Organic Gardening Tips

Here are six exceptional tips from our members that will save labor and improve your organic gardening efforts.

As editors, we love hearing from our members because they offer a wealth of experience and ideas. In this case, six members share some super organic gardening tips, so put them to use in your garden and pass them on to your friends.

chickens in charge

After seedlings and young plants have put on some size, I give my chickens the run of my garden. They keep my beds free of squash bugs, slugs, and other pests. The extra fertilizer they share is an added bonus.—Johanna Jensen, Nampa, ID

rotate those crops

Each year I move my broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and garlic to different locations to avoid soil-borne diseases.—Shelli Lipton, Saugerties, NY

space filler

Wherever I have unused garden space, I bury my compostable scraps all year and let them decompose. In the spring, my heavy red clay soil is crumbly and easy to work.—Jill Waltenspiel, Oakland, OR

leaf leftovers

After chopping up autumn leaves with our lawn mower, we sift the leaves through wire mesh. The coarse pieces become mulch in the garden beds. The finer pieces go into the compost pile, along with food scraps and plant trimmings, to "cook" slowly all winter. In the spring, we have great compost.—Pam Kern, Ringwood, NJ

abodes for toads

I turn broken clay pots upside down, put them in moist and shady places, and raise the rims up on stones so there's room for toads to crawl beneath. The toads spend warm, sunny days under cover and come out at night to keep garden bugs under control.—Dawn Dula, Morganton, NC

cut-up castoffs

When I have colorful fabric left over from sewing projects, I tie 2-inch strips to trees and shrubs to discourage deer and rabbits. I also use them to tie up tall vegetable plants.—Veronica Stevenson, Bloomfield, MI