ranching methods. Most conventional baby foods are inexpensive and parents have many different varieties to choose from.

Organic food

In order for baby food (or any other food) to carry an organic label, it must meet the strict standards set by the USDA’s National Organic Program, meaning that it comes from fruits and vegetables that are not sprayed with chemical pesticides and meat from animals that are not given antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic foods don’t contain any artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.

Benefits of organic

A study published in the journal “Environmental Health Perspectives” found that kids who ate conventional foods had several different pesticides in their systems, but these chemicals disappeared within a day after switching to organic food and juice. According to Allison Pennell writing at the parenting website Babble.com, ongoing exposure to pesticides can make babies and children more vulnerable to health problems, including a risk of neuro-development damage in particular. Since babies’ brains and bodies are at a crucial stage of development, many believe that it is necessary to limit their exposure to potentially dangerous chemicals. Pennell also writes that the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” claims that organic produce contains more nutrients and higher levels of vitamins.