by Victoria Lim
Contributing Author, journalist and a fitness enthusiast with a B.Sc. in nutrition
Nowadays, more and more people are turning to organic gardening for its numerous benefits. First of all, growing organic and chemical-free vegetables in own your garden guarantees that you will be serving only the healthiest food on the table. Since organic groceries are often expensive, it’s no wonder that many people opt for growing their vegetables. Moreover, gardening itself is a great pastime activity which can be enjoyed by the whole family. The hardest part is getting started.
Therefore, here are some useful tips on how to start with organic gardening and grow organic food in your own garden:
How to prepare the garden for organic gardening
First things first, prepare the garden in the fall. You can either check the quality of the soil with a testing kit and then get the soil ready or, if you lack time, add humus and compost right away to nourish the soil. Another thing that is extremely important is to make the compost by yourself and avoid using any chemical treatments. Choose a space measuring three square feet or a deck garden where you will throw away your kitchen scraps like eggshells, banana peels and garden trimmings like leaves. Add more soil over this and keep it moist.
Choose your plants wisely
After getting the soil ready for a new season, consider the weather and the climate in your area when choosing which vegetable to cultivate. It’s best to choose the ones that will thrive in your conditions because their maintenance will be easier as well. Consult farmers in your local market about this topic. When you are purchasing seedlings, choose only the plants that were not chemically treated. It’s better to buy the seedling with thick stems so as not to overcrowd the garden. The plants that you can easily grow from seeds are sweet peas, coriander, cucumbers, squash, and dill.
Birds and bees instead of pesticides
A healthy plant is the one that has been grown pesticide-free. This plant contains all the valuable vitamins and minerals which are essential for our diet. The deficiency of these nutrients occurs when using pesticides. Sometimes, even washing the vegetables is not enough to wash away their harmful toxins. Instead of using pesticides, attract some useful insects such as ladybugs, because they pray on whiteflies. Ground beetles will save you from slugs or caterpillars. Also, you can set a birdhouse and attract the chipper bird to ward off any garden pests. Lizards and frogs are useful, too.
Tips for watering plants
Usually, when it comes to watering, many beginners make all sorts of mistakes. Avoid watering the plants in the evening, because such a routine can make them prone to fungal diseases. It’s better to water them in the morning. Avoid watering the greenery, since it is fragile. Make sure to water the root. Invest in some functional sprayer and shower wands or a drip irrigation system to make the whole watering process easier. The amount of water that plants should receive weekly is about one inch of water. The water’s temperature should be at the air temperature.
Easy garden weeding
Although this is not the most fun activity, it is the most beneficial for your vegetable garden. Getting rid of weeds is essential so that your plants can grow without any obstacle. This task is seldom easy because weeds are quite persistent. For easy garden weeding, use the right tools like hand hose, weeders, gloves, etc. Give a thought to using mulch as to reduce the weed in your garden. It will nourish the soil and prevent the growth of weed seeds. Conveniently, there are many types of organic mulch like bark mulch, mulch made from chopped leaves or straws.
Harvest the goods from the garden
From October to November, you will be harvesting the vegetables from your garden. Begin with harvesting the herbs in the morning, which you will dry and later store. Do not wash them before you dry them since they can lose their aroma. When it comes to vegetable harvest, chop off the broccoli when its central part gets big. Cucumbers can be harvested at any time, depending on how you will prepare them. Do not to leave them too long as they get dry. Peppers and tomatoes will ripe after the harvest, so it’s not a problem if you harvest them early.
Eat healthy with organic gardening
We are what we eat. If we want to be healthy, we need to eat healthily. With organic gardening, it’s easy to provide fresh and healthy vegetables without using any harsh chemicals. All you need is to prepare your garden and choose the plants. With some proper care, regular weeding, watering, and a little help from useful garden insects, you’ll be harvesting the goods from your garden in no time.
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