Get the Dirt on Organic Gardening

reneesBeen thinking of going organic? Good news! It’s easy, it’s rewarding, and all you need to get started is plants, dirt, and fertilizer.

Organic Plants

Think about what you want to put in your garden, and how much space you have to work with. Plan out where you’ll put each plant, and how many of each you want. Graph paper is a lifesaver here, because you can plan out every square foot if you want to.

The types of plants you’re going to grow will decide how deep your dirt needs to be. Herbs don’t need deep soil, so they can do well in window boxes and containers. Tomatoes, on the other hand, do better in raised beds or in-ground. Sometimes you can cheat the system by planting shallow plants right next to deep plants, but every plant needs some space of its own. No one likes to be crowded.

Do a little research on how many plants to grow. You don’t want to end up with way too many of something you’re not going to eat, and some plants can surprise you. For example, an average zucchini plant in an average garden having an average year will produce thirty pounds of zucchinis. Thirty pounds. On average.

Browse Organic Seed Starting

Jobes Blood Meal and Bone Meal

Organic Dirt

Before you start digging holes, you need to get to know your dirt. Use a soil test kit to figure out what nutrients you’ve got enough of, and what you need to add. Ideally your pH will be balanced, and your soil will be rich in nitrogen (for leaf development), phosphorous (for fruit growth), and potassium (for healthy roots). If you’re lacking in any of those minerals, amend your soil and test again after a few days.

Start prepping your garden soil about a month before you want to plant. Mix your amendments (like fertilizer, nutrients, and specialty soils) in with a garden fork or a shovel. You want to make your soil fluffy. Dirt that’s too tightly packed can make it harder for roots to grow.

Check if your soil’s ready for planting by rolling a clump lightly into a ball.  Now crumble it in your hand. If it just breaks into a few smaller pieces, it’s ready however, if it feels doughy or soggy you need to wait for drier weather. And if it’s hard or powdery water the ground, fluff it again, and check again in a few days.
Soil and Fertilizers

Browse organic soils and ammendments

Organic Fertilizers

Fertilizers and amendments don’t just feed the plants. They also feed the soil, helpful bugs, and all the other things that keep your garden thriving. Everything needs to eat, after all.

Add them to your garden in the spring and again in the fall. And if you have a longer growing season, you can use a little more. Organic fertilizers are slow-releasing, so you’re not going to overload your soil.

Browse organic fertilizers

Pests

OK, we didn’t mention pests. But we need to be realistic. You’re going to have pests. And since you’re not going to use any chemical herbicides or pesticides, how will you protect your plants from being choked out by weeds, or eaten by bugs? Thankfully, your neighborhood Orchard Supply Hardware store is well-stocked with a full line of pest management and weed controls for organic gardening.

And don’t let your organic gardening end with vegetables. Shrubs, flowerbeds, even your lawn can benefit from organic methods. Don’t be stingy, spread the love!

CA ONLY: No Sales Tax –  February 18-20, 2017 the price you see is the price you pay. So it’s the perfect time to stock up and save on the stuff you need anyway.

OR Residents ONLY: 10% OFF –  February 18-20, 2017 the price you see is the price you pay. So it’s the perfect time to stock up and save on the stuff you need anyway.

Head over to your neighborhood Orchard Supply Hardware® and grab the plants, soils, and amendments you need to get your organic garden started right.

Organics

50 Ways of Clean: Top Ways to Dominate Dirt This Valentine’s Day

Is your floor looking a bit off-color? Doorknobs a little dirty? White linens turning a few different shades of gray? To help you whip your place into shape, we’ve put together 50 ways to get a good, deep clean to refresh your home before summer and the company starts pouring in!

1. Dust the light fixtures
2. Wipe down the table and chairs
3. Sweep the floor clean
4. Put the dishes away and organize
5. Clean the dishwasher
6. Replace the water filters
7. Wipe down the kitchen cabinet faces

8

9. Scrub the kitchen sink
10. Scrub out the trash cans
11. Take out the trash and replace the bag
12. Wipe down the front of the refrigerator
13. Clean the refrigerator shelves
14. Sanitize the refrigerator handle

15

16. Sort the mail
17. Dust the furniture
18. Dust the shelves

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20. Replace the vacuum filter
21. Vacuum the blinds or curtains
22. Vacuum the couch

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24. Wash the clothes
25. Wash the towels
26. Wash the sheets
27. Wash the pillows
28. Wash the blankets
29. Clean the washing machine
30. Clean the lint filter
31. Wipe down the dryer
32. Fold the laundry
33. Put the laundry away
34. Vacuum the mattresses
35. Make the beds
36. Organize the linen closet
37. Wash the bathroom mirror
38. Sanitize the bathroom sinks and counters
39. Scrub the bathroom or shower

40

41. Remove any hair from the drains
42. Wash the shower curtain or door
43. Clean the showerhead
44. Wipe down the bathroom cabinet faces
45. Clean out the bathroom cabinets
46. Clean the toilet
47. Mop the bathroom floor
48. Wash the dishes
49. Sweep the porch

50

Get the tools to make cleaning painless and hassle free.  We have everything waiting for you at your at your neighborhood Orchard Supply Hardware store or online at osh.com.
Some items may not be available at all stores. Call your neighborhood Orchard Supply Hardware store for availability. Coupons and/or offers cannot be combined with any other discounts off of merchandise being offered at store closing sales.

Rainy Day Project: Tips For an Efficient and Cool Kitchen Space

Glidez™ 12-in Sink Sliding Organizer

First step to a cool and efficient kitchen space is to clear out your drawers and cabinets. Get rid of anything you don’t need, YOU KNOW that grater from college let’s toss it!  Have things that are expired or broken?  Donate or trash.  Then, clean everything you’re keeping with disinfectant wipes (they come in handy with built up grime). Now it’s time to get organized.

Plan your every move.

Think about your kitchen routine, and try to keep everything you need for regular tasks together. Keep glassware next to the sink or refrigerator. Store cookware and utensils by your food prep area. Organize your spices and cooking oils so you can reach them from your stove. Get handy sized trash cans with smell good liners to make your kitchen smell nice even when the smelly hits the can!

Use specialized items.

Helper shelves can elevate an otherwise out-of-reach corner. Lazy Susan’s in the refrigerator keep your leftovers rotating so nothing can hide in the back and spoil. Cupboard dividers make it easy to separate out miscellaneous items and keep them from getting lost.

Glidez® 11.5-in D Sliding Organizer

Go vertical.

Free up valuable drawer and counter space by hanging long-handled utensils, oven mitts, aprons, and more on hooks. Serving platters can do double duty as art when displayed on your kitchen walls. Create a cookbook stand on your wall with railing, or an adhesive ledge.

cabinet-org-3

Until this rain lets up we suggest a fun and inspiring project! Visit your neighborhood Orchard Supply Hardware® store to find solutions for your  cool and efficient kitchen makeover!

#MyOSHProject: Create A Succulent Mini Garden

Not only are they exceptionally hardy, they come in a happy array of shapes and sizes. Good luck choosing. A succulent mini garden can be hung in a variety of ways, placed on shelves, or tucked into nooks all around the house. It’s like bringing a bit of summer indoors. Find everything you need at your neighborhood Orchard Supply Hardware store.

Supplies:

Canning Jars

canning-jars

Spanish Moss

spanish-moss

Jute Twine and Adhesive

twine

5-lb Pebbles

pebbles

Cactus Mix Potting Soil

vlack-gold

Ready to get Started On Your Succulent Garden?

  1. Select canning jar(s). Keep in mind if you plan on hanging, or where you want to place.
  2. Put in a layer of Spanish moss. The moss will compact quite a bit, so it’s a good idea to put in more than you think you might need.
  3. Add a layer of rocks or pebbles. This will allow excess water to drain to be absorbed by the moss.
  4. Fill the jar with cactus mix to about 1-in from the rim.
  5. Plant with the succulent of your choice.
  6. If you want to hang the planter, wrap twin multiple times around the rim, and then secure with the adhesive.
  7. Mini succulent garden ready to cheer your indoor space.

Want to embellish your planter? Look throughout the store for ideas. You’ll find paints, markers, tapes and much more.

All items may not be offered at every store.
Call your neighborhood store for availability. FIND A STORE

#MyOSHProject: Tape-a-palooza: Projects with Designer Tape

Tape is so much more than an adhesive. You can accent a room, customize your gadgets, or even build useful everyday items.

With decorative tapes in a crazy range of colors, textures, and patterns combined with all the materials you’ll need available in our store, the number of projects you can wrap your mind around has no limit.

Check out the wacky wrapping experiments we came up with here or view our strip selection and roll with your own.

Tape-A-Chair

What you’ll need:

  • Single roll of Duck® 10-yd tape
  • Steel-backed folding chair
  • Scissors

Instructions:

  1. Cut a single 15-in or so strip
  2. Starting from just behind the chair back, wrap around front till the other end meets where you started. Cut off excess.
  3. Apply next piece without overlapping the tape strips. Repeat step 1 until chair back is covered.

Washi covered light plate

Washi-covered light plate
Washi-covered light plate

What you’ll need:

  • Scotch® Expressions Washi Tape
  • Leviton® Toggle Switch Wall Plate
  • Fiskars® Amplify 8-in Craft Shears

Instructions

  1. Liberally stick strips of tape across face of wall plate one at a time until covered. Smooth out all air bubbles.
  2. Flip over and use scissors to trim excess, leaving a ¼-in remaining.
  3. Fold the remaining tape around the back edge of plate. Use included screws from wall plate to poke through tape covering holes for when you fasten it to wall.
  4. With plate still facing tape-side down, use tip of scissors to cut an X into the toggle hole. Flip over and peel off the 4 triangle shaped pieces and voilà – you’re switching in style.

Tip: Stick a paperclip where you tore off the last piece, and never lose your place again.

Show off your projects and creations  by tagging #MyOSHProject Series and we’ll share the best ones on our social media. Let’s get taping!