10 Organic Gardening Tips

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organic gardening

  1. Test your soil.  Find out if you have any mineral and micro-nutrient deficiencies, as this can affect the plants’ ability to draw nitrogen and other important nutrients for healthy growth and resistance to pests.  You can get a good mineral and micro-nutrient sample done by Perry Agricultural Lab in Missouri.
  2. Know your pests.  The CTAHR (College of Tropical Agriculture & Human Resources) extension office at Maui Community College will identify pests for you.
  3. Follow the ebb and flow of nature.  Sometimes your garden will look beautiful and other times it will look tired.  It’s all part of the cycle; let it not be perfect.
  4. Sometimes benign neglect will yield the best results.
  5. Compost is your friend.
  6. Good compost should be composed of 25 parts carbon (woody, decaying material) to 1 part nitrogen (green leafy material).
  7. Compost should not smell. This can be achieved by making sure compost heats up to at least 120 degrees F, but not hotter than 160 degrees F.
  8. Compost, when finished, will be light and fluffy.
  9. Use companion plants (ex: garlic, onions, chives, and Mexican marigolds) to help with pest and disease problems.
  10. When growing vegetables, rotate your crops. Legumes (beans, peas) will fix nitrogen; root crops like carrots and beets will aerate the soil.

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