Friday, June 26, 2009

Adventures in Organic Gardening Part 7

Hello! I have finally caught up with this year, and it is now time to re-cap what things I do to be more of an organic (smart) gardener.

1) I use straw to help keep moisture in, and weeds down in my vegetable garden. This seems to help keep some bugs away too, as I have very few in my garden. The annoying ones anyway. I also till in the straw and plants from the previous year each spring, and this helps aerate my soil and provide much needed nutrients.

2) I use marigolds to help keep pests away and to give a little colour to the garden.

3) I lay down little tents of newspaper to attract slugs. Each morning I remove the slugs that liked their little tents, and if it has rained, I will throw the newspaper into the compost bin and lay down new ones in the evening. Little logs or pieces of wood will work for this too.

4) I add a little lime to my soil when it seems to be too acidic, to sweeten it.

5) I use my own compost made up of kitchen vegeatable scraps (no fats, or meat byproducts!), dryer lint, human and cat hair, shredded newspaper, lawn clippings, some leaves (not every year, too acidic) coffee grounds, egg shells etc, rather than commercial chemical fertilizers.

These squash are volunteers from my compost!

NOTE: never put weeds that have gone to seed, pine needles, or pine cones, or diseased plants into your compost. You will end up just creating a lovely environment for encouraging those problems to continue.

6) I use natural woodchips from my local township as a mulch for my flower beds.

7) I also do little things like adding an overipe banana to the soil at the base of my roses rather than a chemical fertilizer.

8) If I find I have pesky bugs on my plants I will use a solution of water and dishsoap and spray the plants. This does work to deter those pests!

9) I use a cold frame built using left over renovating supplies (wood and heavy plastic). If I get frost warnings, I also will use the plastic 2 litre pop bottles (if I have any as we are not pop drinkers) as little mini green houses or peg newspaper on the wire tomato cages over tender plants.

10) I will use newspaper or flat pieces of wood to protect plants from direct sunlight if it is during a drought season or if they are sensitive to too much sun.

11) I collect seeds from my various vegetables or flowers to save money. I will even move my bulbs if they end up creating hybrids so that I can save them and have them continue that particular colour. This has happened with my tulips and my lilies. I have some very interesting colours, such as a pumpkin orange or almost black in my lilies now.

12) I use retaining walls to help keep the top soil from eroding and keep the rain water directed to where I want it to go.

Here are some more pictures of my garden and flower beds this year.

First year my yucca plant decided to flower! All around the base is a lovely patch of catnip.

Purple Glomeratus. Hummingbirds and clearwing hummingbird moths love these.

Retaining wall for driveway.

Basement entryway and mudroom.
I do so hope you have all enjoyed my journey! I certainly did! It is by no mean over yet. I plan on continuing to learn, emplement and share things as the years go on.
I am also very close to having my self-seeding, low maintenance flower beds.


  1. I am learning things from you that are going to be wonderful to help me on my organic gardening journey.
    Wonderful post.

  2. Thank you Adorn! I am so glad to be able to help you :) Have fun with your own journey!

  3. I can't wait to see the yucca flower! You have done a wonderful job explaining all your organic tips. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Aha! So now I know what to do with those pesky slugs in my garden! Thank you for the idea!

  5. Loved some of the ideas you have. I've having a bit of problems with bugs this year, but don't have the time or patience to take care of them. Getting the house ready to sell is a BIG chore! I look forward to reading your blog on a regular basis. Vee at

  6. Thank you all! I am very glad to have been able to share my experiences and learning curve :) I will be showing pics of my yucca flower and gardens as the season goes on.