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Top Ten Tips for Organic Gardening This Spring
Woman Gardening

1. Plan your garden - How large will your garden be? How much space do you have? How much time? The larger the plot, the more time you'll need to manage it. Does your spot drain well? Does it have access to water? Is it sunny or shady? Know what you're getting into before you plant the first seed. Vegetables need full sun. Flowers span the range of full sun to full shade; check the seed packet or plant catalog for guidance.

2. Clear out the weeds - You'll probably need to dig them out, to be sure they're gone.

3. Add compost and other organic matter – It helps to test the soil first (send it to your county extension office). When you get the results back, you'll know how much nitrogen, phosphorus and/or potassium to add. You may need to add an inch of sharp sand if your soil is clay.

4. Rake your soil into beds or rows - Mulch it with shredded pine bark or other organic material. Leave the plot alone for about a month before you plant it.

5. Meanwhile, start a compost pile - Use leaves, grass clippings, other yard debris, and kitchen waste.

6. Choose your seeds and plants - Consider plants that grow well in your climate, especially native plants. Choose disease-resistant species for vegetables as well as ornamental plants.

7. Plant. Just follow the directions on the seed packet. It’s that simple.

8. Watch and weed - Keep a hoe handy to scratch out weeds before they take over. Keep an eye out for insects and diseases so they don't become a problem.

9. Get help – If problems do arise, check in with your local garden club or county extension agent. These fact sheets on pests and diseases from Tucson Organic Gardeners could also help you keep your garden green.

10. Enjoy your garden! - Stroll through your garden every day. Position a chair, stool or bench close by so you can sit peacefully and watch the butterflies and bees enjoy the fruits of your labor!

Want more info?

Learn to compost here.

For organic and heirloom seeds, visit:

organic, heirloom seedsSeeds of Change

The Natural Gardening Company

Green People

Peaceful Valley

organic fertilizer, organic gardeningNeed a hoe, rake, organic fertilizer or other supplies?

Gardener’s Supply

Planet Natural

Home Depot

For more ideas, visit the gardening pages of www.theworldwomenwant.

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