Doing things the natural way isn’t just fun, it has a whole range of other health and ecological benefits. If you like the idea of growing organic produce, but aren’t having a lot of success so far, don’t worry, there are many techniques and tricks you can try to improve your organic growing strategy.
One of the most effective things you can do is buy yourself more time. You can do this by extending the growing season well into the autumn with the aid of row covers for your plot. These will keep heat in, frost out, and prevent attacks by foragers such as deer. Bear in mind that the produce you grow should still be resistant to the cold as much as possible, so choose root vegetables and other hardy greens for best results.
Continuing with the extended growing season theme, you should aim to plant and cultivate weather appropriate plants at just the right points in the year, so as mentioned the hardy root vegetables can be timed to come to maturity in September or October, whereas strawberries should be planted to be ready for picking in June. By using this staggered approach you should find that you never get overwhelmed with produce at any one time, and shouldn’t require additional storage space, it’s all about planning ahead!
As far as using weed killer goes, obviously you’ll want to limit this as much as possible, but if you do need to, make sure you choose a variety that is likely to cause the least potential harm to the wider environment, and of course, always read the instructions carefully.
A good option that can work very well for controlling pests such as aphids is Diatomaceous earth, a naturally occurring compound that will deter pests when sprinkled over the topsoil.
If you’re looking to protect fruit trees such as apples and cherries, believe it or not a good deterrent to birds and other would be thieving mammals is to tie strips of rubber balloons to the branches. These will scare the animals away and leave your fruit intact. Be sure to remove them once you’ve harvested the fruit, or else they may be eaten by small animals should they break loose.
Finally, should you ever need to dry out herbs, one of the best places to do this that you probably never thought of is your car. Placing the cut herbs on a sheet of newspaper either on one of the seats or the parcel shelf provides the ideal ‘greenhouse’ like environment for drying the herbs, and will make your car smell nice in the process!