Mild winters and hot summers make it possible for San Diego residents to garden year round. Organic gardening is especially advantageous to this ocean side community that is nestled between the beautiful shore and the mountains. Soil condition in San Diego can be a factor. Those in the higher elevations may find many rocks, and most people will need to water their gardens frequently to prevent soil from drying out.
Using Rain Water to your Benefit
One of the most beneficial things gardeners can do is to collect rainwater in rain barrels and use it to their gain. Rainfall in San Diego is often limited. Most rain falls in January, February and March, while summers tend to be quite dry, in particular the months of June, July and August. It is beneficial to place rain barrels under your gutter downspouts to collect the water to wet your garden during dry spells.
Many businesses give away or sell their used plastic barrels that can be converted into excellent rain barrels. Reusing these barrels is a good way to reclaim resources. If you are steadfastly against plastic, some nurseries sell wooden whiskey barrels that can be employed. They will cost more, but they serve as suitable rain barrels. While at your neighborhood hardware store, you can buy spigots to be installed in each barrel.
Spigots are easy to install. Start by drilling a hole that is the same diameter as the spigot, unscrew the nut from the spigot and put the faucet side on the outside of the barrel. On the interior of the barrel, turn the nut back on and a washer to the spigot end and make sure it is a tight fit to check any water from seeping out. If you need, apply some waterproof sealant to create a leak-free fit. Once you have a spigot installed, you can connect a garden hose to your barrels for irrigating your gardens. Just turn on the spigot and gravity forces the water out of the hose.
Using Organic Compost for Raising Plants
The next step in your organic garden will be establishing productive soil for your plants. You’ll need to work the soil, either with a shovel or with a rototiller. Not only is the use of a shovel more eco-friendly because there is no need to run a gas-powered machine, but you will also be keeping fit. Sprinkle compost on the soil as you turn it to make rich loam for your vegetation.
Compost bins are easy to build, or you can buy them from neighborhood garden supply stores. Grass clippings, dead leaves and biodegradable waste like fruit and vegetable trimmings make wonderful compost. When first beginning, you may need to purchase organic compost, but as you develop your own compost, you will conserve money by having compost on hand. With your compost bin, make sure you stir up composting matter every few days so that the bacteria are regularly exposed to the sun and fresh air.
Plant Produce Suitable to the Seasons
Perhaps the most important facet of gardening in San Diego is choosing appropriate crops. Items such as broccoli, spinach, peas, onions, lettuce, garlic and other greens such as cooler weather. Reserve these crops for the wet, winter months. Tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, cucumbers and other squashes need warm sunny weather, so they make good summer crops providing you keep them well watered.
Make sure your crops have plenty of exposure to the sun. Plants need sunlight to do well, so review your yard to make sure your garden area receives a good deal of sun exposure, accounting for the different seasons. You’ll also want to situate it near enough the water barrels for hoses to be able to reach.
Begin with the basics and work your way up to a larger garden. As you become used to the daily routines of watering and weeding, you will gain confidence to have a larger garden in succeeding years.
Author: Lee Bell
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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