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.
Start your organic garden with a good strategic plan. This helps you know exactly where each plant will go in your garden so that you can maximize the few hours you have to garden each day. As part of your plan, take notes on what plants you will use to replace short-lived crops such as spinach and lettuce.
You will garden more efficiently if you keep your tools close by. You should use a large pail and wear sturdy pants that have several pockets. Have shears, a trowel, gloves and other commonly used garden tools portable and easy to access.
A great rule of thumb to follow when planting an organic garden is less is more. While you’ll want to plant a little more than you think you will need in case of rot or pests, you don’t want to overdo it because you’ll end up with much more than you can handle.
Calculate how much water your plants truly need. Thinner plants generally need more water; they contain larger surface area with less capacity to store water. Plants with large, thick waxy leaves are often more suited for water-starved environments. Over-watering may also cause problems with the plant due to microbial growth on their roots.
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.
Weed control in your organic garden will be more challenging than a conventional garden because you can’t use chemical herbicides. One of the best ways to control weeds without using chemicals is creating ground cover with mulch. Save tree trimmings and grass clippings from elsewhere in your garden and spread them around your plants to a depth of about 3 inches. This should be enough to prevent weeds from germinating and growing.
Making rich, organic compost for your garden doesn’t take special equipment. All you really need to do is dump your kitchen scraps, lawn trimmings and leaves in a pile, and let nature take its course. It may take a bit longer, but in the end you’ll have a rich, healthy compost.
Use compost to improve the quality of your soil. Compost comes from the breakdown of natural vegetation, and it is organic. It improves the structure of your soil by making it less dense, thus allowing better water permeability. Compost can also be used to balance the pH level of your soil.
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.