More and more people are choosing organic gardening methods because they no longer want to use toxic pesticides and herbicides around their children and pets, and do not want to poison our environment. But there is another reason to go organic – it works! Organic gardening methods work in cooperation with the complex science of nature to enhance the growth of our plants. Organic gardening methods give our plants just what they need, reducing stress and increasing growth and production in our landscapes, gardens, and lawns.
The main principles behind organics are simple!
Follow these steps for a healthier, more beautiful landscape.
Have questions? Just ask us!
- Start with the soil.
Wherever new soil needs to be added to a garden or a container, use only the best weed-free, compost-rich soil blend. Soil is the foundation of our plants’ life, and the quality of the soil determines the quality of our plants.
- Whenever planting in containers, use Lady Bug Brand Vortex Potting Soil. It is the perfect choice for all types of plants in all kinds of containers.
Wherever a good quality garden soil is needed, such as in raised beds, large outdoor planters, when planting roses, native and xeric landscapes, shrubs and trees, Lady Bug Brand Hill Country Garden Soil or Rose Magic Soil is the solution.
Maintain with compost.
Compost improves soil texture, drainage, and water-holding capacity. High quality compost also adds essential nutrients and beneficial microorganisms. These beneficial microbes make nutrients available to plants and help prevent disease. Lady Bug Brand Revitalizer is a superior compost blend for all gardening situations or you may prefer All-American Turkey Compost or Farm Style .
- When planting trees and shrubs, add Revitalizer as a topdressing, which can be mixed into the top 4” of soil as well. Use only native soil in the planting hole.
- On lawns, add ¼” to ½” of All American Turkey Compost or Farm Style Compost on top every spring and/or fall.
- Add ½” to 2” of Revitalizer, All American Turkey Compost or Farm Style Compost on top of flower and vegetable beds, and over the root zones of trees and shrubs.
- To create new flower and vegetable beds, mix in up to 40% Revitalizer, All American Turkey Compost or Farm Style Compost with no less than 60% native soil.
- Use Super Natural Expanded Shale in combination with compost to break up heavy clay. Super Natural Expanded Shale holds 38% of its weight in water – helpful in droughts!
Use only organic fertilizers, amendments, and supplements.
Recent studies conducted by Texas A&M University, on behalf of the City of Austin Grow Green Program, proved that organic fertilizers, including Lady Bug Brand 8-2-4 Lawn & Garden fertilizer, outperformed others in producing better “color and density” on the plants tested. Furthermore, the study showed that organic fertilizers do not pollute our groundwater, as synthetic fertilizers do.
- Use Lady Bug Brand 8-2-4 as an all-purpose granular fertilizer for lawns, vegetables, flowers, trees, and shrubs.
- Use Lady Bug Brand Flower Power on vegetables, container plants, and – of course – flowers!
- Use Garden Pep Cottonseed Meal on acid-loving plants such as azaleas, gardenias, and roses. In addition, Garden Pep Cottonseed Meal is a great all-purpose fertilizer for lawns, trees, shrubs, flowering plants, vegetables, and herbs.
- Pachamama Worm Castings are an excellent way to start transplants and seeds off to a healthy start. Pachamama Worm Castings are the perfect way to fertilize potted plants – they are odorless.
- Apply Terra Tonic Super Soil Activator to stimulate microbes, improve soil texture, help nutrients to be readily available, and remove salt and toxin build up. This product contains Medina Soil Activator, Humate, Molasses, Seaweed and Compost Tea.
- For the perfect liquid fertilizer, use Lady Bug Brand, John’s Recipe. This is John Dromgoole’s tried-and-true formula that is ideal for foliar feeding and drenching vegetables, fruits, herbs flowers, container plants, roses, trees, & shrubs. This product contains Medina Soil Activator, Humate, Molasses, Seaweed and Fish Emulsion.
Mulch bare soil.
Mulching at least 3 inches deep wherever possible helps to prevent weeds, conserves moisture, regulates soil temperature and helps prevent disease. Using Lady Bug Brand Sylvan Formula as a mulch provides all of these benefits, and much more. Sylvan Formula is a mulch, blended with compost, paramagnetic rock, greensand, molasses, corn meal, and all inoculated with compost tea.
Choose native and well-adapted plants.
Native plants are easier to maintain, use less water, and are less prone to disease and insect attack. Find out more by consulting the following resources.
Using native plants and mulching properly greatly reduces the amount of water needed in the landscape. In general, it is better to water deeply and less frequently than shallowly and often.
Control weeds organically.
Most weeds grow best in poor soil. Improving soil texture and fertility and increasing soil microbial activity as described above can thwart weeds. Also, weeds can’t get a foothold if bare soil is mulched. However, when a natural weed killer is needed on weeds in the meantime, use 20% Vinegar natural herbicide. Sprayed undiluted on a sunny day, 20% Vinegar works immediately to kill unwanted plants.
Preserve beneficial organisms
Beneficial soil microorganisms, as well as visible critters like earthworms, support plant life and ward off diseases. Beneficial insects and other wildlife in the garden, such as ladybugs, lacewings, ground beetles, spiders, lizards, birds, wasps, and garden snakes, help to keep pest insect populations in check. Learn to identify garden allies and protect them. Do this by avoiding chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and using even organic pesticides sparingly, if at all. Identify pest species and consider attracting wildlife and beneficial insects with the help of the following resources.
- Texas Wildscapes by Noreen Damude & Kelly Conrad Bender
- Texas Bug Book by Howard Garrett
- A Field Guide to Common Texas Insects by Drees & Jackman
- Native Texas Plants by Sally & Andy Wasowski
- Plants for Texas by Howard Garrett
- Gardening Success With Difficult Soils by Scott Ogden
- Texas Wildscapes by Noreen Damude & Kelly Conrad Bender
- Visit Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and/or their website www.wildflower.org