The vacations have come and are long gone. Resolutions were made and broken. Now we New England gardeners are faced with that lengthy, dismal wait before we can begin our gardens, and it’s a terrific time to consider those resolutions we in no way made: the lawn resolutions. If you are making — and follow — a number of the resolutions below, you’ll now not most effective experience virtuous, and you’ll be a better gardener.
Pledge to move naturally. That approach using no chemicals inside the lawn, no matter how dire the situations. Japanese beetles devouring your roses? Get up in advance and handpick them every morning. Weeds within the walkway? No herbicides. Pour boiling water with salt on them, or yank them. Burn them with a blow torch. And forget 10-10-10: no chemical fertilizers, both. There are masses of clean solutions — in case you realize what to do.
Read more magnificent about organic gardening. Earlier than we plant spring seeds in this downtime, go to your library or local book shop and notice what’s to be had. Are you a vegetable gardener? Get a replica of Ed Smith’s “The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible” (Storey Publishing). Ed and his wife, Sylvia, live in Vermont and mostly live on what they develop. The book is properly illustrated and complete with appropriate information. It’s all-organic, too. This ebook has stayed in print for 19 years and bought extra than 1,000,000 copies.
Another proper book to examine is “Insect, Disease & Weed I.D. Guide,” Cebenko and Martin, editors (Rodale Press). Organic gardeners need to be a bit smarter and better known than chemical gardeners, and this ebook will not simplest help you become aware of pests and diseases; it’ll provide true answers. It’s clean sufficient to spray a pesticide on a malicious program, and it’s going to die. But knowing what the worm is, a bit approximately its life cycle, and how to fight it without resorting to chemicals is higher. “Insect, Disease & Weed I.D. Guide” changed into published in 2001. However, it’s nonetheless effectively to be had.
Use more compost. Instead of seeking out a bagged fertilizer to enhance your soil, assume lengthy-term. Although bagged natural fertilizers have their area inside the scheme of garden matters, not anything is higher in your land than compost. Compost isn’t excessive in nitrogen. However, it introduces beneficial microorganisms to your soil. A teaspoon of compost can include up to 5 billion organisms, 20 million filamentous fungi, and 1 million protozoa. No bagged fertilizer can do this.
Compost additionally improves the tilth of your soil. Most folks have land that is either too sandy or too complete of clay. Who do you recognize who has the “wealthy, well-drained soil” that every plant ebook prescribes as the precise soil for our favorite vegetation? We should make our very own soil. We must nurture it and improve it until we reach 99, while either it is perfect or we now do ot recognize perfection. Compost enables your soil to get there.
Resolve to mulch greater. Mulch will assist in smothering weeds, upload natural relies on the soil as it breaks down, and decrease water loss from evaporation or run-off. Leaves are excellent anywhere; bark mulch is right in flower beds, straw, grass clippings, and compost are correct inside the vegetable garden.
Prevent weeds from flowering/producing seeds. That means that you need to yank the plant or cut off any seed heads on weeds while you see them — even in case you all dressed up and are leaving for the airport. You ought to grasp the seed heads off that large weed to your manner to the car. Stuff it into your pocket, or put it in the trash. But don’t permit plants to spread their seeds.
Experiment. Every year, plant something new, whether a unique taste of tomato or a different sort of zinnia. Try greens you’ve never grown, and learn how to love consuming them. Kohlrabi and rutabagas are genuinely delicious. Try a new kind of watering tool, or get a new weeding tool (such as the CobraHead, my preferred). Plant a new species of tree, one that flora.
Resolve to hold gardening amusing. Don’t chunk off extra than you could deal with. Try now not to get discouraged if beetles devour your lilies or the phlox gets moldy. Gardening is meant to be a laugh — that’s why so many of us do it. Accept that organic gardeners go through some losses and that no gardener will achieve the whole thing. In the interim, revel in the wintry weather, and learn new approximately organic gardening now — so that you’ll be ready come spring.