When I talk to my customers and my employees, I maintain that one of the basic premises of organic gardening is to use no synthetic fertilizers or toxic chemicals. Prepare the garden with organic materials. Soil, in most instances, needs to be well drained. Do not plant too deep. Mulch beds well to retain moisture and prevent weeds. Dig out/ pull weeds when small to prevent problems. Mow lawns frequently, even in winter, to prevent growth and spread of weeds. Fertilize with dry organic fertilizer and foliar feed with liquid seaweed, compost tea and fish emulsion.
I love coming across old quotes that allude to the same teachings.
From writings in the 1800′s -
“And then as to manure, flowers can neither paint their beauty, nor elaborate their fragrance on dead rocks or barren soil. To prevent disappointment, begin the year by enriching the earth”
“deep planting has been a frequent cause of failure”
“no flowers tender or hardy will continue to survive in saturated soil”
Celia Thaxter from “An Island Garden” – Weeds “must be dealt with at once and without mercy; they must be pulled up root and branch, without a moment’s delay.”
Sutton’s Spring Catalog from 1878 – Useful Hints on Lawns -
“Mow weeds as soon as they appear or take them up one at a time”
”And then as to manure, flowers can neither paint their beauty, nor elaborate their fragrance on dead rocks or barren soil. To prevent disappointment, begin the year by enriching the earth”
”Zinnias, asters, marigolds and sub tropicals can be very much increased in size by liberal waterings with house sewage and other manure water”
”Weeds are sure to thrive also – therefore they need to be instantly destroyed.”
As my grandchildren would say – “pretty cool”!