An organic garden will help you enjoy fresh, natural and chemical-free vegetables, and fruits.
You are growing your own food in an environmentally friendly manner and doing the best for
your own health as well.
If you are a beginner you must banish the doubts that it is too hard to raise an organic garden.
“It is possible to have healthy and
happy plants in your yard or apartment.
Organic gardening is possible even on
windowsills, terraces and tiny balconies.”
If you have set your mind on it there is no reason why you should be apprehensive.
The most basic requirement to have a blooming organic garden in your home is the apt set of tools.
The essential tools are a trowel, a hoe, a fork and a spade.
Pruners will be handy to prune growing plants.
Your gardening tools are your best friends as you begin your journey as a gardener.
You also must dedicate a few hours every week to tend to your growing plants and to ensure that
they are not eaten up by pests or run over by weeds.
So if you are all set, here are a few handy tips to get started with your venture in all earnest.
1)Know Thy Place
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The spot where you choose to grow your garden is very important.
The suitability of the gardening spot determines whether the plants get optimum sunshine
and water for their growth.
It is best to start small.
4×4 raised beds or a small patch in your yard will serve your purpose the best.
Ensure that the spot gets at least 6-8 hours of sunlight and has good drainage.
Raised beds or box gardens are a great option because they ensure that weeds are kept at bay
and also prevent soil compaction.
It is important that you do not over plant.
A single well maintained 4×4 box garden will yield enough veggies to meet most of your
requirements throughout the season.
A starter garden is best kept compact and manageable to ensure that you fare well in your
2)Plan for Success
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If you are planning to grow an organic vegetable garden, ensure you start early, preferably
in January or December when there is still snow on the ground.
You also must decide as to what plants you want to grow in your garden.
It is possible to have a variety of different veggies in a small area.
You have to take into consideration the climate in your region and the growing season that
will be available to the plants.
You also must have an estimate of the number of frost-free days you can typically expect in
the growing season.
This is very important to get a good idea of what will grow well in your garden.
3)Check the Duration of Sunlight in Your Plot
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The number of hours of direct sunlight that your garden receives will decide what plants will
flourish the best in your garden.
A minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight provides the suitable growing conditions for a wide
variety of vegetables including tomatoes, corn, pepper, melons, cucumbers, pumpkins,
strawberries, squash, garlic, eggplant and beans.
A wide variety of culinary herbs also grow well under these conditions.
With 4 to 6 hours of sunlight each day it is possible to grow veggies like cabbage, kale, cauliflower,
Brussels Sprouts and broccoli.
2 to 4 hours of sunlight provide optimal growing conditions for endive, mesclun, arugula, bok choi,
mustard greens, Swiss chard and parsley.
Greens grow very well under these conditions.
Less than 2 hours of direct sunlight present a challenge if you want to grow nutrient-dense veggies.
But veggies like soft, loose-leaf lettuces, namely Ruby Red and Salad Bowl lettuces grow well in shade.
Evaluating the growing conditions accurately and making sensible decision regarding what plants
are most suitable for your garden is very important in growing a flourishing organic garden.
4)Tend to Soil
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The quality and health of the soil influence how well your plants will grow.
Healthy plants will be able to provide good yield, withstand pests and diseases, and grow well
utilizing the available conditions.
If you are not sure about the quality of the soil or how nutrient-dense it is, purchase a soil testing
kit from your local nursery.
It will give you pretty accurate readings about the pH levels and soil’s constituents.
Based on this you can build up and amend the quality of soil using compost, manure or other
specific organic products.
If the quality of soil is sub-par you can opt for raised garden beds to put in high-quality organic
soil that will help give good produce for several years to come.
A few weeks before you want to plant the seeds, get started with prepping the soil.
Loosen if for about 12 inches and cover with about an inch thick layer of compost.
Rake again and remove weeds, big stones and lumps of dirt.
Continue weeding for the next three weeks.
After this let the soil sit for a few weeks letting weed seeds trapped in to grow out.
Pull out the weeds and your soil is ready for its first batch of organic seeds.
5)Choose High Quality Seeds
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Ensure you buy seeds from trustworthy sellers.
Choose organic, non-GMO or non-genetically modified organism seeds.
Remember to buy USDA certified organic seeds.
This will ensure that you not only have healthy and high-yield plants but also a resilient,
bio-diverse and living gardening ecosystem.
Native Seeds, Mountain Valley Growers, Bountiful Gardens, Living Seed Company,
Wood Prairie Farm, Seed Savers Exchange and Clear Creek Seeds are a few companies
that sell quality seeds.
You can also order online if a trek to the farm is not easy.
There are also sites where you can avail online freebies and replenish your garden for free.
Check out non-profit organizations like Free Plant Network Worldwide (FPNW) and Arbor
Day Foundation that offer free seeds and saplings to growers.
Local, regional and national seed libraries offer seeds on honor system where you return a
fresh batch of seeds at the end of the growing season.
6)Control Weeds and Pests
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An important activity of farmers and gardeners is to control weeds and pests.
Healthy plants are the best and the first line of defense against pests and plant diseases.
Mixing vegetables, herbs and flowers in your organic garden patch is another way in which
you can keep pests from attacking a whole crop as their target.
Pests can be naturally controlled if you rely on the food chain and encourage the pests’ predators.
Toads, lizards and many birds are your best friends in helping curb pests in your garden.
Layering the soil with mulch helps keep weeds out.
A 2-inch deep layer of organic mulch made up of straw, dried grass and leaves will protect the
garden from weeds and will also nourish the soil as they decay.
It is important that you replenish the layer of mulch year long.
Regular weeding and persistence will help you keep weeds at bay.
Pull out weeds every few days and hoe your garden regularly for best results.
Nutritious soil, quality seeds, optimal growing conditions, and keeping pests and weeds
at bay are key to achieving a healthy organic garden.
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A bountiful veggie garden will help meet the food needs of your family, and you do not have
to compromise on health or well-being on any fronts.
So roll up your sleeves up and get started on your journey towards growing a blooming
About the Author
Aaron Sanders has worked in landscaping for 15 years and continues to be an asset to Mr. Tree Services. He firmly believes that your attitude determines your altitude in life.
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