Growing Geraniums Organically
The popular and colorful geranium (Pelargonium) is a sure sign that summer has arrived. Geraniums come in many forms, colors and growing heights with well over 400 species of plants that are in the family of Cranesbills.
Easy-to-grow plant thrives in an organic garden and will provide bloom color all summer. Geraniums are considered to be an annual, but typically behave as a perennials when grown organically.
Select a sunny location that has well-draining soil. Geraniums grow well in containers or when planted in-ground.
Geraniums should be planted on the day of purchase, so it’s best to have your garden soil prepared ahead of time and be ready to plant immediately.
Prepare soil by tilling or spading 8-10 inches deep, or use a container 8-10 inches deep.
Mix in six inches of compost, well rotted manure or peat moss to the tilled soil ensure good drainage and plenty of organic food for the plants.
Prepare soil for container by creating an organic growing medium from a 50-50 mixture of good quality potting soil and compost.
How To Plant
For plants, dig holes that are the same depth as the roots so plant roots will just barely be under the surface of the soil.
Place a handful of compost in the bottom of each planting hole. Gently remove plant from container to keep the root ball intact and place in prepared hole.
Gently firm the soil around plant base and leave a 1/2 inch indentation in the soil around the plant to act as a catch basin for water. Water plant well and add two inches of an organic mulch around plant stem to retain water and prevent weeds.
For seeds, plant seeds in prepared soil 8-10 inches apart. Cover with half an inch of compost and water well. Keep soil moist until seeds germinate. When plants reach six inches high, apply a 2 inch layer of organic mulch around the plants.
Geraniums like moist, but not soggy soil. keep plants well-hydrated and well-fed by creating a batch of organic compost tea.
Mix a garden trowel of compost (or manure) in a five gallon bucket of rain water and place in a sunny location. Allow ‘tea’ to steep for a couple of days, then use to water geraniums.
A side dressing of compost can be added in mid-summer to kept soil fertile and plants growing strong.