Creating An Organic Garden
You have made the decision and it is time to act. What do you do first? The decision, to start an organic garden may, at first, seem a bit intimidating but it is really not all that difficult.
First, unless you are planning to sell what you grow there is no need to have a garden that is certified as organic. What you need to do is design your garden so that you have no need for artificial chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticide.
How do you do this?
What do you want to grow? Where will you locate the new garden bed? If you plant tog row vegetables, most will need eight hours of sunlight every day so the garden needs to be placed where the plants will receive eight hours of sunlight per day.
How big will your garden be; for the beginner a good first garden is four feet wide and eight feet long. This way you can reach every part of your garden without stepping on the soil.
You do not want to step on the soil for when we do we compact that soil and the soil is the thing.
Mark off the corners of the garden and follow the instructions in the accompanying video. I use the no dig method that involved either news print or cardboard and organic matter applied in layers. Digging is hard work and I see no reason why gardening should be hard work.
You will get all the exercise you need, while deadheading, harvesting and pulling the odd weed.
Once you have the bed prepared it is time to plant. If you are planning to grow tomatoes, green peppers or cucumbers for example, it is a good idea to start them indoors about six weeks before planting them outside in the garden.
When planting seeds be sure to read the package and follow the directions. If you are interested in the fall you can save some seeds for planting next year.
If you are serious about being organic you will buy seeds that are organic and heritage seeds. The heritage seed will breed true to the parent so there are no surprises.
Heirloom seed and heritage seeds are used interchangeably. They both refer to an open-pollinated cultivar that was commonly grown for many years but is not widely used in industrial agriculture.
The secret, well it’s not that secret, to having a successful garden that produces healthy and hearty plants is to feed the soil.
The gardener does not tend the plants but takes care of the soil. Follow this advice and you will find that whatever you choose to grow, be it herbs, flowers or vegetables you will produce plants that can withstand the onslaught of pests and disease.
In order to reduce your need to water and weed you will want to mulch your garden. Mulching is an effective way to conserve water, reduce weeding and enhance your garden’s fertility.
If you are willing to do some research you will increase your success rate and the quality of the produce you grow by designing your garden as a functioning community of plants that benefit from each others’ company. This plant community design technique is a natural model that increases your garden’s vitality.
A few other basic tips and you are ready to go. One water in the early morning and be sure to give your garden a good drink. You will find that if you follow the advice in this hub you will not need to water as often as you would with a more conventional garden but there are dry spells and crops such as tomatoes and cucumbers do love water.
Spend time taking a walk around you garden, in a four by eight plot this is not a big task. Take time to see what is going on, look close at the plants, turn leaves over and see if you have any unwanted visitors.
Remember that bugs can be your friends and a good organic garden has spiders and others lending a hand. What you are looking for is not the insects but the possible damage that some will do and heading the problem off before it gets a foothold.
The techniques discussed here will reduce your pest problems and create an environment that regulates itself. Just take a peek now and then.
Organic Gardening Magazine
- Sustainable Organic Garden Design
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