Organic Gardening

Organic
Gardening Tips

Terra Viva Organics

Gardening organically isn’t just gardening without
chemicals. You, the gardener, must work with nature to develop
an ecosystem in your garden. What does that mean?

Learn about and encourage healthy bugs like ladybugs,
lacewings, and other predatory insects to come into your
garden and feed on your pests. You can do this by planting
fennel, dill, allyssum, ammi majus, and cumin.

Help your soil feed your plants. Add as much organic matter
as you can in order to feed soil organisms. These organisms
will break down organic matter and will eventually feed your
plants. Try to make your own compost. Not only does compost
nourish the soil, making it reduces kitchen and garden waste
immensely!

Finally, learn to tolerate a little bit of damage by
insects here and there. If you wipe out all your pests, what
will the ladybugs feed on?


Terra Viva Organics is based in Vancouver, Canada. We
strive to provide you, our customer, with the best organic
gardening supplies and great advice to help you grow
organically. Everyday, we try to educate ourselves about new
information in the gardening field so that we can pass this
information on to you. We’re a small company with a big heart!

Please feel free to send us your comments. We’d love to
hear how your garden did this year and any problems you had.


  Jun-06-2002
Click here to read more about organic gardening tips
The praying mantis is a fascinating insect with
a voracious appetite. Not only will they eat aphids,
crickets & grasshoppers, they are one of the
only insects fast enough to catch mosquitoes.
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  May-02-2002
Click here to read more about organic gardening tips
Fennel is an excellent plant for attracting ladybugs.
The statuesque plants are usually covered in ladybug
eggs and larvae. Set aside a space in your garden
for this beneficial herb.
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  Apr-02-2002
Click here to read more about organic gardening tips
Keep garlic in your toolkit. If insect pests like
aphids become a nuisance, use the crush the cloves
to make your own insect spray. Any garlic that sprouts
can be planted in the garden to help repel other
pests.
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  Mar-01-2002
Click here to read more about organic gardening tips
Growing sprouts indoors is not only nutritious but
also ornamental. Any container can be used to sprout
wheatgrass. Start seeds in potting mix or compost
and they’ll be up in 3-4 days.
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  Jan-30-2002
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To prevent damping off in your seedlings, sprinkle
the top of your potting mix with cinnamon, a natural
fungicide.
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  Jan-03-2002
Click here to read more about organic gardening tips
Before starting your seedlings, make sure your containers
are clean. Wash them out with warm soapy water and
sterilize them with a 10% solution of bleach.
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  Nov-29-2001
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Start collecting your pop bottles and milk jugs.
They make great mini cloches to keep frost at bay.
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  Sep-20-2001
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While soil temperatures are still warm, fertilize
leafy greens like spinach, corn salad & sorrel
so that they have enough nutrients to take them
through the fall.
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  Aug-01-2001
Click here to read more about organic gardening tips
Don’t let powdery mildew ruin your garden. Control
it easily using milk! Mix 1 part milk to 9 parts
water and spray affected plants once a week.
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  Jun-29-2001
Click here to read more about organic gardening tips
Whitefly can cause considerable damage as temperatures
rise. Keep their numbers down by using sticky
traps & organic sprays such as pyrethrum
or neem.
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  Jun-01-2001
Click here to read more about organic gardening tips
If you can only have one herb in your garden, it
should be fennel. Not only do the leaves & flowers
attract beneficial insects, fennel is a wonderful
herb to use in the kitchen with its sweet anise
flavour. Perennial up to Zone 6, it’s a very easy
herb to grow.
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  Apr-03-2001
Click here to read more about organic gardening tips
Seedlings growing indoors will need to be fed every
couple of weeks. Dilute fish fertilizer is a great
choice but if you need to keep the smell to a minimum,
try making a tea of worm casts. Works great &
no need to worry about burning your plants.
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  Feb-28-2001
Click here to read more about organic gardening tips
Are the forsythia in bloom? If so, it’s safe to
plant cool-season crops like peas, cabbage &
Asian greens.
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  Feb-01-2001
Click here to read more about organic gardening tips
If you want to get a jump on planting peas, start
them indoors. You’ll get a far better germination
rate and your seedlings will be less susceptible
to fungal and pest attack.
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  Jan-08-2001
Click here to read more about organic gardening tips
Test that old seed before you plant it. Most seed
should germinate between moist paper towel so that
you can gauge how much to plant in your garden without
wasting time & money.
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  Dec-11-2000
Click here to read more about organic gardening tips
Keep amaryllis well fed with compost or worm cast
tea. Both contain nutrients that help build strong
roots & bulbs which then lead to larger blooms.
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  Nov-15-2000
Click here to read more about organic gardening tips
Spider mites can suddenly become a problem during
the winter months as plants are brought indoors
into warm, dry environments. Keep plants well misted
to increase humidity and keep spider mite numbers
down.
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  Oct-28-2000
Oct 29 – Nov 4

Click here to read more about organic gardening tips
Keep an eye on out on houseplants that have been
outdoors all summer and are now being brought
inside. Unwanted stowaways can flourish indoors
where they have no natural enemies. Keep a bottle
of soap spray handy to dislodge them before their
numbers multiply.
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  Oct-16-2000
Oct 16-22

Click here to read more about organic gardening tips
If you want your Christmas cactus to bloom by
the holidays, it’s time to put it into a cool,
dark place where it gets less than 8 hours of
light per day. The change in temperature and light
levels triggers the plant to begin bloom production.
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  Sep-28-2000
Oct 1-7

Click here to read more about organic gardening tips
Time to bring in houseplants and non-hardy species.
Give all your plants a good once over with soapy
spray or insecticidal soap to prevent unwanted
stowaways.
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  Sep-17-2000
Sept 17-24

Click here to read more about organic gardening tips
Cilantro can be started now for early fall production.
Sow seeds often in short rows so that you can
keep picking through the fall.
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  Aug-30-2000
August 27 – Sept 2

Click here to read more about organic gardening tips
Keep tatsoi producing well into the fall by picking
individual leaves instead of harvesting the whole
plant. Older leaves can be clipped from the bottom
and will encourage a new flush of younger leaves.
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  Aug-17-2000
August 16-23

Click here to read more about organic gardening tips
If you’re having trouble starting your winter
garden seeds in the heat of the sun, you’ll have
much better success starting the seeds indoors
where you can keep an eye on soil moisture. Transplant
your greens outside once you have a couple of
sets of leaves.
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  Jul-31-2000
August 1-8

Click here to read more about organic gardening tips
Recent research has shown that milk is an excellent
control for powdery mildew disease. Dilute 1 part
milk in 9 parts water and spray on your plants.
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  Jul-19-2000
July 19-25

Click here to read more about organic winter gardening
The imported cabbageworm butterfly is a pest of
brassicas including kale, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels
sprouts and mustard greens. The adult butterfly
lays single, white eggs on the underside of brassica
leaves. Squish the eggs when you see them to prevent
them from hatching.
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  Jul-04-2000
July 2-8

Click here to read more about organic winter gardening
As you start your winter garden this month, protect
young seedlings like kale and carrot from pests
by using a floating row cover. These row covers
prevent insects from laying their eggs around
your plants.
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  Jun-28-2000
June 25-July 1

Click here to read more about controlling powdery mildew organically winter gardening
Time to start kale, winter cabbage, winter carrots,
parsnips and winter beets. Start your brassicas
indoors for better germination. Outside, use a
light mulch over your seeds to help conserve moisture
and aid germination.
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  Jun-18-2000
June 18-24

Click here to read more about controlling powdery mildew organically
If powdery mildew is a problem in your garden,
water your plants in the morning to allow the
moisture to evaporate off the leaves during the
day. High humidity is one of the factors that
helps the spread of fungal diseases.
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  Jun-08-2000
June 4-10

Click here to read more about controlling powdery mildew organically
With warm days and cool nights, powdery mildew
can soon cause damage to your roses, tomatoes,
peas and squash. Control is easy using your own
home-made baking soda spray.
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  May-27-2000
May 28 – June 3

Click here to read more about controlling organic pest control
If carrot rust fly is a problem in your garden,
spread onion and shallot skins around your carrot
seedlings to repel the flies and prevent them
from laying their eggs.
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  May-16-2000
May 14-20

Click here to read more about controlling organic pest control
To repel many common insect pests, use members
of the allium family such as chives, onions, scallions
and garlic as companion plants. Plant whole rows
or slip in seedlings wherever you can fit them.
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  May-08-2000
May 7- 13

Click here to read more about controlling lawn grubs
White grubs are the bane of home gardeners trying
to maintain a healthy lawn. At this time of the
year, they are plentiful and beginning to pupate.
Keep your lawn aerated and well-drained to discourage
females from laying their eggs.
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  May-03-2000
April 31 – May 6

Click here to read more about growing tomatoes
Begin the process of hardening off your seedlings,
especially the tender ones like tomatoes peppers
& eggplants. Gradually expose them to outside
temperatures, beginning with 4 hours per day and
working up by 2 hours until they can spend the
whole night outside.
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  Apr-23-2000
April 23-29

Click here to read more about growing tomatoes
As your tomato seedlings grow, you’ll need to
pot them up into larger containers. As you do
this, plant the seedlings deeply, covering the
stem until the first set of leaves. This will
encourage more roots to grow for a stronger, healthier
plant.
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  Apr-10-2000
April 9-15

Click here to read more about attracting pollinators
Before the honey bees come out to pollinate your
garden, Orchard Mason Bees are the primary pollinators.
You can attract them into your garden by providing
places to nest. They’ll ensure a good crop of
fruit with all your early flowering fruit trees.
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  Apr-06-2000
April 2-8

Click here to read more about attracting ladybugs
Ladybugs will control a variety of pests in your
garden, especially aphids. Keep them in your garden
by providing nectar plants like dill, parsley
& fennel. You’ll soon see their bright orange
eggs all over your garden.
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  Mar-26-2000
March 26-April 1

Click here to read more about attracting beneficial insects
Attract beneficial insects to your garden by planting
angelica, cilantro, dill, fennel, & parsley
and allowing them to go to flower.
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  Mar-13-2000
March 12-18

Click here to read more about growing organic potatoes
To get a head start on growing potatoes, allow
them to sprout indoors by moving them into a warm
place. This process, called chitting, will give
you at least a week jumpstart.
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  Mar-01-2000
Februrary 27-March 4

Click here to read more about growing organic potatoes
If you’ve given up the thought of growing potatoes
due to lack of space, think of vertical gardening.
Potato stems can be buried to encourage more tuber
production. Growing potatoes in barrels is just
one way of taking advantage of this phenomenon.
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  Feb-16-2000
Februrary 13-19

Click here to read more about apartment composting
If your outdoor compost pile is under a blanket
of snow or you have no room to start a compost
pile, don’t let your kitchen scraps go to waste.
An indoor composter is easy to use and will help
you turn your waste into gardener’s gold!
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  Jan-27-2000
Jan 26-February 2

Click here to read more about organic sprouting
Sprouters aren’t just for growing alfalfa and
bean sprouts. You can sprout your garden seed
on your sprouting trays to give your seedlings
an extra jump. Soak your garden seed for a couple
of hours & then place them on the trays. Keep
them moist and within a few days, you’ll see the
root emerging. Plop them in the soil and watch
how quickly they emerge!
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  Jan-18-2000
Jan 16-22

Click here to read more about organic sprouting
When growing organic sprouts, make sure they are
rinsed at least once a day to maintain freshness.
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  Jan-13-2000
Jan 09-015

Click here to read more about growing seedlings indoors
When growing seedlings indoors, use a fan to simulate
a natural breeze. Not only will it help increase
air circulation, cutting down mould problems,
but the fan will help build stronger seedling
stems.
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  Jan-03-2000
Jan 02-08

Click here to read more about winter lighting
If your seedlings tend to get leggy, try building
your own indoor light system. Supplemental light
helps to keep seedling short and healthy.
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  Dec-28-1999
Dec 26-31

Click here to read more about winter activities
Use the winter months to read-up on how to grow
a butterfly garden or a medicinal herb garden.
Or, even better, take a class at your local college
where you can meet fellow gardeners with common
interests.
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  Dec-20-1999
Dec 19-25

Click here to read more about winter activities
Leaving seedheads in the garden through the winter
not only gives interest to the garden landscape
but provides a source of food for birds.
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  Dec-13-1999
Dec 12-18

Click here to read more about winter colour
Forcing paperwhites indoors can sometimes be tricky
when leaves become large and floppy. Try planting
the bulbs in deep, glass vases so that the leaves
are supported as the grow. Otherwise, grow dwarf
varieties that won’t require the additional support.
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  Dec-08-1999
Dec 5-11

Click here to read more about winter colour
Bring spring colour indoors! Narcissus bulbs will
bloom within 5 weeks and only require pebbles
and water!
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  Nov-29-1999
November 28 – December 4

Click here to read more about pumpkin uses
Squash and pumpkin are so delicious in the winter
time but actually cutting into them can be a struggle.
Heat the whole squash in the microwave for 3-5
minutes to help soften it and make it easier to
peel and cut up.
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  Nov-21-1999
November 21-27

Click here to read more about pumpkin uses
Pumpkins are far more versatile than just sources
of jack-o-lanterns. Pumpkins can be baked, steamed
or added to soups. To help them keep longer, wipe
down the outsides with 10% bleach solution.
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  Nov-15-1999
November 14-20

Click here to read more about winter vegetables
Frost will actually improve the taste of many
winter vegetables. Kale, cabbage, parsnips, and
even Brussels sprouts become sweeter after a cold
snap.
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  Nov-07-1999
November 7-13

Click here to read more about cabbages & slugs
Wait until the ground freezes before applying
a mulch over plants. The mulch will act as an
insulator and prevent freeze-thaw cycles over
the next few months. In milder areas where the
ground doesn’t freeze, use mulch as a weed control
and apply it around plants (not over them)and
in pathways.
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  Nov-07-1999
November 7-13

Click here to read more about cabbages & slugs
Wait until the ground freezes before applying
a mulch over plants. The mulch will act as an
insulator and prevent freeze-thaw cycles over
the next few months. In milder areas where the
ground doesn’t freeze, use mulch as a weed control
and apply it around plants (not over them) and
in pathways.
  :

 
  Oct-31-1999
October 31-November 6


If slugs are a problem in your area, try this
trick in your cabbages. Remove the older, yellowing
leaves closest to the soil. Not only will the
garden look better, slugs will have a harder time
crawling into your cabbages and doing any dammage.
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  Click here to read more about cabbages & slugs
  Oct-17-1999
October 17-23

Click here to read more about elephant garlic
Do not overfertilize garlic or plants will become
leafy. Choose a fertilizer with a high middle
number (phosphorus) to encourage bulb formation.
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  Sep-23-1999
If your growing season is short, plant elephant
garlic
for a bumper harvest of mild-tasting
cloves. October is the prime month for planting
garlic.
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