When it comes to planning our garden this year, aside from growing vegetables and maybe herbs; I might attempt to do a butterfly garden with Squeaker. I think it would be fun for her and a way to really get her involved with gardening.
Another thing that we’re considering is whether or not we go the more organic route or stick to tried and true from last year.
We are not green people though we’ve made a few eco-friendly lifestyle changes, we have not fully adopted that lifestyle. I do think that there are merits and benefits of going organic and one way that we might try to shift is through organic gardening. Take a look at this beginner’s guide to organic gardening to see where you can start making changes.
What is Organic Gardening?
In an effort to obtain a healthier more affordable lifestyle, more and more households are utilizing their skills and abilities to get ahead. When considering the idea of cutting the cost of food each month, many turn to the idea of growing their own foods and herbs in their home. However, not many people understand that there are different types of gardening styles. Organic gardening for instance is said to be much more beneficial for your health.
Organic gardening is the ideal way to grow a garden if you are concerned about harmful chemicals in your garden. Using natural ways to maintain your garden produces healthier plants. Organic gardening is even more important if you are growing a vegetable garden.
It is possible to grow an organic garden all year if you have a sufficient light source for an indoor garden. Plants need plenty of light in order to grow properly and there are bulbs that can be purchased to provide indoor gardens with the appropriate amount of light to have them thrive and produce a fruitful bounty.
Make your garden appeal to you. A garden should appeal to all your five senses. Devote space to a vegetable garden, install a birdbath, mix in strongly scented flowers or foliage, and plant tactile specimens like fountain grass. When you have all five of your senses pleased will make you happier.
What’s the Difference?
So what’s the difference between just gardening and organic gardening? The simplistic answer would be that those who garden organically do not utilize synthetic materials such as fertilizers or pesticides when growing their plants. To take it a step further, many organic gardeners consider it a different “mindset”. They consider their entire gardening system to be a system that works with nature. They work hard to utilize nature and the materials it supplies for growing food. Through continually replenishing resources and minimizing harmful chemicals, organic gardening is said to be a lot healthier for the average person to consume.
If you are wanting to start your own organic garden, you should always have a plan before beginning. This will assist you in determining where your plants should be located, which will give you a head-start when you are outside planting your plants. If you have plants that have a short life-span, planning ahead what you want to plant in their place is very important.
Organic Gardening Encompasses All Nature
As stated before organic gardening means using and considering all things in nature. This essentially means that you are not only concerned with the crops, but you’re also concerned with surrounding nature. Organic gardeners consider how their crops will affect the animals, the soil, the environment, as well as their health. They believe in working together with nature as an effort to preserve the Earth.
Use a raised garden bed when planting your plants.
Not only does it provide a minor defense against the common vegetable pests, raised garden beds are also warmer during the spring. The planter becomes warmer because it isn’t surrounded by several inches of isolating ground-soil. The warmer climate will result you being able to plant earlier.
No Harsh Chemicals
Probably the biggest thing to understand about organic gardening is that there will be no using of harsh chemicals as a means to remedy pest control. Herbicides, fungicides, synthetic fertilizers, and pesticides are all additives that will not be used. So when weeds or pest become a problem you will need to resort to natural remedies as a means to get rid of them.
This type of gardening wants, as much as possible, to stay away from pesticides. But if you can’t afford to pick the insects one by one by your bare hands, then you can go to your local grocery store and ask for an organic pesticide that is available commercially.
The old way really is to be vigilant with your garden and take off every pest that you see. You should only turn to the organic pesticides when it becomes too many and uncontrollable that you can no longer handle. You can also try to bring in the animals that feed on those pests. This way, you’ll have some help in picking those pests up. And that is also helping the other animals satisfy their hunger.
Don’t use chemicals to clean your patio or deck. They will wash off onto your lawn or plants causing irreparable damage. Any run-off will leach into the soil destroying the roots of the plants. Use plain or soapy water to clean the patio, and feel free to pressure wash your deck, but just use plain water.
Attract positive bugs to your garden. Bugs like lady-bugs actually hunt natural predators to your plants; aphids and caterpillars are just some of the nasty critters that can go through a garden and eat the leaves of the plants. Lady bugs are the natural predators to such pests and help the growth of a good healthy garden by consuming pests.
To keep rodents, deer, and other pesky animals away from your organic garden, use organic repellents. A spray made from hot peppers can be effective. Otherwise try a spray containing urine or rotten eggs. Regardless of what you use, apply the sprays liberally and reapply regularly especially after a rain shower.
If you have low-growing weeds, such as lamium or chickweed, use a fast method to remove them. If your weeds have grown into a mat, you can use a sharp spade to slice beneath the weeds. Once the weeds are cut, you should turn them over which will bury the leaves. The leaves will rot and nourish your soil.
The best way to weed your organic garden is the old-fashioned way, pulling the weeds out by hand. Even though organic herbicides sold at the store are tempting, they aren’t nearly as effective as getting on your hands and knees and pulling the weeds out by hand. It’s also very invigorating to do it yourself. It gives you a sense of accomplishment.
Organic Gardening Tips for Beginners
Soil Is Important
Another thing that stands out about organic gardening is the soil. Organic gardeners view the soil as the “home” for life to begin forming. This means that you will have to pay special attention to your soil at all times. Both the physical and chemical properties are important. The small lifeforms such as fungi and microbes help in releasing nutrients into the soil that are needed to grow lush crops.
Don’t be alarmed at the amount of organic fertilizer you may need to use. Organic fertilizers contain a lower percentage of nutrients per unit weight than their synthetic counterparts. Because of this, it will probably be necessary to apply more volume of organic fertilizer than is typical for synthetic fertilizers.
As a gardener, your job is to maintain the health, diversity, and abundance of nutrients that are being released into the soil. When selecting composts, manures, and rock powders, you’re going to need to pay close attention to ensure that you’re getting quality ingredients that will nurture the soil and thus produce a lavish organic garden.
A great tip when starting your own organic garden is to always space your seeds in the mix as evenly as you can. If you do this, it will ensure that every single one of your seeds has an equal amount of room to grow in the most optimum way.
When planting seeds, you should bury them three times as deep as their actual size. There are exceptions, however. Some types of seeds require more direct sunlight than others, and as such they should not be fully covered. Ageratum and petunias are two examples of seeds that should not be planted deeply. If you do now know how to plant your seed, consult the information that came with the seed when you bought it or check online for helpful information.
What to Grow
Choose the fruit and vegetable types that are suitable for your area. When growing fruits and vegetables, try to grow something that is native to your area. This way, you won’t have to add any kind of chemical fertilizer to aid growth. Native plants will provide you with the best crop possible, as they are used to the soil, temperature and light conditions.
Use companion plants. Companion planting is the pairing of plants within your vegetable garden, such as planting cabbage with tomatoes. Companion planting helps reduce the problems with insect pests, as it attracts natural pest-controlling wildlife. Companion planting is also a better use of the space in your garden, since you basically have two plants in the same plot.
When you plan your organic garden, remember that some plants, especially leafy greens like lettuce and spinach will mature well before the end of the growing season. Beds for fast growing plants can often produce two harvests in one season. Have more quick-growing plants ready to replace the early harvest so that you can maximize your garden’s productivity.
Is Organic Gardening Worth It?
Hopefully, the above tips and tricks will help you to make a success of your organic garden! There is nothing like the taste of produce you grew in your own garden. Can you taste the tomato now? Wow! You should be proud of what you accomplish! Apply the information that best suits your circumstances and tastes! Enjoy your produce!
Growing an organic garden does not take more effort than any other type of garden. In fact, because organic gardening emphasizes on what nature provides, plants will not need to rely on artificial means to thrive, thus saving you time in applying chemicals. Try organic gardening in your home; you will be impressed by the results.