How to Start an Organic Garden
Organic gardens are popular and are on the rise, these gardens as the name say involve growing food crops without the use of pesticides or synthetics fertilizers (man-made). On a wider scale, organic farms use these seem methods in crop growing along with raising livestock, organic practices only use methods that are natural.
The rise of this method of growing foods has become so popular that many people are becoming health conscious of these natural products using them to promote a healthy lifestyle. It’s estimated that in the US alone consumers spend more than 38 billion dollars in 2014.
That’s a lot of money spend on organic foods which shows how much people are turning to this lifestyle to ensure they are taking good care of their health, with that said we will be taking a closer look at how to create an organic garden.
Let’s get started
1. Location, Location, Location
To have much success with organic gardening requires that you construct your garden in an area that gets full sunlight. Sunlight is so important to a plant’s growth so give your edibles all the sun they need.
2. Garden soil
Garden soil is at the root of having success, soils that are used should be rich in organic matter, starting a compost pile is a great way to provide your plants with the nutrient they need. Get your plants off to a great start by having your soil tested which is so important. Having a soil ph test done along with testing how well your soil holds moisture will allow for proper drainage is important also.
3. Chose of plant material
When choosing seeds or seedlings for your organic garden ensure plants are of good quality. This means doing a thorough inspection at the time of purchasing. Look for off-colors, rot, insect pests, diseases, etc… purchasing good quality plants will save you so much headache. Remember you want to get off to a good start and continue to build your organic garden from that point.
4. Installing your seeds/ seedlings
When planting your seeds or seedlings ensure they are planted at the right depth along with giving them the proper spacing because planting too deeply will cause seeds not to germinate and if installing seedlings too deeply will cause roots to suffocate along with plant’s roots not being able to absorb nutrients. The planting depth and the proper spacing should be on the seed package or talk with your garden nurseryman but how to plant.
Give the proper spacing because plants need to breathe (proper air circulation) if plants are planted too close will cause issues such as yellowing and browning of the leaves followed by dropping of the leaves. A disease that is brought on by planting too closely is powdery mildew, this disease will cause a white powder-like substance to form on the plant leaves.
The use of fungicides that are labeled for this disease will bring under control but since we are growing an organic garden we want to stay clear of all chemicals so give your plants the right spacing to avoid this issue.
5. Proper watering methods
Many garden plants have suffered setbacks and in some cases died because of overwatering or not getting sufficient water. Get to know the watering needs of your plant’s because a lack of water can weaken plants along with encouraging garden insect pests issues. Too much water will cause root rot followed by disease.
Weeds can become a real issue especially if allowed to grow out of control, weeds will encourage disease, garden insect pests and will compete with your garden plants for water, light, and nutrients. Because you are growing an organic garden it’s best to remove weeds by hand pulling. Herbicides or weed killers should not be used because drift-off carried by the wind can get on plants causing damage.
7. Keeping your garden clean
Keeping your garden clean of debris is a must because a clean garden does not only looks beautiful but discourages disease, insect pests and will have everything organized.
8. Crop rotation
Crop rotation should be done every year because replanting in the same area with the same plant species or other species that may be related will contract the same disease so install plants that are not closely related.
9. Organic fertilizers
To keep your garden organic means using organic fertilizers, these fertilizers will give a better crop. Some organic fertilizers include seaweed, cottonseed meal, chicken manure, cow manure, fish emulsion, and alfalfa meal.
Mulches are great because these natural organics will not only add beauty but will hold moisture, suppress weeds, keep the soil temperature cool, help to adjust the soil ph and as mulches break down will add nutrients to the soil which is all-natural.
11. Garden insect pests
Garden insect pests can do a number on our garden plants by causing major issues. There are many chemicals on the market that can rid our gardens of these insect pests. But because we are dealing with an organic garden the only pesticides that should be used are organic, the use of these homemade remedies may offer some help.
Another great way to eliminate garden insect pests is by introducing natural predators, these beneficial insects are also known as the good bugs will eliminate insect pests by feed on them. This method is not only safe for our plants but will also help in bringing balance to our ecosystem.
12. Soil microbes
Garden soil is not dead as some may think but contains billions of soil microbes which are hard at work to ensure that our garden plants are well taken care of. These soil microbes break down organic matter into a form that our plants take up through their roots. It is therefore important that we give our soils a good amount of organics to also help in feeding microbes that are present. For more on how this all works refer to this link, feeding soil microbes.
13. Label your plants
Labeling or tagging your plants is a great way to keep track of or to remember what you have planted and how each plant species should be performing.
The benefits of Growing Organic
1. Growing foods that are healthy and free of toxic pesticides.
2. Safeguarding or protecting soil microbes.
3. Saving those hard-earned dollars.
4. Better quality foods.
5. Taste better.
6. By going organic you are contributing to the health of the eco-system.
7. By working the soil you will be getting that much-needed exercise.
Food crops that can be grown organically
The final word on organic foods
Creating an organic garden is the way to go, these gardens and the methods they are cared for have been widely excepted. Organic gardens are making waves especially since the health message is being heralded. This is a great way to grow food crops that not only taste delicious but will promote good health while contributing to the eco-system this method of growing food crops is a win-win which I think is worth the investment. Let’s join the many homeowners who are taking advantage of these gardens and get in on the action by growing healthy, eating healthy, and living longer.