How To Become An Organic Gardener The Easy Way

Lillian SteinBy Lillian SteinNov 6, 20170

We all know, or should know, about the benefits of organic food and organic gardening. However, it can be difficult if not expensive to lay your hands on good quality fruit and vegetables all year round. Unless you are one of the lucky few who live near an organic farm or health food shop, you might need to buy (often overpriced) organic vegetables from a supermarket.

Organic food has not been grown using fortifiers and chemicals that speed up the process of growth and protect a crop from pests. That is why organic produce looks and tastes good for a shorter period of time than regular vegetables. Buying fresh organic produce locally will enable you to keep your fruit and vegetables a little longer when you keep them at home.

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The best and safest way to ensure yourself and your family of the freshest and guaranteed organic food is to grow your own. This takes less effort than you might initially think, and will be very rewarding. Growing your own means that you can literally select your vegetables only minutes before you cook them.

You will re-discover what carrots, tomatoes and basically any other vegetable are really supposed to taste like and keeping an organic fruit and vegetable garden can be a very entertaining and educational thing to do for the entire family.

How do you start? If you follow the easy steps laid out in this article, you will be able to enjoy your own vegetables in only a few weeks.

Step 1: Finding The Right Place And Improving The Soil

Step 1: Finding The Right Place And Improving The Soil

The very best option is to start your vegetable patch in your very own garden. Having to travel to your vegetable patch can stop you from working in your garden eventually, unless you are a very determined gardener.

Figure out what the soil in your garden is like. Is it heavy and clay like? Add some organic compost, leaf mould or earth worms to the soil. Gently dig any compost into the ground and rake the soil, after which you have to leave the soil to rest for a week or so. You might want to repeat this process after a week if the soil still seems heavy. This process will improve drainage in your soil.

 Step 2: Nourish The Soil

 Step 2: Nourish The Soil

Start your own organic compost heap and add this compost to the soil every now and then to provide nourishment for your plants. A good compost will keep the soil healthy and free from pests or diseases. Add some compost to the soil when plants are growing, in spring and summer.

You can never start a compost heap too soon, and the heap can be anything from a luxurious plastic composting tub to a pile in the back of your garden. You will find that these piles attract wildlife. Hedgehogs will love sleeping in your compost heap.

Step 3: Making Your Own Compost

Step 3: Making Your Own Compost

Dry and wet material should be mixed in an effective compost heap. If you add too many wet ingredients to a heap the compost will turn out too wet and slimy. Vegetable waste and weeds can be mixed with bits of cardboard and egg boxes for example. Tea bags and grass clippings are always a popular ingredient of any compost heap.

Avoid thick layers of only wet or only dry matter on the heap, and turn the heap occasionally. This will speed up the composting process. Nature will work for you and depending on the weather and the type of matter in the heap you can expect to use your first organic compost in about half a year.

Step 4: Controlling Pests The Organic Way

Step 4: Controlling Pests The Organic Way

First of all, some weeds must be kept. Nettles for example, can be used to make an excellent aphid repellent. Soaking a bucket full of nettles in rain water for 4 weeks, after which you can strain the liquid and fill spray bottles with it, has proven successful to any organic gardener keen to combat pests.

Cover areas of soil with plastic when they are pest-free till you want to use the soil again. Plastic can be recycled and will stop seedlings and weeds to grown. Mulching around vegetables with hay will help prevent weeds from growing. You will need to hoe weeds off as soon as you see them rear their (often not so ugly) heads.

The garden waste will be a great addition to your compost heap and it is always easier to remove plants when they’re young. As an extreme measure you can contemplate using a flame weeder to burn off any weeds. This will weaken weeds and they will die off when the process is repeated on the same plant.

Step 5: Get The Best Plants And Seeds

Step 5: Get The Best Plants And Seeds

First decide what kind of vegetables will grow well in your soil. Example; it can be quite an ordeal to grow carrots in very heavy clay soil. Figure out what vegetables you and your family love and compare seeds of different vegetable or fruit varieties with the type of soil that you have.

Get some seed catalogues and draw up a plan with a drawing of your garden. Figure out which spot gets the most sunlight (great for tomatoes) and take it from there.

Step 6: Getting Rid Of Pests

Step 6: Getting Rid Of Pests

Taking good care of the soil is the key to a healthy garden. Try to plant combinations of vegetables together. Some vegetables and flowers protect other plants from potential pest damage. Onions planted close to carrots will help prevent the carrots from being attacked by flies. Many websites and organic gardening guides will offer more combinations of plants that go together well.

Check your plants for pests on a regular basis and walk around in your garden when dusk sets in. This is the time for those horrible slugs and snails to munch away your lettuces. Dry soil can lead to root damage and the stressed caused to the plant will make it more prone to disease.

Encourage wildlife in your garden by creating a small pond, attract insects and hedgehogs (they will help you get rid of slugs and snails) and never grow a vegetable in the same spot successively. Bearing all this in mind you should now be able to start your own organic garden.

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