Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Organic Gardens Survive Drought & Heat Better

This year has brought many a gardener to their knees begging for rain and relief from the heat.

No doubt, heat and drought are  killers to most gardens, but there is a solution. ORGANIC gardening!

It's not so much that the plants are stronger if grown organically, but that the SOIL is better.  Since organic gardens rely on adding amendments to the soil to fertilize their plants instead of "the blue stuff", the soil itself has better retention of water and will stay cooler when the temps soar.

These are bulky, humus rich amendments such as manure, compost, leaf mold, peat moss, coconut coir and lawn clippings. Most gardeners apply them liberally and often to achieve nutrient rich soil. These amendments are very water retentive.

On top of that, organic gardeners use copious amounts of mulch materials like bark chips, pine needles and leaves to eventually break down & add even more nutrients to the soil. It's a constant process, just like the leaves falling in the fall to nourish the forest floor! These mulch materials keep the soil surface from drying out from wind, solar and heat.

Another technique used by organc gardening is the growing of cover crops or "green manure" as some call it. Cover crops can be grown along with your garden plants in any bare spots or while your annuals are filling in. Legumes are a great nitrogen fixing cover. I like cowpeas because they are attractive in the landscape and provide a fast, lush ground cover. Having a growing cover provides shade on the soil providing cooling & moisture retention.

Don't let the dog days of summer ruin your garden, GROW ORGANIC!

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