Organic Garden Spring Makeover

I love gardening, and I’m lucky to live in an urban area with lots of trees. The lovely forest in my backyard and most of my front yard means I only have room for a small 16×3 raised garden bed in the sliver of full sunlight my yard receives directly beside the driveway. Each spring my beloved little garden bed needs refreshing with new soil and new transplants. We chose raised beds because the natural soil in the area is black clay which is bad for gardening – it packs down easily, and hardens up like a brick when it dries out in the hot summer.

Organic weed control

Organic weed control.

Following are the ingredients we use to create our ideal organic soil mix. We used 12 bags total to fill our 16×3 raised bed:

  • 2 bags flower & vegetable garden soil
  • 4 bags composted cow manure
  • 2 bags Texas Native compost
  • 1 bag mushroom compost
  • 2 bags humus
  • 1 peat bale
We use pet-safe ingredients, of course

We use pet-safe ingredients, of course.

Prepare soil for planting by working out big chunks, and mixing all the soils and compost together with a hoe or shovel. Treat the soil mix with an organic fertilizer for plant growth such as high-nitrogen bat guano. In a few weeks, after the seedlings have taken root and started growing, we’ll come back through with an additional top-dressing of high-phosphorus bat guano to promote flowering.

Supervising.

Organic gardening dogs.

We save money and conserve water with a drip irrigation system.

Save money, save water.

Save money, save water.

For our little garden bed we use 48 feet of soaker hose looped down and back around the raised bed 3 times.

Eco-friendly drip irrigation

Eco-friendly drip irrigation

My crafty husband connected the soaker hose to the nearest outdoor spigot with the appropriate length of regular garden hose, and voila!

Organic garden complete.

Organic garden complete.

It’s not too late to plant your spring-summer garden! According to the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, late April through early May is a perfect time to plant these veggies:

  • Snap & Lima Beans
  • Southern Peas
  • Cantaloupe Melon
  • Sweet Potato
  • Watermelon
  • Swiss Chard
  • Pumpkin
  • Greens
  • Pepper
  • Squash
  • Okra

Happy organic gardening from RoT Organics!

RoT Organics Pest Control Spray Recipe

Our organic experts at RoT Organics have developed an effective, pet & child-safe organic insecticidal mix that we use with great success in our Texas landscaping business.  You can bet if this mix works to kill and prevent the return of our famously tenacious Texas insects, it will definitely work in your neck of the woods too.  Best of all, our mix will kill your pests without harming you, your family, your pets, or your friendly neighborhood ladybugs, butterflies, mantises, bees, or earthworms.  For more information about our products, visit our products page, or find us on Amazon.
First, assemble the necessary ingredients:

  • 3/4 oz. Neem Pro 100% (cold-pressed neem oil, organic insecticide)
  • 3/4 oz. Karanja Pro (cold-pressed karanja oil, horticultural adjuvant)
  • 1 1/2 oz. MOAP (molasses & castille soap, natural emulsifier)
  • 1 gallon Water
  • Clean Pump Sprayer

Step 1: Measure 3/4 ounce of Neem Pro 100%.  The active insecticidal ingredient in Neem Pro is Azadirachtin, a naturally occurring chemical in the seed of the neem tree.  Neem Pro 100% is OMRI Listed for agricultural use up to the day of harvest.

Step 2: Add the Neem Pro into the pump sprayer.  Note that all the ingredients for our RoT Organics Pest Control Spray Mix are 100% human and pet safe.

Step 3: Measure 3/4 ounce of Karanja Pro.  The active ingredient in Karanja Pro is Karanjin, a naturally occurring chemical found in the seed of the karanja tree.  Eastern cultures have valued the insecticidal properties of  karanjin for centuries.

Step 4: Add the Karanja Pro into the pump sprayer.

Step 5: Measure 1 1/2 ounces of MOAP, and add it to the pump sprayer.  MOAP is RoT Organics’ special mix of high-brix molasses and organic castille soap.  MOAP acts as an emulsifier and spreader-sticker that allows the oils to disolve in water, and then to fully coat all leaf surfaces when applied.

Step 6: Add 1 gallon of water to the pump sprayer.

Step 7: Shake it all up!  The emulsified mixture should appear light brown and cloudy.

Now you’re ready to spray the RoT Organics Pest Control Spray Mix on all your garden plants! Be sure to coat all leaf and stem surfaces, undersides of leaves, and the earth underneath the plants.

If you have a particularly stubborn insect problem you’re working to get under control in the garden, you can double the measurements given in this recipe and spray every 10 days until the problem is under control.  Once the insects or fungi are under control, return to the preventive recipe and apply once every 30 days to keep those bugs from entering your garden.

Happy organic gardening from all of us at RoT Organics!