13 Organic Gardening Supplies Every Woman Needs

13 Organic Gardening Supplies Every Woman Needs

Getting started with gardening this year? Feeling overwhelmed? (Or just want to get it right the first time?) You need help in choosing the right organic gardening supplies.

 

You can choose to grow organic for life and you can start today.

 

With the right tools, gardening becomes easy, enjoyable, and successful. Let’s do a quick rundown of the most basic organic farming supplies you need to have.

 

Basic Organic Gardening Supplies 

 

These organic gardening supplies make organic gardening for beginners super simple. Here's what every woman should have on hand when growing vegetables!

 

  1.    Classic Organic Gardening Tools

In planning every garden, you need to have the basic supplies to be able to fill your pots, till the soil, and maintain the growth of your crops.

 

Must have gear includes tillers, rakes, hoes (not that kind…the kind that help dig out naughty weeds that have sprung up where they shouldn’t).

 

When looking for rakes and hoes, be sure they’re the right height for you. I’ve purchased some supplies in the past that were too short; I ended up hunching over. Not fun.

 

  1. Apparel

You don’t want to get sunburned trying to grow fresh tomatoes or bummed because your toes are soaking wet, do you?

 

Essential organic gardening supplies include a hat and waterproof boots. Muck boots are great to keep your socks from getting soaked, and a hat will not only provide shade for your eyes, it’ll also catch sweat and keep you cooler when the temperature rises.

 

Gloves are another organic gardening supplies must-have. After a while, you’ll start to get blisters. Definitely not fun!

 

Any gloves you buy should be comfortable to wear and not rub you anywhere. These are your protection against cuts, blisters, prickers, and sunburns.

 

  1.    Pots & Other Containers

Some crops need a little extra time or babying before they can be transplanted. Pots are one of those organic gardening supplies you should always have on hand.

 

If you plan to grow herbs, then putting them in pots is a good idea; you can put them out when the weather is better (a lot of herbs are heat-loving) and bring them inside so you can still enjoy them when the weather turns cool again.

 

  1.    Starter Mixes

Starter mixes are part of the organic gardening supplies you need for seed starting. The nutrients support healthy seedling growth, and the right starter mix can make or break you.

 

You can also make your own starter mix (there’s a great recipe in my book, Organic By Choice: The (Secret) Rebel’s Guide To Backyard Gardening.)

 

  1.    Heat Mats

Successful gardening starts with successful germination. Any kind of vegetable seed will only take root when the soil temperature remains within that particular plant’s requirement. Some will need more warmth and in such cases, you should use a seedling heat mat.

 

  1.    Compost

If you want to grow organic for life, you need to fertilize your soil. The easiest and least expensive (and pretty much the best) way to do that is with compost.

 

It’s one of those must-have supplies, and you can either buy compost from a reliable supplier who you trust or make your own.

 

  1.    Row covers

As your organic garden grows, you need to provide extra care for your seedlings, especially in the early spring when your plants deal with a lot of temperature and weather changes. The plants are also at risk of being destroyed by pesky insects and animals.

 

Row covers will protect them, keep pests at bay, and overall are one of the best tools you can use to protect your babies from harsh conditions. Look for supplies from brands that feature UV resistant material with screened ventilation.

 

  1.    Netting

Nets act as temporary fences to protect your plants from thieving pests and other destructive elements. Deer or rabbits, for example, might try to snack on your young, tender, vegetable plants.

 

Netting will keep them away and snacking on something else. Keep calm and protect thy plants!

 

  1.    Twine

Garden twine help keep things under control in your garden, particularly tomato plants, if you plant to stake them (I didn’t do that last year trying to save a buck on cages. Very bad idea – my garden was a mess of tomato vines come August). Hemp twine is a good, all-natural twine.

 

  1.   Burlap

Something else to keep on hand, that most people overlook, is burlap. It can be used to wrap your plants (VERY handy if you need a quick row cover when the temperature suddenly drops), protect and screen your plants from harmful pests, prevent soil erosion, germinate seeds (great for lettuce and carrot seeds), among other ideas.

 

It is inexpensive and biodegradable, perfect to lay in your garden bed anytime.

 

  1.   Organic Insect Sprays

— And sprayers, of course. Experts say that what you spray and how you spray it creates a big difference in the outcome of your garden. Insecticides and herbicides should come from safe and natural ingredients. Look for high-quality garden sprays for better performance and good results.

You can learn how to make your own organic insect sprays in my book, Organic By Choice: The (Secret) Rebel’s Guide To Backyard Gardening.

 

  1.   Moisture Meter

Nothing is worse than either overwatering or underwatering your plants. These risks can be avoided with supplies like a moisture meter. It is one of the powerful gardening tools that measure the water in plants at the root level.

 

This list should give you the perfect head start in growing your first garden. The next you can do is to look for brand-specific organic gardening supplies that will match your expectations and budget. If you have other great gardening tools and tips that you can share, we encourage you to share them to help fellow gardeners to start going organic today!

3 Square Foot Gardening Plant Spacing Ideas

3 Square Foot Gardening Plant Spacing Ideas

Square foot gardening plant spacing seems like it should be simple, but if you don’t take companion planting into consideration, then you run the risk of your garden turning into a total flop.

 

NOTHING is worse than doing everything right, only to have a garden that doesn’t yield anything.

 

square foot gardening plant spacing

 

Ask me how I know – somehow, our sweet potato harvest this year didn’t go as planned. And it was disappointing to pull up the plants I’d waited 5 months to harvest only to find they never actually grew anything.

 

(Tomatoes on the other hand….we harvested nearly 100 pounds. You win some, you lose some, right?) Here’s my tips on growing tomatoes. This tomato gardening tip helped with our harvest, too!

 

Square foot gardening plant spacing consists of a few things:

  1. Figure out what you want to grow (and when to start the seeds indoors)
  2. Research how many plants can grow in each square foot garden space
  3. Consult a companion planting guide so you can be sure your vegetables will grow well next to each other.

Want an easy square foot gardening for beginners resource and square foot gardening plant spacing ideas? These are 3 genius ideas for square foot gardening plans and square foot gardening layout ideas!

What is square foot gardening & why does spacing matter?

Now, if you don’t know what square foot gardening is, it’s simply a garden segmented into 1 foot by 1 foot squares (I mean this method isn’t called square foot gardening for nothing, right?) and in each square, vegetables, herbs, or fruit are grown.

 

(If you want to read more about this, you can grab my book Organic By Choice: The (Secret) Rebel’s Guide To Backyard Gardening. Use coupon code SQUAREFOOT to save 10%!)

 

The amount of plants grown in one square foot depends on the type of plant – some squares will have more and some will have less.

 

Get it wrong, and your garden might not perform the way you expect because all the nutrients will either go to one plant, squeezing the others out.

 

Or the nutrients will be distributed among each plant, but it won’t be enough for each to flourish, and they’ll all be stunted or grow poorly.

 

Now, I’ve tried a lot of gardening methods. I mean a LOT. And as far as simplicity goes, square foot gardening is the bee’s knees, particularly because it makes plant spacing easy.

 

Square Foot Gardening lets you maximize your space so you get high yields from a small area. But just because it’s simple doesn’t mean you can ignore the needs of your vegetable plants.

 

If your square foot gardening plant spacing is off, then your ship is pretty much sunk before it even starts.

 

If your garden happens limited in size, then planning your square foot gardening plant spacing before digging into the dirt will let you make the best use of your gardening space that way.

 

If you only have a few feet, then growing onions, which need quite a bit of space, are heavy feeders, and need a long growing season probably isn’t your best choice.

 

Growing lettuce, tomatoes, and herbs will give you a greater yield in your tiny space and let you have a more satisfactory harvest and overall experience.


Want to know more about growing herbs? Click here to learn more about my book, Herbs In Your Backyard.

 


square foot gardening plant spacing

How to plan your square foot gardening plant spacing to be correct

 

Each January, before I begin even thinking of seed starting, I list all the herbs and vegetables I plan to grow as well as their individual needs. (I don’t personally grow fruit in my garden – they live elsewhere on the farm).

 

I also consult a table that tells me how many plants of each species should go in each square and double check my companion planting guide (you can download it here) so I know which veggies play nice and which don’t.

 

While this advice seems ultra simple and obvious, once you actually begin plotting your garden with square foot gardening plant spacing, you’ll notice that you might need to think a bit before deciding on a final plan.

 

If you get stuck, one easy fail-safe is that most plants do well being planted next to herbs (that being said, there are some plants that need lots of space, like onions, so it’s really best to use a companion planting guide.)

 

So, square foot gardening plant spacing is important, as is making sure your companion planting is on point.

 

Note: If you grab my bestseller Organic By Choice: The (Secret) Rebel’s Guide To Backyard Gardening, you’ll find several templates to help you plan your garden. Get it here & use coupon code SQUAREFOOT to save 10%

There’s also my favorite templates for a Salsa Garden, and All Tomato Garden, and more.

 

Here’s a brief list of popular vegetables and how far apart they should be and how many seeds to plant in each square:

 

Greens: 6 inches from each other, 4 plants

Carrots: 3 inches, 16 plants

Broccoli: 18 inches, 1 plant

Eggplant: 24 inches, 1 plant

 

After figuring out what you plan to grow, then draw out a grid the size of your garden (to scale) and segment your “garden” into 1 x 1 foot squares (again, to scale).

 

Start filling in the boxes with what you plan to grow – use your list, the square foot gardening template or list above, plus the companion planting guide to decide on a final arrangement.

 

If you  get stuck, or want to grow several plants that won’t grow well together, then prioritize. Is growing onions really necessary, or will you or your family prefer more tomatoes for pizza or herbs for homegrown herbal tea (try growing some of these perennial herbs!)?

 

Using this guide, you should be well on your way to planning your square foot gardening plant spacing for a healthy, full harvest this summer!

 

square foot gardening plant spacing

More Tips for Square Foot Gardening:

 

Amish Black Drawing Salve Homemade Recipe

Amish Black Drawing Salve Homemade Recipe

Have you ever been weeding or working with wood, and come inside with pricklies under your skin? Then you’ll want to grab a jar of my favorite Amish Black Drawing Salve!

 

Amish Black Drawing Salve is a traditional recipe that’s found a resurgence in our modern times – and it’s pretty easy to make yourself.

 

Even better, the ingredients in the Amish Black Drawing Salve recipe below have myriad uses around the house – so investing in them is a good idea for an all-natural homestead.

 

I’ve found Amish Black Drawing Salve particularly helpful after weeding the garden, when you might have brushed up against some prickly plants (the hyssop on this recipe is GREAT for that).

 

 

You can also use it if you’ve been working with wood and suddenly find yourself with a splinter.

 

Traditionally, Amish Black Drawing Salve is made with pine resin, and if you can get your hands on it, you can add it to this recipe – you’ll have to play with it a bit.

 

To replace the pine resin, I add pine essential oil – it accomplishes the same thing, and is easy to store with multitude other uses around the house (cleaners, for example).

 

I also added hyssop, which is great for supporting healthy skin. In fact, it’s my go-to when I want to improve the appearance of my skin. Similarly, carrot seed is great for supporting healthy skin.

 

The lavender in this Amish Black Drawing Salve adds it’s soothing properties while giving the salve a scent most people will appreciate (rather than something off-smelling, which some home remedies have).

 

Children, especially, are sensitive to smells, and might not want you to use it on them if your Amish Black Drawing Salve smells funky.

 

There’s a lot of different ingredients listed, but if you collect all the items before you make the salve (I’ve listed where you can get them for easy shopping), the actual steps are very simple.

 

Trust me, this looks a lot more complicated than it is.

 

Amish black drawing salve is a centuries-old traditional recipe. Here;'s how to make it in your own kitchen!

 

Amish Black Drawing Salve Ingredients

(I’ve done a lot of research, and this is the brand of essential oils I recommend)

How to Make Amish Black Drawing Salve

Add the oil, shea butter, coconut oil, beeswax, and honey to a mason jar. Make a double boiler by heating water in a pot, then placing the mason jar in the water. You want to melt the oil, shea butter, coconut oil, beeswax, and honey so they combine.

 

Using the beeswax as a guide,when the mixture is almost totally melted, stir constantly for 2 minutes to ensure the honey is evenly distributed.

 

Don’t skip this step because you’ll find the honey might clump up in one portion of the finished salve, and it’ll be a sticky mess.

 

Once the ingredients are combined in the mason jar, remove from heat and add the activated charcoal powder, white kaolin clay, and essential oils.

 

Stir constantly until all the Amish Black Drawing Salve ingredients are thoroughly combined and then allow the mixture to cool undisturbed until solid. This step might take a couple hours.

 

Once cool, you can store it on a shelf and use as needed. To use, apply to the area of concern and wrap the area. Remove and reapply daily until desired result is achieved.

 

This recipe makes ¼ pint of Amish Black Drawing Salve – I store mine in a ½ pint jar. You can also store it in smaller containers.