Ten Organic Crop Yield Improvement Tips
Yesterday I was tweeting away when @DBTutoring tweeted me a recommendation that I check out a local gardeners (@Crazydogfarm) top ten tips for increasing yield… but for some reason I though they wanted me to write such a blog post. So, I warbled over to Meg from the garden team and asked if she would kindly share some of her knowledge with our blogging friends. ‘No problem!’ she says. (I think that everyone on the planet wants to blog, they just have some sort of block that they need to have moved out of the way. I digress.) Then I reported back to my tweep, who gave me a confused selection of question marks…
So here’s the link for the original tips, and some more, to you, with love from Meg.
- Foliar Sprays: Spraying liquid kelp, fish emulsion, compost teas and EM is a fantastic way to deliver nutrients directly to the leaves of the plant.
- Make & Use the Best Compost You Can: Using compost is a fantastic way to increase the soil life within your beds. The more microbes in your soil, the healthier your plants will be.
- Mulch the Soil: Keeping a litter layer (spoiled hay, leaves, or compost) will help your bed retain more water and increase the healthy microbes in your soil.
- Companion Plant: Biodiversity within a bed is imperative to have a healthy ecosystem within your garden. Try mixing your plants together, ornamentals and edibles! The flower Purple Shoo-fly is fantastic to keep your tomatoes healthy.
- Organic Matter: Plant health all comes down to the amount of composted organic matter in the soil. Organic matter provides nutrients, water holding capacity, and increasing soil tilth, all good things for more productive and healthy plants.
- Use Season Extenders: Starting tomatoes indoors in March helps to increase crop size and fruit maturity by September. Not all crops can or should be started indoors, but using cold frames, cloches, row covers, and greenhouses are a great way to warm up your soil for earlier crops.
- Right Plant, Right Place A plant grown in a location not suited to its needs will most likely not do very well. Most food crop plants will want full sun, that means over 8 hours of direct sun a day! You can’t do much to change the inherent texture of your soil, but organic matter will improve it for different plants to do well.
- Water! Plants and microbes need water. Withholding water will stress plants, kill the life in the soil, and cause serious harm to your garden ecosystem. In the dry months of the year, it is important to water enough to allow all plants and microbes to get enough.
- Use Local, Open-pollinated Seeds When Possible: Plants grown from locally adapted seeds will simply do better than ones from another region of the world. There are many small scale seed savers in this region, their seeds will be used to this climate, and come from healthy diverse genetic stock.
- Grow foods YOU Want to Eat! If you are excited about a certain crop, you’ll take better care of it. If you don’t like Brussels sprouts, don’t grow them! That’s the beauty of growing your own food, you can grow the vegetables you like to eat and experience a whole richness of flavour and variety diversity unavailable from the stores.