HOW TO USE ORGANIC SOIL IN YOUR GREENHOUSE
Using organic soil in a greenhouse is a wonderful way to produce organic vegetables for your home. Organic soil uses only those ingredients that are found in nature. This produces vegetables that are healthy and free of any chemicals that many people are trying to avoid.
What Makes Soil Organic?
The use of organic soils in the greenhouse isn’t enough to make your vegetables organic. You have to take care that everything you put in or on your soil is likewise organic in nature. If you use non-organic fertilizer, the chemicals in it will mix into your soil and ruin the organic composition.
Methods used to control bug populations must also be organic in nature. Especially chemicals that are sprayed onto the plants to promote growth, kill weeds, or dissuade insects will be absorbed by the plant. Chemicals that are absorbed by the plant will be passed onto the vegetables they produce. This will result in a failure to produce true organic vegetables. When you grow plants in your organic soil, those plants thrive by pulling the nutrients they need from your soil.
Keeping the Soil Full of Nutrients
In order to keep the soil in your greenhouse full of nutrients, you will need to treat it frequently. The health of your plants depends on having nutrient-rich soil available to them at all times. To replace the nutrients in your soil, you should spread fresh compost on the soil surface every couple of weeks. Making soil compost for your greenhouse is easily done by yourself, and will save you a lot of money instead of buying it. To make your own compost pile, you will need to build a small box in a sunny area of your garden that is at least three square feet .
Composting material can be found in anything from garden clippings to fallen leaves or branches. The balance between types of materials is important and will determine the type of soil you ultimately create. For more information on this, recipes for your compost piles can be found online. Make sure to turn the contents of the compost pile every two weeks if your pile is in your garden. If you are making soil in a composting device, the process is greatly sped up and in that case turning should be done once a day. You should also learn about what should not be composted and why you should compost.
Feeding Your Greenhouse Residents
One of the best ways to keep your plants well fed is to keep nutrients in the soil by composting. If you feel that your plants need an extra boost, you still have multiple organic options available to you. You can find organic plant food to feed your plants. These mixes are often found in stores, and many can be attached to a garden hose to make distributing them easier.
If you would like to create your own plant food, there are many ingredients available. Common ingredients that can be spread liberally over the soil include: cottonseed, worm castings, peat, seaweed, fish meal, and manure.
However, make sure that the food you feed to your greenhouse plants is completely organic. If you are buying the ingredients to mix or add straight, look over the ingredient list to check that nothing except the ingredient is included in the package.
Organic Situation Control
Like with anything else in your organic greenhouse, the choices you make regarding weed control will affect the overall organic nature of your garden. The best method to control weeds without chemicals is to pull them by hand. Also make sure to keep the soil in between plants loose and turned frequently and to control any pests that may get into your greenhouse make sure that any sprays you purchase are organic.
For other pests and plant diseases you could even introduce predators like spiders into your greenhouse. These predators will take care of all the pests for you without the use of harmful chemicals.
These methods will leave your greenhouse garden soil in its original organic state and still keep your plants healthy. www.wintergardenz.co.nz.
Gardening with Kids
Kids are apparently more likely to eat vegetables when they have grown them themselves. A National Trust Survey conducted in the UK of 1000 kids aged 8-12 found that almost two-thirds would rather eat their own homegrown fruit and vegetables than those bought from the supermarket. Naturally, this entails having their own gardening space, which according to the research, a majority of the kids also want.
Children love to jump at the opportunity to get their hands dirty and there are many ways in which they can pitch in and get excited about growing plants. Whether you dig up the ground, build a raised bed, grow in a greenhouse or fill containers, the act of caring for plants and learning where your food comes from is a wonderful and valuable lesson for children. Check out some of our reasons and tips for gardening with kids below.
A garden encourages you to spend time together out of the house
Tending a garden is an excellent reason to get out of the house. It requires little but regular care, usually just a few minutes of weeding and watering each day, which is perfect for a small child’s limited attention span. Most kids will jump at the prospect of being told to dig in the dirt, pick weeds, plant bulbs, and soak the earth with a hose.
Grow vegetables that your child wants to eat
Picky eaters are more likely to eat vegetables that they have harvested themselves. They'll become curious about the growing process and want to sample the fruits of their labour. Let your kid choose which vegetables he or she wants to grow, and add a few that you’d like them to try. Go together to buy seeds or seedlings at a local nursery. After planting, watch the parental instincts emerge as your child tries to care for the baby plants.
A garden is an outdoor classroom
Teach your kids the names of the plants, insects, birds, animals, butterflies, soil and compost that you see on a daily basis while working in the garden. Kids love learning about nature and memorizing facts. From integral earthworms to yucky potato beetles, you could be fostering your child’s future love for biology by poking around in the dirt.
Gardening is good for the world
The more people who take responsibility for even a small portion of their food production, the better off we’ll all be. Growing food teaches kids about what sustainable agriculture should look like. Instead of vast mono-crops, kids can learn about the importance of genetic crop diversity. Try growing unusual varieties of vegetables -- yellow tomatoes, blue carrots, and purple potatoes.
Grow a healthy mind
Gardening is so psychologically stimulating that horticulture therapy programs are used in hospitals, domestic abuse shelters, nursing homes, mental health institutions, and prisons. Community gardening is also popular and even schools are introducing vegetable gardens. This is because gardening makes for happy people and happy land. It teaches kids to become aware of the seasons and what can be grown in a local environment at certain times of the year, instead of taking imported fruits and produce for granted.
Here are some tips to help you garden with your children:
For more info to help you garden with kids, keep an eye on our website for cool and creative ideas in the garden. www.wintergardenz.co.nz.
Winter Gardenz Greenhouses New Zealand
New Zealand’s Leading Manufacturer of Innovative, Award Winning Domestic & Commercial Quality Greenhouses & Accessories