soil nutrients

Crop Rotation and Raised Beds

Crop Rotation and Raised Beds 560 315 Eco Garden Systems

Eco Garden Systems June 2017 Eco Garden Systems As I pull my summer crops to prepare for fall crops I am reminded about the importance of crop rotation. This usually is top priority in the spring when deciding if you should put a tomato plant where there was a tomato plant last year? Crop Rotation is an important part of gardening that will ensure success year after year in the same garden. The whole concept of rotating your plants is to help fight disease and nutrient deficiencies that can occur if you plant the same vegetable families in the same space. Understanding how to do this in a raised bed can be complicated due to the smaller area of gardening. There is actually some conflicting information about this because not every garden is the same and not every gardener gardens the same. After many years of gardening in an elevated self-watering garden this is my thoughts on rotating crops… I don’t really do it. I have planted tomatoes in the same spot for years and never had a real issue with the growth or with disease. I like to plant the taller vegetable plants to the North so that the smaller plants have all day sun. Because of this I usually end up putting tomatoes in the same spot. I do dig out some of the soil and replace with new soil and compost before re-planting for the next season. With raised beds this is an easy task. I had one tomato plant with hornworms and a lot of larvae in the soil. I was able to dig out all of them and it took care of the problem. I have planted beans in the same spot as well and have had no issues with production. Beans have always been…

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Good Soil

Good Soil 560 315 Eco Garden Systems

A question on every gardener’s mind whether you are a novice gardener or a master gardener is what is good soil for my garden? Depending on the type of garden you have, it can vary. When I say types I am referring to raised garden beds, elevated garden beds, wicking beds, container gardens and of course the traditional ground garden. Each of these types of gardens can utilize a certain mixture of soil, soil amendments and added fertilizers. Companies are now getting on board and producing soil specifically for raised and elevated garden beds as well as additional soil with amendments to add to your ground garden. So, yes, it can be confusing as to what works best. One thing is for sure, that once you plant in soil it will need to be revived with nutrients to make up for the ones lost during growth. Here are some tips to keep in mind when choosing or amending your soil. Traditional ground gardens Not everyone lives where there is good soil! If you are determined to do traditional gardening and start a plot in your backyard you might want to have your soil tested to see what will need to be added to make it viable for plants. Well drained soil is a must for healthy plants. If you have clay soil, adding organic matter over a course of several years will improve the texture of the clay. Clay soil is full of nutrients, but is in need of good soil tilth (which relates to the soils ability to drain properly and provide proper aeration.) Adding aged-manures, compost and planting cover crops will eventually improve the soil. Soil recommendation: Add garden soil for ground gardens, compost, and aged-manures to improve texture. Raised garden beds There are soils you can purchase…

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A Garden for Everyone

A Garden for Everyone 560 315 Eco Garden Systems

If you knew you could grow your vegetables 12 months out of the year, would you do it? I sometimes chuckle at comments that remind me of the old saying “I can’t boil water!” I have heard everything from, “I can’t get anything to grow” to my favorite one, “I kill weeds I am that bad.” With the right setup and tools available, gardening CAN be for everyone! Gardening does not need to be that difficult. It can be simple if the conditions are right. For a first time gardener there are many failed attempts followed by years of successful gardening. It takes time and patience and the ability to shrug off those failed attempts with “I will try again next year.” For the new generation that is not getting the same exposure our older generation received, there are ways to teach and promote a gardening life. Many schools across the country are bringing gardening back with raised and elevated garden beds as well as hydroponic and aquaponic systems. Gardens are popping up all over the country in preschools to elementary schools to high schools. Even though the hydroponic and aquaponic systems offer a diverse way of growing vegetation without soil, I firmly believe we need to teach children to play in the dirt. Good soil is hard to come by and has been depleted due to high demands for food production. We take more nutrients out than what we put back. Helping our younger generation understand water and soil conservation as well as recycling nutrients such as composting is vital to our future food production. Many people do not have access to land to start and maintain a garden. With the Eco Garden System we bring the land to you. We recently set up a garden at Roosevelt High…

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Have Complete Control of Your Garden!

Have Complete Control of Your Garden! 560 315 Eco Garden Systems

Have complete control of your garden! We love to emphasize this in a growing, busy world that is trying to be active and eat healthy.  The Eco garden system is the perfect way to grow organic, healthy vegetables without the time consuming art of gardening.  Don’t get us wrong, we love to garden! But, with time being a precious commodity in a fast pace world the Eco System is the answer to growing your own vegetables on a limited time schedule. So easy to assemble, fill and plant. What makes the Eco system stand out among the many other raised and elevated gardens out there?  Here are five reasons why you may want to invest in an Eco garden system. Materials You want to garden and you want to do it with ease. Deciding on what type of garden you want and where to put it for ultimate sun can be a challenge. Most of your raised and elevated beds are made of wood. However, they can also be constructed from rock, cinderblock, concrete and metal.  These options can get expensive and they may not last as long as the amount of money and time you have invested.  Mother Nature is not always a friend to these materials and over time they can deteriorate, rust and crack.  The Eco system is constructed out of food grade plastic and can be the last garden you will ever need.  It resists fading and cracking and also maintains the moisture and temperature of the soil.  If you don’t like where it is you can move it. It can also be brought indoors in a controlled environment for year round gardening.  The Eco garden system comes with easy to assemble parts and can be constructed in as little as 30 minutes Sustainable This is…

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compost

Composting 101: Why good soil is vital

Composting 101: Why good soil is vital 950 631 Eco Garden Systems

Many say that good soil is the foundation of a healthy, productive garden. But not many may know that composting plays a large role in maintaining the vitality of a garden’s soil. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), compost is organic material that can be added to soil to help plants grow. Not only does making compost help keep materials – like food waste, which produces greenhouse gases – out of landfills, but it also adds nutrients to your soil that wouldn’t be found elsewhere.   The main benefits of composting include:   Enriched soil Moisture control, which suppresses plant diseases and pests Reduced dependency on chemical fertilizers Increased production of beneficial bacteria and fungi that create nutrient-filled soil Reduced methane emissions from landfills, which lowers your carbon footprint   Fortunately, there are many different ways to make a compost pile, whether its created indoors or outdoors, and some tools are beneficial to the process, including pitchforks, square-point shovels, machetes and a water hose. Once your compost is established, make sure you mix or turn it regularly.   For backyard composting, pick a dry, shady spot to store your compost bin or pile. If you have to keep your compost indoors or in your garage, be sure to purchase a composting bin available at most hardware stores.   What to include in your compost pile:   Browns – dead leaves Greens – vegetable and fruit waste and grass clippings Eggshells Fireplace ashes Coffee grounds Water   What to avoid adding to your compost pile:   Dairy products Fats, grease, lard or oils Yard trimmings laced with chemical pesticides Pet waste Coal or charcoal ash Meat or fish bones, and scraps Whether it’s kept outdoors or indoors, remember to keep a close eye on your compost pile and keep track…

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carrots1

Companion Planting: Find Your Plants Some Friends!

Companion Planting: Find Your Plants Some Friends! 440 627 Eco Garden Systems

  When it comes to planning your garden it is important to consider where you plant your vegetables and what you plant next to them because each vegetable is unique in structure and flavor. Competing for root space and above ground space or just keeping the bugs away are important to consider when planning your garden. With any garden experience, trial and error will give you an idea of what works and what does not. Three key points to companion planning in your garden are: Pest control Soil space and nutrients The cardinal points: north, south, east and west. Pest control is a big factor in any garden because most of your pests come from the plant itself or the soil you plant it in. Not all bugs are bad; however, some are extremely beneficial such as pollinators and predators. Walking out to your garden and seeing spider webs strung from plant to plant can be a welcoming sight; however, remain observant of these eight-legged guests as spiders do eat potentially bad bugs, but they can also eat their share of good bugs as well.  Planting companion plants next to each other can help deter a lot of the bad bugs. An example of this is decoy planting. Marigolds and Nasturtiums, which are edible, are good to plant between vegetables because they mask the smell of the vegetable plant, which in turn confuses the garden pests. They also repel pests such as nematodes and beetles. Root space and soil nutrients have a huge impact on what you plant and where you plant them. Heavy feeders such as cucumbers and cabbage should be planted next to light-feeding carrots so there is no competition for soil nutrients. Planting shallow-rooted vegetables next to deep-rooted ones will eliminate root competition, as well as planting…

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