How to Plant Your First Organic Garden
Good health comes from proper nutrition. Fresh fruit and vegetables are what our doctors keep telling us to eat. However, it’s hard to know how fresh the food we buy from our supermarkets is. Often organic garden food sold there is a lot more expensive than non-organic food.
The solution is to grow your own. If you have a garden area, why not put it to good use and plant your own organic garden. That way, you’ll know how fresh and clean your herbs and vegetables are.
So, how do you get started? Here are some tips:
You’ll need to do a bit of preparation before you get started, here are the things to consider:
Big or Small
How much time do you want to spend in the garden? Can you only spare a few hours a week, or do you have the whole weekend free? You’re best to start small, plant one or two things, then build up from there.
The expert gardeners recommend you don’t go crazy and buy every possible tool under the sun. Start with the basics like a trowel, clippers, a watering can, gloves, and a compost bin. As your garden grows, so will your tool collection.
What to Plant
It may sound simple, but the best things to plant are what you plan to eat. What’s the point of growing things that are of no benefit to you – unless you’re planning to sell your products? Do you want to grow only vegetables, or will you try your hand at herbs too?
Choose easy plants, to begin with, peas, spinach, carrots, lettuce, and radishes grow really well in cold weather. In warm weather, try tomatoes, green beans, zucchini, and basil.
Where to Place the Garden
Most vegetables thrive on 6-8 hours of sunlight per day, and a bit of afternoon shade. Good drainage is also essential. It’s not a bad idea to place it where you can see it from the house. That way, you’ll remember to take care of it. Out of sight, out of mind, is not useful here.
Building the Garden
Now that you’ve planned what to do, it’s time to get started. There are a few things to prepare:
Something many new gardeners tend to overlook is the quality of the soil. Healthy soil grows better plants. Get your soil tested for nutrients. You can purchase kits to do this for you, or better yet, send it to your local agricultural extension office. Once you know what your dirt lacks (if anything), you can introduce it.
Good compost is the secret to a successful garden. It’s nature working together with you to achieve results. Making your own compost is simple.
Start with a layer of carbon material like leaves or trimmings. Next, a small layer of dirt covered in the good stuff, kitchen scraps, and manure. Create alternate layers like this until you have enough, then top it off with around 4-6 inches of. Remember to turn it often to mix all the nutrients.
Now, the fun part. It’s best to follow the instructions on the seed packets carefully. It will tell you how much space you need between each seed and other plants. Group plants together to reduce water waste and weeding.
Initial watering needs to be handled carefully, and you don’t want to flood your seeds. Add it bit by bit as it soaks into the soil. As soon as the water starts to puddle on top, that’s it, stop.
Organic Gardening: A Natural Way to a Healthy Garden
Organic gardening is essentially the same old regular gardening but without the use of any synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. However, this approach can make fighting insects, weeds, and diseases rather difficult. Additionally, organic gardening also involves being more careful of the plant’s well-being and paying close attention to the soil.
The most important aspect of organic gardening is soil. Soil productivity should be taken care of meticulously and organic material added to it regularly. As a matter of fact, for plants that are grown organically, compost is very essential. Compost may be of dead flowers or leaves, vegetable scraps, grass clippings, fruit rinds, etc.
A good, ideal soil looks dark in color and smells sweet, and is often full of earthworms. There may be soils for which compost won’t be enough and they would require more of natural additives. These could be rock phosphates, bonemeal, or greensand. The pH balance, as well as the requirement of nutrients, can be easily gauged by a straightforward soil test.
However, there is a thing that can cause even staunch organic gardeners to think about pesticides is the sight of insects plaguing their plants. Well, the best way out would be to follow a preventive strategy. First of all, ensure that the plants are healthy as can be because they fall prey to insects mostly if they are unhealthy. Also, ensure that the plants are neither to wet nor too dry.
Probably, inviting insect predators like birds, ladybugs, frogs, etc. to your garden is a good way to keep the insects away from your garden. This can be accomplished if you keep some water source in the vicinity or grow nectar-producing plants that may attract certain insects. Other methods include using plant collars, sticky traps, and barriers. Alternatively, certain items of the house like garlic, hot pepper, or insecticidal soaps also prevent insects.
Plant diseases may also be avoided if you select plants that are disease resistant and take care to plant them in prime conditions. Constant moisture along with bad circulation of air may also be a cause for diseases. So ensure that the plant site and watering regime and methods is well suite to the plant.
Organic Mulch can behave as weed barrier, however more enhanced protection can be ensured by putting a newspaper layer or such thing under the mulch. Be persistent if you wish to prevent weed. Make sure you mulch well and thereafter pull and hoe properly. Thus, doing this consistently will make your garden weed-free in a few seasons.
Organic gardening is a healthy way of caring for your plants in a natural, pesticide manner. It may, for sure, take a bit more care and time as compared to regular gardening, but it definitely is worth that extra time.
Care and Maintenance for Garden
Water your seeds and plants in the morning, it’s cooler, and there’s less chance of it evaporating before it has the time to sinks in. If your plants are watered late in the day, they run the risk of growing fungus as they stay damp all night.
Water your seeds every day until they start to grow. Once they’re settled in, they only need 1” of water per week. In many places, this is provided by rainfall. If not, that’s where you come in. The ideal place to water the plants is near their roots, not the top.
The enemy of every gardener is weeds. You need to keep on top of this. Left to bloom, they can strangle and damage your whole garden. Weeding tools that remove them roots and all are your best option.
Remember, this is an organic garden, so you don’t want to use pesticides; however, you may have pests. The best way to eliminate them is to introduce their natural enemies. For example,
birds, lizards, frogs, toads, and even bats. Ladybirds are a fantastic pesticide, and some gardening stores will also sell cans of them.
If this doesn’t work, you can fall back on insecticidal soaps, horticultural oils, garlic, or hot pepper spray.
Your gardening season will end shortly, so don’t forget to take your bounty and prepare for next season.
You’ve grown this food to eat, so when it’s ready, pick it. Check your garden every day for new, ready crops to harvest. Don’t be afraid to start this process a little early, the more you take, the more they’ll give you.
If you have excess, you can freeze, jar, or can them. With herbs, though, pick them just when you’re ready to use them.
When the crops are harvested and the season is over, remove any dead plants, turn your soil, and leave it to rest until you’re ready to start the process again next round.
What Are You Waiting For?
Clean food is available if you’re prepared to do the work. Plan your garden, get the right tools, and spend some time getting it built. After that, you only need to maintain it a little, and you’ll have fresh organic vegetables and herbs when you need them.
For more information watch this video: