Long before I ever started with gardening I knew that “organic” or “working with nature” would work. I knew I would be successful.
And I have been.
In addition to being successful I have experienced most of the problems that gardeners face with clay soil, sandy soil, poor soil, pests, disease, and having certain crops fail. I’ve over come or controlled these problems using my simple way of gardening.
That’s how I’m able to help you. I know what you’re facing and I know what to do about it. If I don’t know — I’ll tell you.
I have far less problems with each passing year and am anticipating even fewer problems in the years to come.
Through all the problems I had a great incentive to keep gardening: I wanted to eat. Since I wanted to eat I couldn’t give up even if I’d wanted to.
In spite of the many books and articles written that try to make gardening seem complicated — it’s not. But — it does take some basic information and it takes a willingness to do it nature’s way (if – you’ve come to see the harm in doing it the chemical way) and the patience to wait a bit. It’s most likely not going to happen in one season.
One reader — only in her 3rd season of gardening said, “I don’t know if they (various fertilizers) will help but I need to try something! I don’t know if I can take another year of doing so much work for so little return!”
How Soon will You Get Results?
How soon you get the results you want depends on how well you work with nature and where your garden is. How was the land used (or abused) before you even arrived on the scene?
In my current location and the previous one I saw results the first year and great results by the 3rd year. Although I was surrounded by abused soil (farm land) I was fortunate that the land on which I had my gardens had not been too abused — at least for 25 or 30 years.
If you live on land that was previously farmed using conventional methods of farming — you’ll have more trouble and it will take more time. That land is most likely totally dead and you’ll need to restore life to it.
Another trouble spot would be in small yards of row homes or housing developments. Very often the top soil that was originally on the land is scraped off and sold.
Another problem spot would be around the foundation of fairly modern homes, since the poorest soil is often placed around the foundation — not to mention all the poisons that are sometimes sprayed around homes for termites and other pests.
Other Problems that Slow Down Success
People come to organic gardening by different roads. Many folks are so steeped in the brainwashing of the chemical companies that it’s difficult for them to imagine gardening without using chemicals.
Other folks — by their very nature — want to add a little of this and a little of that. They want a quick fix (programed into our society) for every problem in the garden.
Seeing the Big Picture and What Really Needs to be Done
If your soil is dead — your plants won’t do well. If you’re feeding the soil — it’ll be alive with hundred and hundreds of micro-organisms that work to convert minerals and nutrients into forms that plants can use.
They’ll carry those nutrients to the plants, carry water to the plants and do everything that needs to be done for the plants for you to get the bumper crops you want. These organisms and your plants work hand in hand with each other.
Just dumping something on the soil — doesn’t work. There is a process that nature requires.
That’s why — if you dump for example bone meal on the soil (which I do NOT recommend) to try to help supply more calcium to your tomatoes for example— it doesn’t work. The soil life has to transform the bone meal before the plants can use it. That in all probability will take until next year. And if you put it on without even knowing if your soil needs it — you could be doing more harm than good.
Fish emulsion, kelp, and compost can all help your plants. BUT – they in and by themselves can not do what living, healthy soil can do. They’re of the most benefit when the soil is what it should be.
What You do Now will have a Big Effect on Your Garden Next Year
Your success next year depends a lot on what you do for your garden now thru fall.
Cover crops can make a big difference and are the best way to keep soil covered. They’ll help improve soil and supply a lot of the nutrients that otherwise would not be available to next year’s crops.
When planning your cover crops keep the principle of diversity in mind: After you use buckwheat in a bed, plant something different to follow the next crop. After you use rye plant a different cover the following year and so on. That’s the way to get the most benefit from your cover crops.
This process will improve your soil, feed your soil and thus better feed your plants. It will also help prevent pests and disease. That’s the kind of pest control that has been big-scale organic farmer Bob Quinn’s success strategy for the last few decades. (See my post – Organic on a Large Scale Does it Work?)
Leaves – They’re high in nutrients and break down to perform wonders in your garden. Get all you can.
If for some reason you are unable to get cover crops or leaves — keep your soil covered. Straw or pine will do well. (When I didn’t have cover crops I used leaves and pine in the fall and straw the rest of the time.)
Is gardening easy? Yes! Most of the so called “hard work” is in soil preparation — but that need only be done once if done properly.
But like anything worth doing — it takes a little thought, preparation, and patience to be successful.
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