Contrary to popular belief, growing an organic garden doesn’t mean you’re one step away from joining a commune or living off the land. It just means you want healthier food, bereft of the harsh chemicals that are used by mass-producing farms. Here are some tips to ensure that your garden will always grow.
Your plants need to grow in a rich soil. You can buy bags of soil but they can be quite expensive. You can also easily create your own: you need to use perlite, vermiculite and peat in equal quantities. You should also add a small quantity of lime and compost if needed.
Have your gardening tools near you to minimize the time spent searching for them. You can wear an apron or pants that have a lot of pockets, or use a big bucket or can. Keep your trowel, pruning shears and gloves handy so you can do your garden work quickly and easily.
Your plants need to be fed properly as soon as they start sprouting leaves. If you did not use compost in your soil, you have to fertilize your plants. You can mix water with a liquid fish or sea weed solution and spray it on your plants, or add this mix to the water in which your trays and pots are bathing.
While Mother Nature will eventually do the work needed to create compost from a backyard pile, even if it is not actively tended, you can give her a helping hand by adding compost starter to the mix. Compost starters, available from the garden centers, add microorganisms to the soil that help speed up the decay process.
By adding a nice layer of bio-degradable material (mulch) around your plants, you can utilize the natural pest-fighting ability within the mulch to stop predators to your plants. By putting a one to two inch layer around your plants, you are also adding a source of nutrients and a source of water.
If you aren’t ready to devote your time and energy to a full organic garden or just don’t have the space for one, use a container instead. Look for plants that are small and well suited for containers. Whiskey barrels are great for container gardens because they have plenty of room for roots to grow and can be used for multiple varieties of plants.
To help spread mulch easily, you can use a flat-head rake or a bow. If you are using a rake, you should use the rakes tined edge to pull and spread your mulch. Use the flat side of the rake to even your mulch on the bed. You will want to use a light push then pull action.
When planting your organic garden, wear a carpenter’s tool belt around your waist and fill all the pockets with your gardening gloves and tools. Not only will this keep your tools organized and handy for use, it will also minimize trips back and forth to your shed to retrieve tools you have forgotten to carry with you.
Make sure you plant your garden in different areas every year. If the types of plants that you grow are consistent from one year to the next, they may be more prone to diseases and plant fungus. These plant enemies can become stored in the ground, ready to attack your plants the following year. By changing up varieties and locations, you are reducing the chances of damaging your plants.
Yes, there is a stigma that comes with the word “organic,” but that’s because most people fail to realize that the word organic, basically means natural. In fact, growing organic is as natural as you can possibly get. So make sure to use these gardening tips when you’re ready to grow organic food.