Producing your organic veggies is a rewarding hobby and a great way to provide your family with healthy food and, at the same time, help the environment. Everything in an organic vegetable garden, from the soil, the seeds, and the plants to fertilization and pest control, is designed to produce healthful and environmentally friendly food. While organic gardening may seem complicated to some, it’s no more difficult than conventional gardening.
There are many resources out there for gardening, and it helps to do your research. Websites such as Aggressively Organic can help guide you through the process or answer questions that may come up. Keep in mind that gardening is a learning experience!
In this article, we’ll look over how you can get started with growing an organic garden.
Getting started with gardening organically
Organic gardening, in its most basic form, means gardening without applying man-made chemicals. Organic gardeners don’t use chemicals. Instead, they use ingredients that come from nature and work well with the natural goodness that comes from healthy, productive soil.
The organic gardening industry is multi-tiered. While commercial farmers must adhere to stringent standards to produce and process certified-organic foods, many home gardeners may care for their soil and plants using organic and natural-based items to prevent chemical residues in foods and the environment. To whatever extent your budget and time allow, you and your family may reap the rewards of organic gardening.
How to grow your organic veggies
Here are the most important procedures and tips while working on organic gardening.
- Choose a spot that gets plenty of sunshine and has good drainage.
Look at your lawn at different times of the day to see where the sun is at various points. Plant your garden where it will get at least six hours of sunshine daily. Also, check if there is standing water to see how well the area drains.
- If you reside in a very hot region, you should ensure that the location has some shade.
- Check whether water collects around your plot when it rains to determine if it has sufficient drainage. Standing water indicates that the site does not have enough drainage. If it has not rained in a while, spray the area for 5 minutes with a garden hose, then examine whether the water seeps in or accumulates.
- Test and adjust your soil’s pH level
For home gardeners, it’s pretty usual that the soil around their yards is brought by trucks during construction, depleting the necessary nutrients that plants need. By evaluating your soil health and taking some time to return it to its healthy form, you are giving the organic garden a good start.
- A basic soil test, which is simple to do using a soil test kit (you can often get these from your local extension office), provides an inside look at the health of your soil.
- The recommended ph level of soil for vegetables to thrive well is 5.5-7.0
- If the pH of your soil is lower than 5.5, you can raise it by adding dolomite or quicklime. Follow the directions on the package. Then test the pH again.
- If the pH of your soil is higher than 7.0, you can add organic matter to the soil to decrease the levels.
- Build a garden bed to improve drainage
Raised beds are an excellent choice for growing your garden on damp ground. To begin, excavate 1 to 2 inches of soil on the dimensions of your plot. Then, use a raised garden bed kit or lay pieces of wood around the perimeter to create a box. After that, fill the box with organic soil and start planting.
- Best to use cedar to create raised beds because this material is a natural insect repellent.
- Search for organic seeds or transplants
Buy organic seeds from a farmers market, gardening shop, or your trusted online store. Make sure to confirm that the label says organic. This means the plants are produced organically without synthetic chemicals like pesticides or fertilizers. If you want to be confident that the items you buy are organic, you can always ask the vendor.
- Check the labels or plant information for the vegetables you intend to produce, and then research the USDA hardiness zone you are in. Choose vegetables that can grow in your zone.
- Add organic matter as a fertilizer for additional nutrients.
If you wish to add extra nutrients, replace up to half of your soil with organic matter. Mix the organic materials into the soil using a shovel, spade, or hoe.
- Peat moss, manure, and compost are all excellent choices. You can get these at a garden store near you or online.
- Keep your plants away from pesticides, herbicides, and inorganic fertilizers.
- Time to start planting
Spread the seeds in your plot, then cover them with organic topsoil. Or, using your favorite small shovel, dig about 2 to 3 inches, then put the seedling to it. Cover with soil, but ensure it’s not compressed enough to let the new plant breathe.
- If you like, Label your plants so you won’t confuse them.
- Cover the soil with organic mulch so weeds won’t grow. You can use a straw, cocoa hulls, or shredded newspaper as your mulch.
- Make sure to check the mulch labels saying it’s organic.
- Water the seeds as soon as you plant them.
After you plant your seeds or seedlings:
- Water them right away.
- Spray your plot or containers with a watering can or garden hose until the soil looks wet.
- Use your hand to check that the soil feels moist.
- Don’t put so much water on the soil that it pools on top.
To make sure you get the latest trends in sustainable gardening, make sure to visit EcoAdvice; they offer tons of insights about organic farming and more!
Plants that help repel harmful insects
Leverage companion planting in your organic food garden. Growing intensely scented plants near your crops baffles or draws pests away from your garden. Here are some plants that you can use to repel nasty insects.
- Basil: repels whitefly that tomatoes and kale attracts
- Chives: repels aphids and root flies that carrots attract
- Marigolds: Best combined with tomatoes and chilies because it repels aphids while attracting hoverflies
- Rosemary: repels carrot fly
- Sage: repels brassicas and carrot fly
- Nasturtium: repels aphids and attracts beneficial insects
- Dill: lures in hoverflies that prey on aphids
- Yarrow: draws in ladybirds and hoverflies
- Fennel: lures in hoverflies and ladybugs that eat aphids
Best veggies or fruits to plant in your organic garden
- Blackberries: blackberries are a great fruit to start your garden. Since blackberries grow on thornless canes, they are easier to handle than other fruit bushes.
- Squashes: There are several types, some summer and others winter. In the spring, sow seeds outdoors where they will thrive.
- Peppers: peppers are pretty easy to grow, aren’t bothered by pests, and are low-maintenance plants. They are grown for their fruits, not their leaves.
- Tomatoes: These are the most common vegetables grown in an organic vegetable garden. Tomatoes can also be grown inside.
- Onions: onions are easy to grow and do well in early to midsummer. Just remember to keep the weeds in check.
- Potatoes: potatoes need good drainage and are packed with nutrients. Plant potato seedlings in early spring and harvest them in about 90-100 days.
- Chilli peppers: Colorful and varied, they are famous for growing in containers. The regulated atmosphere of a container makes weeding and watering easier.
Have your vegetable garden. Not only would it be more affordable to have your garden, but you would also be healthier.
When you grow your vegetables, you know exactly where they come from and that they are 100% organic and pesticide-free! Vegetable crops brought from groceries tend to absorb a lot of pollutants. These pollutants can be chemical products like herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides or gasses like carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. Growing your veggies will significantly reduce your exposure to such harmful substances.
We hope this article helped you study how to grow an organic garden. With a few gardening tips and tricks, you are on your way to success! Happy Farming!