Why organic gardening?
This is a good question, why is the world turning to organic gardening? what is the big buzz all about? and what are the benefits of having an organic garden? first, growing organically means growing crops without the use of synthetic pesticides, because these pesticides can contaminate the foods we grow.
Secondly, the use of synthetic pesticides can and have contaminated the air causing humans as well as animals to become ill, and thirdly having our own organic garden in our backyard will save us money. So we can see then that growing organically will benefit us in many ways.
Planning your garden
There are two ways in which you can plant your garden. The first way is to find an area in your yard that gets sufficient sunlight (5-6 hours) per day. Make sure that the planting site is clear of debris. To help condition the soil it would be good to add some organic materials because this will help with drainage, hold the right amount of moisture, add nutrients and help with proper air circulation in the soil.
A good idea also is to start your own compost pile, to learn more about composting click this link, Starting a compost pile.
How to plant?
Seeds can be purchased either package or brought as seedlings from your garden center. Place seeds or seedlings in rows giving them the proper amount of spacing, Instructions for this should be on the package when planting seeds or in the case of seedling, your nurseryman should be able to assist. Do not plant seeds or seedlings to deeply about one to one and a half inches into the soil is good.
Also, make sure that soil is moist never allow the soil to dry out completely. The best time to water is in the morning or when the weather is cool.
To help combat disease and insects that inhabit the soil, group plants that have the same water requirements, this method is known as hydro-zoning. Also, rotate beds each year.
For example, if you are planting a herb garden then you would plant
Chives, Basil, Rosemary, Thyme, Garlic, Mint
For vegetables, your choice would be
Bell peppers, Onion, Tomatoes, Carrots, Cabbage, Potatoes
Keeping beds free of weeds
Weeds can not only make your garden bed look unattractive but weeds can also compete for water, nutrients and also bring uninvited guests such as disease and garden insect pests. Applying a layer of mulch around your plants is a good way to keep weeds down. Mulches also help to retain water, keeps soil temperature cool and as the mulch breaks down it adds nutrients to the soil.
Hand weeding is another way to get rid of weeds or using a hoe and once every two weeks lightly turning the soil, this will help in keeping weeds down, this method is known as soil cultivation.
Organic pesticides are made from natural products or plant parts, these products work well in home gardens to help combat insects. Organic pesticides such as neem oil and garlic oil are safe to use or and effective is to add about a tsp of dish liquid to a gallon of water shake well and add the mixture to a spray bottle, apply when the temperature is cool early in the morning just before the sunrise.
Spray the entire plant making sure to get both the top and bottom of leaves, the spray should come out of the nozzle fine and misty. Leave the solution on for two and a half hours then rinse plants with freshwater, do this once every seven days until there is no visible sign of insects. Make sure when using organic pesticides to read the label and follow directions because the label is LAW.
Container organic gardening
Even if you have limited space in your yard for an organic garden all is not lost, you can still grow organically with the help of using containers and example of container gardener can be viewed by clicking this link container gardening
Make sure to choose a sunny location and follow the steps mention above. With container gardening, the growth of weeds is limited therefore weeds in this type of garden are easier to control, water is also limited because plants are confined to containers so keep watch on the soil. A good rule is to make sure that the soil is moist, not waterlogged. Allow the soil to dry out a bit between watering and then apply water again.
The final word
Growing an organic garden is not hard at all, all it requires is some know-how and you will be on your way, so follow these steps and watch as your garden takes shape. What a joy it is to be able to harvest your own homegrown produce.