With harmful chemicals lurking on store-bought produce, it is time to start growing organic. There are many benefits of organic gardening. Growing your own vegetables ensures your produce is fresh, clean, and free of pesticides.
Organic gardens are much like non-organic gardens, but with a few key differences. Gardening can be tough, but very rewarding work.
When you and your family are finally eating delicious vegetables right out of your garden, all your efforts will have been well worth it.
Figure Out What You Want to Grow
Before you pick a spot in your yard, you should figure out what vegetables to grow. This may have an impact on where you put the garden and what kind of soil you use.
Grow vegetables that you know your family will eat. Consider growing some that you have a hard time finding in your area or ones that are really expensive at the grocery store.
Grow vegetables that do well in the climate or region you live in. The worst thing is working so hard to create and maintain your garden only to find out your vegetables are inedible.
Find the organic seeds you want and read the packaging carefully about when and how to plant.
Choose a Spot and Prepare the Soil
Find a sunny or shady spot in your yard that will support the type of plants you want to grow. You might want to take a sample of dirt to your nearest hardware or garden store to have it tested for PH levels.
A good level to maintain is 6.5-7.0. You will have better results if you are able to till the soil at least a foot deep. This will make sure the roots grow easily and have plenty of room.
The next step is adding nutrients (organic fertilizer) to the soil.
Nurture With Organic Fertilizers
Add organic fertilizer or materials to make your plants grow better. Find organic compost and mulch at your nearest garden store (or make your own) and mix in well with the soil.
Measure the area of your garden, so you know how much mulch or fertilizer you will need.
Organic fertilizers can help your crops grow. It is important to ensure you are using only organic materials as this is the point of your organic garden. Find it at a garden store you can trust or make our own via compost heap.
There are many different types of organic fertilizers such as fish and seaweed fertilizer, eggshells, worm castings, and natural compost.
Not only will they help you to keep your veggies growing, but it will also ensure that you, your children, pets and wild animals are safe from chemicals found in other types of harmful fertilizers.
You can also use organic mulch, which will decompose and help to enrich the soil.
Give it Plenty of Water
Maintain your farm by giving the plants plenty of water (if it calls for it). For some plants, it is best if you hand-water them. This will help you to control the weeds as well.
If you are putting a sprinkler in your garden, not only are you wasting water, but you will support weed growth.
You should also pay attention to the weather to ensure you are not giving your garden too much (when it’s about to rain) or too little water (if there’s a drought).
Watch Out for Pests
No matter where you live or what you grow, your organic farm is susceptible to pests that can harm or destroy your crops. It is important to spend time with your crops, so if you notice any bugs you can fix the situation right away.
Identifying the pest is also important in remedying the situation. There are many friendly creatures that can help your garden, like worms, birds, and other insects.
This is why it is imperative that you identify what pests are in your organic garden. They might not be pests, after all. The best step to prevention is to make sure you only invite friendly pests onto your organic farm.
You can do this by making sure your plants are healthy, have a variety of flowers and vegetables, or find an organic solution to rid of them.
Control the Weeds
There are different ways you can organically control weeds. Since you don’t want to use a weed killer that has lots of unhealthy chemicals, the best way to control weeds is to stay on top of them.
Hand pull them or use a hoe. If you visit your garden daily for just a few minutes, it won’t be overwhelming. You can also use organic mulch to keep out unwanted and annoying weeds.
Harvest When Ready
After you have worked so hard to start your garden, watered it every day, and controlled weed and pests, it will be time to harvest the vegetables of your labor.
Make sure you do your research and figure out when the best time is to harvest each of your crops. For many crops, it is important that you follow the harvesting guidelines, so the plant continues to produce throughout the rest of the season.
Harvesting at the right time will also help to ensure your vegetables are at their peak tastiness.
Enjoy Your Fresh Produce
Now that you have worked hard to set up and maintain your organic garden, you can enjoy your fresh produce. There is so much you can do with vegetables straight from the farm.
As you eat them, you will appreciate their fresh taste so much more than what you get from the grocery store. After maturely cultivating your produce that is free from pesticides, you deserve to enjoy every single bite.
If you have a surplus of vegetables, you can try pickling or freezing, so that you can enjoy the fresh taste throughout the year until it is time to grow your garden again or until another crop is ready.
Save Your Seeds
When growing organic, it can be very expensive to buy seeds each year. By saving seeds to replant after the harvest, you can cut your seeds bill in half.
It also puts you in a secure spot as many plant varieties have been discontinued because large corporations have taken over the industry and are more focused on hybrid and GMO profits.
Crops like corn, tomato, sweet peppers, peas, pak choy, pumpkin, and beans are great to add to your seed-saving collection.
Dry them and store in a dark, cool and dry place. Once properly dried, you can also seal them in an airtight container and store in the freezer for years.
Don’t forget to put on your labels with all the necessary details such as crop type and variety. Setting up and working on your organic garden sure is a lot of work, but it is also very rewarding.
Organic agriculture is worthwhile. You can’t find produce any fresher than what you can walk out into your garden and pick.
Farming is not only rewarding for the delicious food you can grow on your own but will also be a great relaxing hobby you can enjoy season after season.
For more in-depth information detailing the steps on how to grow and maintain an organic garden, see the book Grow Organic.