organic gardening-Learn to create a beautiful organic garden – The Complete Guide-step by step.
DO YOU WANT TO EAT A HEALTHY FOOD?
in this organic Gardening Beginner’s Manual-i will teach you step by step and with clear and simple explanations how to create an organic garden, even if you know nothing about gardening.
If you want to eat healthy vegetables. If you are concerned with you and your family’s health and don’t want vegetables filled with poisons and chemicals to enter your body, then this is the book for you.
“ A very well written informative book full of helpful information! ” Cindy
“ A great book for the beginner gardener, or someone wanting to become more organic with their garden. ” Noemi Buttler
Growing vegetables, spices and fruits allows you to avoid using chemical composts, insecticides, hormones, and antibiotics. All of which have been found in non-organic crops.
you are going to learn many simple tips and techniques which will help you start your own organic garden
In this step by step guide,I will teach you:
- What the best place is to start your organic garden
- Which vegetables are good for organic gardening during each season
- Setting the ground for an organic garden- learn how to do it right
- Tips and techniques for the right composting for an organic soil
- Why is it important to use organic fertilizer?
- What nutrients are needed by the soil?
- A lot of Essential Tips for Planting And more…
In this manual I gathered tips and techniques from over 20 years of experience , to help you in your organic garden with simple explanations and illustrations.
so,in this guide i will teach you…
- Chapter 1-Benefits of having your own Organic Garden
- Chapter 2-what are the plants that you can grow on your organic garden?
- Chapter 3-Knowing about the Perfect place for your Organic Garden
- Chapter 4-Preparing the Area for Your Organic Garden
- Chapter 5-Fertilizing the Soil of your Organic Garden
- Chapter 6-Essential Tips for Planting
- Chapter 7-Irrigation Systems for your Organic Garden
- Chapter 8-Recycling Water for your Organic Garden
- Chapter 9-Removing Harmful Pests in your Organic Garden
- Chapter 10-Picking of your Organic Garden Yields
- Chapter 11-Summary
are you ready?so lets go…
Benefits of having your own Organic Garden
Are you worried about what your family eats? Are you worried about what will happen in the future if there will be continuous depletion of the earth’s natural resources because of the conventional way of producing your foods? There may be a solution for that, organic gardening! Organic gardening is done by many environment enthusiasts and people who simply love gardening nowadays; there are many benefits of having one especially if you want to help mother earth in regaining its natural resources.
- What is an organic gardening?
Organic garden is almost the same with your typical garden. However, in having your own organic garden, you will not use chemical based substances such as pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and fertilizers for your plants to grow healthy and strong. You need to meticulously check that you won’t be using chemical based products. Instead, you will only be using fertilizers and pesticides that were made up from organic materials. Don’t worry, you can easily make some or you can even buy from your local gardening shops, they will surely have some of these stuffs for you.
- What is organic garden for?
Organic garden has many benefits for you and your family; you will surely love to have one! The following are the benefits you can get from having your own organic garden.
Benefits of having your own organic garden:
- Fresh fruits and fresh vegetables will make your salad pleasurable.
Yes! By having your own organic garden, you can have fresh fruits and vegetables. Going to the supermarket or to your local grocer doesn’t mean that what they sell you is fresh. Sometimes, those fruits and vegetables were stocked on their shelves long enough that you can visibly see the yellowing leaves. Through having your own organic garden, you can have your favorite mainstay for homemade veggie salad readily available! Try to picture yourself harvesting your vegetables in your yard, the taste will surely be a lot better. So, what are you waiting for? Start digging up!
- Fetch, dig and harvesting? It’s exercise!
Exercise is important in having a healthy body. It will help in strengthening your body against diseases. So what do you think about organic gardening? It may be true that having your own organic garden is taxing. With the constant need of checking your plants one by one for worms and grubs, watering your plants, making an organic pesticide, doing compost as your fertilizer and many other tiresome chores. However, think about this, with all of these menial tasks, you are assured that you will not be easily toppled down by illnesses. Organic gardening can be a form of exercise. It is a weapon that will surely help you in preventing high blood pressure, stroke and obesity.
- Saving mother earth.
The frequent use of chemicals in the soil will surely strip the nature of its natural nutrients. Imagine the nutrients in the soil that are being removed just because of the continuous use of chemicals in growing your plants. Where would the next generations plant their sources of food if all of our lands will be stripped with nutrients? There will be none. Organic plants will use the nutrients from the soil, while organic fertilizer will serve to replenish the nutrients, in this way, you are assured that your plants will grow healthy and fully. If you want to start saving mother earth, then, you might as well start with having your own organic garden.
- Save money!
Saving money is probably one of the best benefits of organic gardening! How can you save money? Simple, instead of buying vegetables and fruits from your local shops, you can easily handpick them from your garden. You can surely save money from this. Aside from that, you don’t need to go to the grocery or supermarket to buy vegetables and fruits. Think about the money that you will save from not using fuel for your car. You can breathe easier just by knowing that you can save a lot for your other house bills.
- Tastier and healthier meals!
Researches revealed that organic fruits and vegetables are tastier compared to those which were conventionally made. The chemicals from the soil will not alter the composition producing now a tastier harvest. It is said that having natural or organic materials as fertilizer can make your crops scrumptious. You might also want to know that through eating foods that were conventionally planted; your family might ingest the toxins present from the soil.
- Healthy hobby.
Organic gardening can be your hobby. Not only that, you can include your spouse and even your children. By including your husband or wife in your gardening activities, surely he/she will not turn to other unhealthy hobbies. As for your children, at a young age, they will already know the importance of helping the environment. Aside from that, if they have gardening as a hobby, they will not be tempted to do hobbies that children nowadays are addicted too. No too much partying or even substance abuse. Organic gardening can help in maintaining a solid family foundation. It can help as you can consider this as a family bonding.
- Safe food!
The substances from chemical based products are proven to be harmful to humans and pets. Are you not worried that your kids might just accidentally ingest some of your pesticides residues? These residues are proven to be dangerous. Aside from that, your pets who are innocently strolling along your garden might accidentally inhale some of your pesticide dregs. Would you make them suffer just because of a preventable occurrence? Do not wait for these unfortunate events to happen. Switch to a chemical free gardening. Switch to organic gardening.
With organic gardening, you can eat fresher fruits and vegetables. You are assured that you are providing your family healthier and tastier food. You help in saving mother earth. You are saving money. You are decreasing your health problem risks by exercising. You and your family can have a great hobby. Don’t you think it’s time for you to start one? With organic gardening, you live a healthier and fuller life!
what are the plants that you can grow on your organic garden?
A patch of garden or even a pot of soil in your backyard can provide you and your family a source of fresh vegetables and fruits. It is a simple job to do but a great opportunity to bring hale and hearty foods on your table. Organic gardening will help you achieve this. It is a simple and yet an innovative way towards a healthy living.
You can grow different plants on your garden. However, certain plants and vegetables prefer a certain season where they can grow fuller and healthier. If you plant your favorite vegetables on the wrong season, surely, the seeds will not grow. Sometimes, if the seed will grow, it will eventually wilt. Therefore, there is a need for you to choose the right vegetables or herbs or even fruits to plants in different seasons.
Summer is the season of the year which is marked with hot and sweaty days. It is between spring and autumn. As the days are hot, you must plant vegetables and fruits that can survive the humid days or can grow abundantly under the warm rays of sun.
Tomatoes can grow up to six feet tall! What is the secret? It’s the warms rays of the sun. This fruit needs the heat to develop fully. You can consider that tomatoes are sun lovers. You can buy seedlings from your local gardening shops or greenhouses that sell them and transplant it to your garden. Tomatoes needs direct sunlight so avoid putting them under a shady place. With proper spacing, water and lots of sunlight you will surely harvest tasty and delectable organic tomatoes.
Dreaming of sweet corns? Hmm m. That dream is not impossible. With a sunny disposition, you can see your corn stalks shooting up in no time. Researches revealed that corns survives and grow more fully under the sun. Aside from that, do not forget that corns need space to grow, water and a lot of time to ripen. Once your corns are ripe, go straight to your stove and boil them. You’ll definitely enjoy a hearty snack!
The fleshy and succulent flavor of cucumber would never fail to amaze your taste buds. Just like your tomatoes, cucumbers are most delicious when grown to direct sunlight! Either the slicing or the pickling type of cucumber, both needs enough sunlight, lots of water and nutrients from the soil. Enjoy a crisp taste of your very own organic cucumbers.
What about eggplants? Do you hate the taste of these vegetables? You’ll surely change your mind once you grow your own. The taste of organic eggplant is very far from what you’ve bought from the supermarket. You just need a patch of moist soil and a lot of sunshine then you’re good to plant.
Organic summer squash or zucchini
Do you think all of the zucchinis in the world taste as bland as what you’ve always bought in the supermarket? Have you tasted home grown ones? Zucchinis love sandy loam soil and up to eight hours of sunlight. It is the perfect vegetable to grow during summer. Try eating them raw or harvesting them when they are still immature, you’ll surely taste the difference!
Organic bush beans
Bush beans are super easy to grow on your organic garden! You can just sow them on your garden patches and let them grow. They just need full sunlight and continuous watering system. You don’t even need fertilizers and pesticides. They can grow with enough nutrients from the soil and have continuous harvests!
This native plant from Africa is great for soups and gumbos. It is a sturdy plant which grows steadily during the hot summer. These plants love it when the soil is slightly damp and if they receive uninhibited sunshine.
Spring is the season between winter and summer. It is the season of rebirth from the quiescent months of winter. There are many plants that are best grown during spring, especially if the ground is still frosted from the winter days.
The root and even the leaves of beets can be eaten. The root can be sliced and cooked with a bit of oil and salt while the leafy part can be boiled or eaten raw. Beets need to grow in a cool climate that is why spring is the perfect weather for them. They can grow in raised beds or even in pots. And with just enough compost for a nutrient enriched soil, full sunlight and shade, they will grow robust and ready to be handpicked.
Organic broccoli and cabbage
Who can resist the rich taste of broccoli? Broccoli is easily grown even if you’re new to organic gardening. It grows fast aside from the fact that it is overly nutritious. They are best grown during the not so hot weather during the spring season. They are both from the same Brassica family of vegetables. One of the noticeable characteristics of these vegetables is their great need for soil nutrients. They will literally rob your soil for their much needed nutrients that is why it is better for you to enrich the soil where you will plant these as much as you can. These vegetables also prefer well drained soil and a proper spacing so that they can spread their roots uninhibited. You can enjoy a delicious meal especially if you cook these two avoiding sogginess which will alter the taste!
So what do you know about this orange root crop? Aside from the fact that nobody will mistake this for another root crop because of its distinctive color, carrots are sturdy crops. However, there are varieties of carrots; they come in different colors such as yellow red and purple. They love cool weather and they can even survive light frosts. They definitely need loose soil, damp soil and you can enrich the soil by putting fish emulsion.
Organic English peas
English peas are charming plants. These types of peas definitely loves water however, bear in mind that they do not like their soil to be too steeped with water. They prefer mist and well tilled soil. They need cool weather to prevent them from rotting especially during the time when you’ve just finished planting the seeds. They are vines that gives a palatable taste of its oh so nourishing peas!
Whether you prefer the onion leaves or the onion bulbs, both are widely used as an essential ingredient to recipes. Onions prefer living on cool weather to avoid rotting of the crop. However, they prefer a well-drained soil to grow fuller.
Knowing about the Perfect place for your Organic Garden
After learning what to grow in your organic garden the next thing that you should learn about is the most strategic place to have your organic garden
Where should I place my organic garden?
It is important for you to know where to place your organic garden. There are certain factors that you should consider to be able to have a fruitful harvest. Remember that the health of your plants do not depend just on your fertilizers and pesticides and watering. It also depends on the place where you built your garden.
Factors to consider when choosing the right spot for your organic garden:
What will happen to my plants if they don’t receive enough rays from the sun?
Think about this example. What about if you placed your organic garden in your backyard under a shady spot? What will happen to your plants? Remember that plants depend on the sun to be able to produce their own food. If you put them in a shady place, you’ll have a sickly patch of plants and a bland harvest. It is important to consider the most appropriate place for your organic garden.
Why is the sun important to the growth of my plants?
The warm rays of the sun are very important to your plants. Remember that the energy that was gathered by your plants from the sun will be converted into food. Plants like humans need food to grow and develop. Many plant especially your vegetables needs up to 6 to 8 hours of sunlight to grow. Aside from that, even cool weather crops such as your lettuce and cabbages still need the sun to mature. That is why; you should consider a spot where your garden will receive direct rays from the sun.
What can be done about it?
You can place your garden on a spot where it is not covered by bushes or tall trees. This is to avoid having a shade for your plants during the day.
- What will happen to my plants if I don’t have an easy access to it?
Picture yourself looking out the window and you’ve seen some of your neighbor’s chicken scurrying on your garden? What about your dog carelessly running over your garden patches? How can you decrease the damage that these animals will cause if your garden is far from where you are?
Why is it important that I have an easy access to my garden?
Your accessibility to your organic garden is very important. Build your organic garden in a place where you will have an easy access. Aside from that, having an easy access of your organic garden from your kitchen would be lovely! If you need an additional tomato, you can just go to your garden and pick the ripest ones. That would be very easy and fast.
What can be done about it?
It is better to place your garden in your backyard, front yard or in anywhere that you can have an easy access. It is preferable to place your organic garden near your home.
What will happen to my plants if they don’t have access to water?
Think about yourself running to and fro fetching water to water your plants. Aside from the unnecessary exhaustion, you should be worried that your plants might not be getting enough water for its sustenance.
Why is it important for my plants to have a good access to water?
Water is very important in your plants. Easy access to water is essential. That is why you need to choose a spot where your plants can have an access to water. Water is important for your plants to develop. When your plants receive too little water, they are more susceptible to damages from pests. The best thing to do is to have just enough water for your plants. Too much can cause your plants to rot.
What can be done about it?
You can place your garden beds on a place where water is abundant. If not, you can install sprinklers over your organic garden. You can also have a long hose installed near your garden so that whenever you need to bathe your plants with water, then you can reach every crevices on your garden.
What will happen to my plants if they don’t have the appropriate soil?
Plants will have difficulty to grow in inappropriate type of soil. Can you imagine you lettuce growing in a sandy soil? Can you imagine your favorite cabbage grow in a clay soil? Plants need the appropriate soil to grow. Plants need soil which are rich with nutrients and well drained.
Why is it important for my plants to have the appropriate soil?
The soil is the most important factor in choosing the right spot for your organic garden. Plants are hefty feeders of nutrients from a nutrient enriched soil. A rich soil will help in the growth and development of your plants. Aside from that, it can help in preventing destruction from pests and plant diseases. For your organic garden, it is important to apply organic matters regularly as a start. It will help in enriching and replenishing the nutrients from your soil. There are different types of soil texture namely: sand, silt and clay. However, the best soil for your organic garden would be the sandy loam. Sandy loam is the mixture of the three soil texture. This type of soil texture is very important in your plants since sandy loam is crumbly, it will help the root of the plants to have proper aeration and it allows the drainage of water.
What can be done about it?
If your backyard soil is sandy or just plain clay clumps then the best thing that you could do is buy a premixed soil. You could also buy the three basic soil textures and mix it yourself however, it is not recommended because there is a must to produce just the exact texture.
What will happen to my plants with too much wind?
Envision the young cucumbers and squash scattered under your trellises which is caused by the wind. Your effort will be wasted as well as the money you spent if your garden is placed in a windy location.
Why do I need to choose a non-windy location?
Your plants need wind. However, a windy location is not that good for your plants. Trellised plants such as cucumber or squash and your tomatoes and eggplants which in time will be top heavy cannot survive in a windy location. That is why, in placing your organic garden strategically, you must consider the wind. It is a very important factor to prevent hazards for your plants.
What can be done about it?
There is not much that you can do. You need wind as much as you don’t want it to destroy your plants. However, you can still place your trellises and top heavy plants in a location where there can be a barrier such as a tree or even a wall.
In building your own organic garden, the location is very essential. The location is one of the most important factors for your plants growth and maturity.
Preparing the Area for Your Organic Garden
Preparing the Area for Your Organic Garden
Now that you’ve finished finding the perfect location for your garden, it is time for you to prepare the soil. It is essential to learn the basics and start with enough knowledge on organic gardening. One of the essential things that you should learn is preparing the ground or area where you chose to place your garden.
Why is it important to prepare the area?
Other people may think that digging up the soil, planting up the seeds or seedlings and watering the newly planted seeds would ensure their growth. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. There’s more than just carelessly digging up a hole and plopping up your seedlings. You need to prepare the area. There are certain procedures that you must do to be able to have the perfect beds for your plants. Preparing the area is very important because a well primed area will ensure not only the greenest foliage but also the palatable taste of your yields.
Problems that comes from an unprepared area for your organic garden:
Picture yourself in a garden that was unprepared. Can you see the ghastly look of your organic garden? Can you imagine the weeds towering over your plants? Can you imagine tilling the ground and yet you’re efforts are being blocked by numerous rocks? These are some of the problems that you might encounter without preparing the soil. Would you like these to happen? Undoubtedly, NO! If you don’t want then, take a look on how you can prepare the area.
Preparing the area
- Making a layout of your garden
Get a pencil and a paper and draw a layout of your garden. Now that you’ve chosen the appropriate plants to sow on your garden, you must estimate the space each variety will use. Some plants require a lot of space to grow while some do not. Consider the space so that you will be able to plant all your target vegetables and other plant varieties. Aside from that, consider where you will put your sprinklers or other tools that you might need on your garden. These tools are very important to be placed strategically so that there will be no need for you to exhaust yourself in doing your garden chores when you will already start planting.
After finding the finest spot for your organic garden, the next thing to do is to clean the area from any dirt or debris. Also, remove the rocks and weeds that are scattered. It is important to remove the rocks since it can block up the nutrient absorption ability of your plants. Weeds should be eliminated too because it will surely compete with your plants for nutrients. Remember that weeds are opportunistic and will always try to gather all the nutrients from the soil for themselves. If this will happen, then, expect to see weeds growing healthier while your plants are withering as time passes by. To ensure that no further weeds will grow on your garden before planting, place black weed paper. Make sure that you do this a week before planting
- Evaluating the soil
You must also consider the texture of your soil. There are three basic types of soil namely: sandy, clayey and silt. To be able to determine if the type of the soil on your area is sandy, grab a handful and let it slip from your fingers, sandy soil easily slips. If your soil is clayey, then try to grab a handful and clomp it together, if that handful will turn into a clump, then you have a clayey soil. However, as was mentioned before, the most suitable soil texture for your garden is sandy loam. It is the mixture of 20 percent of sandy soil, 40 percent of silt soil and another 40 percent of clayey soil. Nevertheless, some areas are most fortunate for having the perfect and nutrient enriched soil without the need of buying other materials to have the perfect mixture.
Consider also the pH of the soil. You can check the pH of the soil by buying kits on your local gardening shops. The pH of the soil is very important since some plants prefer alkaline soil while some prefers an acidic environment. If your soil is too acidic, you can place sulfur to make it less acidic. If you want your soil to be at least alkaline, apply lime.
- Tilling the soil
After evaluating the soil, the next thing to do is to mulch or till it. Mulching or tilling the soil is very important to be able to integrate oxygen. You can use a tiller or a shovel to dig, however, if the area is bigger, there are mechanical tiller that you can try. Dig until you can for better aeration of your garden beds, some organic enthusiasts recommends that you till for at least 16 inches deep, this will be enough for your plants to live on.
- Adding organic matter
Organic matter came from a living organism and is now on the process of decaying. It is important to add organic matter. This is perfect for those who don’t have the appropriate soil for their organic gardens. Organic matter can help in preparing the structure of the soil. It can help in making your soil drain better or hold an increased amount of water. However, always remember that you should only put decaying organic matter and not the fresh ones. There isa chance that the fresh organic matter may still contain organisms that can be absorbed by your plants which will induce diseases.
Planning and knowledge about organic gardening is very important especially if you are a novice in the world of organic enthusiasts. Doing all the above mentioned things is very essential to have a well prepared garden. A well prepared garden would ensure a productive and healthy harvest. Organic garden is a fun and healthy hobby!
- Raking the soil
After improving the soil, it is a must that you turn over the soil again to spread the added organic matter. Then rake the soil with a bow rake to remove the clumps and to level the surface of your garden.
Fertilizing the Soil of your Organic Garden
Fertilizing the Soil of your Organic Garden
After preparing the ground for your organic garden, then you must know more about fertilizing the soil. The use of fertilizers in growing your plants is important, aside from that; the use of organic fertilizer makes the general difference in organic gardening and your typical gardening. That is why, it is important for you to learn more about fertilizing the soil of your organic garden using organic fertilizers.
- What is fertilizer?
Fertilizers are substances that are added to the soil to supplement the lacking or absent nutrient on your soil that is needed for the growth of your plants. It can be categorized into organic and inorganic. Inorganic fertilizer is made from chemical based resources while organic fertilizer came from resources that usually from a living organism.
- Why is it important to use organic fertilizer?
It is important for you to use organic fertilizer because your plants cannot survive various problems associated with growing your plants. Your plants need nutrients from the soil. Nutrients will ensure the proper growth and development of your plants. Aside from that, organic fertilizer can help in increasing the resistance of your plants against diseases. It will also help fight pests that will surely leave nothing behind if no fertilizer is used.
- What problems will arise if you do not use organic fertilizer?
There are many problems that will arise if you do not use organic fertilizer. Use of organic fertilizer is advocated nowadays because chemical based fertilizers can cause:
Contamination of the underground water
- Chemical based fertilizer can cause contamination of the underground water because the soil will absorb the chemicals. If this will happen, these chemicals will go to the underground resources of water. Eventually, it can even lead to the springs, rivers and other body of water. Therefore, you can say that not only the underground water will be affected but also the nearby sources of water.
Hazard to you, your family’s health and your pets
- The chemicals from your inorganic fertilizers are proven to be detrimental to you and your family’s health. Inhalation and even bodily contact of these chemicals may cause severe reactions. Aside from that, these chemicals are not good for your pets too. There is a chance that your cute little dog may inhale the chemical residues which may cause unforeseen reactions.
- What nutrients are needed by the soil?
Before learning about how to fertilize the soil, it is important for you to learn about the nutrients that are needed by the soil. Generally, the soil needs 20 nutrients; oxygen, hydrogen and carbon are the most essential since they are required in the functioning as well as the growth of your plants. These three are being supplied by the air and water. As for the remaining nutrients, nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium is the most important of all the remaining 17 nutrients. These three should be present in greater quantities.
- How can I fertilize the soil?
In fertilizing the soil, it is important for you to know first about the different organic fertilizers. Organic fertilizers are divided into three categories namely: plant organic fertilizers, animal organic fertilizers and mineral organic fertilizers.
Plant organic fertilizers
The organic fertilizers that can be derived from plants primarily have low and some has moderate amounts of nitrogen phosphorous and potassium. However, this type of fertilizer is commonly used because these nutrients are easily obtainable. Aside from that, many of the plant organic fertilizers contain other needed nutrients which will further increase the nutrients available for your plants. The most common plant organic fertilizers are derived from alfalfa, corn, cottonseed, seaweed or kelp, soybean, humus and compost.
Animal organic fertilizers
Animal organic fertilizers are potassium enriched. That is why it can be used with plant organic fertilizers. Products from land, air and even aquatic animals can give you organic fertilizers. The most commonly used animal products that are turned into organic fertilizers are manure from cows, chickens and even pigs however, in using animal manure, make sure that you will only use the composted ones. It is important to use the composted ones because fresh manure may still contain organisms that can cause diseases, aside from that; it can also burn the roots of your plants. Fish by products such as fish emulsion, powders and meals were also used because of its high nitrogen content. Blood meal (powdered blood from animals) and bone meal (powdered bones) are also commonly used. The excrements of bats and seabirds were also used as fertilizers.
Mineral organic fertilizers
Mineral organic fertilizers are also used however; it is not the most common. It is used because the effects take months and even years to be evident. The nutrients are released slowly. However, many gardeners are discovering the effects of minerals on the growth of their plants nowadays so why won’t you try one? The most common used mineral organic fertilizer is the lime. Lime will help you raise the pH of your garden. Other minerals such as Epsom, gypsum, greensand, Chilean nitrate of soda and phosphate are also used.
- Making your own compost
Now that you have basic knowledge about fertilizing your soil, it is imperative for you to learn more about making your own compost. It may be true that you can buy compost from your local garden shops however; doing your own is more fun and its free! Compost adds organic material to your soil, so expect a greater yield for free!
In making your own compost, you need three basic ingredients namely the:
- Greens are mostly those which came from your fruit peelings, fruit leftovers, vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, manure (from cows, pigs and chickens) and even weeds you pulled from your backyard.
- Browns are mostly dried leaves, branches, twigs, papers and sawdust too.
- Moisture and not exactly water is the most important ingredient as this will hasten the composting process. However, you should remember that you should not put too much water. Just make sure that the greens and browns are damp enough. Too much water can cause bad bacteria to multiply which may cause more damage than benefit.
- Consider the place where you will place your compost. You may create, buy or recycle a bin or you could also dig a pit. Whichever you choose, just make sure that you have a proper covering.
- Place the greens and browns on your bin or pit and mix the two. Just make sure that the ingredients are shredded in small sizes.
- After mixing the browns and greens, add water just enough to make the compost moist.
- Cover the bin or pit to ensure that the moisture will not evaporate which may cause drying of the compost.
- Turn the compost every week placing the composted materials above while placing the above materials below for its turn to decompose.
Learning about organic gardening is truly fun and rewarding!
Essential Tips for Planting
Essential Tips for Planting
Planting organic plants is a non-expensive, fun and healthy hobby. It is a way to cut cost on your household needs and a way to keep healthy foods available on your table all year round. Now that you have finished learning about the benefits, preparing the area and the soil and learning how to do compost, it is time for you to learn about how to plant.
Many people are hesitating to start their own organic garden. It maybe because they think it is too taxing because of the activities needed to be done. They may think that it is a very expensive hobby because the price of organic vegetables in the supermarket is a dollar or two more expensive than those which were commercially grown. Unfortunately, they are wrong in this aspect. Starting an organic garden is not expensive and not exhausting if you just know how to properly plant.
- Why is it important to learn on how to properly plant?
Knowledge on how to plant is a crucial need for you to learn in organic gardening. It is very important because failure can be the result of having no knowledge about this. Even the greatest inventors and those who were bestowed with prestigious awards know what they are doing. They have the knowledge about what they do and they do not just rely on their instincts. Knowledge is a weapon. Knowledge about gardening will ensure you the most delicious and healthiest yields.
- How do I plant?
Seeds and Seedlings
Seedlings grow from seeds. In order to know how to plant seedling, you must first learn about how to plant seeds. Seeds are usually grown indoor.
- In planting seeds, you must first gather all the materials that you need. You need to have containers (egg cartons, pots, plastic cups), soil (garden soil or premixed soil from your local garden shop), seeds of your choice, covers (plastic bags), water and a source of light
- Put the soil on a large container and mix it with water. Make sure that the soil is not too wet or too dry. Loosen the soil making sure that there will be no large clamps.
- Place the loosened soil on your containers (egg cartons, pots, plastic cups). You can fill the containers for at least ¾ full. Then gently level the soil with your hands.
- You can now start planting the seeds on the containers. Read the label of the seeds and follow the instructions. Generally, you can place 2 to 3 seeds in one container to ensure that one will at least grow into a seedling.
- Cover again the seeds with your leftover soil following the instructions on the seed’s label.
- Sprinkle the planted container with water.
- Cover the container with a plastic bag to trap heat and moisture.
- Place the container on a warm spot inside your home or you can buy heating pads which are specifically made for seed germination.
- If you already see a newly sprouted leaves, it’s time for you to remove the plastic covering. And put the seedlings to your light source.
- This time, you can place organic fertilizer such as compost or fish emulsion to your seedlings.
- Seedlings need up 14 to 16 hours of light that is why you need to have a constant source of light. If you have a windowsill which can hold your container, you can expose your seedlings their however the light is not constant and your seeds may not grow as planned without enough sunlight. You can buy a fluorescent light or any plant lights that are usually bought from garden shops.
- Seedlings prefer 60 to 70 F. It’s better for you to choose a spot with this temperature in the germination of your seeds.
- Follow the instructions written about the seeds that you bought. Certain seeds have different preparations. It is best to follow those instructions.
The best time to apply fertilizer is after the appearance of true leaves on your seedlings
Transferring the seedlings:
Seedlings are the newly sprouted plants from seeds. They are very delicate that is why there is a need for vigilant care. Seedlings which are grown indoors should be accustomed to the different environment before transplanting them to the garden. Here’s what you need to do:
Hardening off – Gradually expose the seedlings for 2 to 3 hours in a shady spot on your garden beds then get them back inside. Do this activity for a few days then gradually increase the time you expose the seedlings outside. After a week, you may place the seedlings on direct sunlight for a few hours and increase the time the seedlings are exposed until you are sure that your seedlings already adapted to the environment of your garden.
- Transplant your seedlings to the garden but ensure that the climate is not too hot when you transfer the plants.
- You can also cover your plants to protect them from wind and heavy rain.
Building raised beds
Building raised beds for your plants are one of the activities for your organic garden. You can choose to buy pre made ones but isn’t doing it yourself is more fun? It will make your gardening chores a lot easier. And there are benefits of having raised garden beds namely:
- Decrease back strain.
Having raised garden beds will decrease the need for you to bend over while watering or weeding your plants, hence, the decrease of having a painful back after an hour or two of tending your organic garden.
- A better drainage.
There is better drainage of water. Aside from that, there is a larger space for your plants roots to spread and absorb nutrients.
- Prevents your soil and nutrients to be washed away by heavy rain.
The sides of the bed will serve as a barrier to avoid the soil and nutrients to be washed away when it rains.
- It gives your garden an organized appearance.
Do it your own raised garden beds:
- Choose the right spot in your garden area.
You can choose different spots on your garden to place your garden beds. You can place the beds in the middle or inclined in a wall or fence.
- Decide on the size and design of the area.
You can choose any design or shape. Just make sure that you can reach the middle area of your garden. For the size, any size that your beds can occupy is okay as long as you see fit that you can easily reach all the parts of your garden.
- Prepare the materials needed.
Once you’ve decided on making your own garden beds, gather all the needed materials. You can use wood or cement as the barrier. You can use screws and drills or another piece of wood to connect the joints. Prepare a shovel for digging and a saw for cutting the wood if you prefer to use woods.
- Mark the site.
You can mark the site by digging the sides where you will put the barriers. You can also use flour, straw, ties and stones as a marker.
- Prepare the site.
Dig the parts where you will bury some part of the woods or cement. You should have a depth of at least 6 inches to make sure that the frame (which will serve as the barrier) will not fall easily.
- Bury the frame.
After digging, bury the frame up to the depth you made and finish by connecting the joints of the frame. Make sure that the frame is secured and the height of the sides of the frame is level with each other.
- Fill the frame with soil.
Fill the frame with premix soil or garden soil. Make sure that every crevice is filled with soil. It is better for you put loosened oil mixed with organic fertilizer already. After filling the frame, you can now level the surface.
Every now and then, apply organic fertilizer on your garden beds. Also, don’t forget to mulch or turn over the soil every time you plant. This is very important because a garden bed easily drains leaving now your soil dry. With all of these in mind, you can now enjoy a neat and organized way of planting on your very own garden beds!
Irrigation Systems for your Organic Garden
Irrigation Systems for your Organic Garden
What is irrigation system?
An irrigation system is a method to provide water to your plants. As mentioned before, water is a crucial need of your plants. It contains two of the basic needs for functioning and development of your plants namely oxygen and hydrogen.
Why is it important to have a proper irrigation system?
Envision your garden on mid-summer; try not to water your plants for a week. You will surely see the importance of an irrigation system. Fertilizers, sunshine and good soil does not ensure a thriving harvest. Proper irrigation is one of the main ingredients in having a healthy and alive organic garden.
There are different types of irrigation system. You can have a well or a pond or even an automatic garden irrigation. You can use the irrigation systems that you prefer however, there are certain factors that you must first consider such as the size, budget and your time in choosing the most efficient irrigation system.
Tips in choosing the proper irrigation system:
- Consider the size of your organic garden
The size of your organic garden is very important. If you have a large garden area or even a small farm, then you must have an automatic garden irrigation. A twist of the controller would give your plants the water that they need. If you have a tiny space, then you can use a soaker hose irrigation system or even the more traditional ones.
- Consider the budget for your irrigation system
The budget you are saving for your irrigation system is very important. If you can afford to buy for the more sophisticated ones then there’s no problem about it. However, if you plan to spend more on buying certified organic seedlings, then you can opt to buy those which are not costly or you can just grab a pail of water and a dipper and start watering your plants.
- Consider the time you plan to spend on your organic garden
If you are building an organic garden for a hobby while working, you must consider having an automatic type of garden irrigation such as the use of sprinklers or a drip irrigation system. With the use of this type, you can just switch your controller and water will immediately be disseminated to your plants. However, if you have all the time in the world and you can visit your garden for an hour or two, then you can use the more traditional ones such as a bucket or your worn kettle
Types of irrigation system:
There are certain types of irrigation system ranging from the old-fashioned ones up to the more sophisticated ones. Whatever you choose to use, the most important thing is to be able to have a proper water supply for your plants.
- Bucket and dipper
The use of bucket and dipper is probably the most traditional way of water irrigation. Although it is traditional, you cannot fault the efficiency of its use. It is affordable and more importantly, you can control the amount of water you provide your plant. Remember that not all plants require a lot of water; some prefers a well-drained soil. Aside from that, the bucket and dipper is considered as a low pressure type of irrigation system. Low pressure types are good for the plants and will not cause any damage to your plants especially to seedlings.
- Soaker hose irrigation system
Soaker hose irrigation system is traditional but a bit advanced than the use of bucket and dippers. As long as the length of the hose is long, you can reach or cover a wide area. This system is not expensive and you don’t need an expert to install this for you. It is a do it yourself method. If you have the basic knowledge, you’re good to go. However, it also has disadvantages. It can again cause disease to your plants because of the risk of having water on your plant’s foliage. Aside from that, if the water pressure is too high, it may cause damage to your plants especially to the delicate seedlings.
- Place a rain nozzle to the end of the hose to decrease the pressure of the water.
- Water your plants with soaker hose irrigation in the morning.
Sprinkler system is a more advanced way of irrigation. It is widely used because gardeners tend not to work manually in providing a supply of water. A controller can be used to open the system. There are also automatic controllers that are set in a certain time of the day to automatically sprinkle water. There are also types of sprinkler system namely: overhead sprinkler and oscillating sprinklers. Overhead sprinklers are good for those plants which do not require too much water. Oscillating sprinklers are favorable because it can cover a larger area.
In using a sprinkler system, try to operate these sprinklers early in the morning. Avoid using your sprinkler system in the afternoon because retained water in the foliage can cause plant diseases. You would not want that to happen on your garden right?
- Drip irrigation system
The drip irrigation system is probably one of the most efficient methods of water irrigation. There are various benefits from using this type of irrigation. You can save time and effort by letting the system run itself. This system gives the exact amount of water that plants need reducing now wasting of water. Aside from that, there is reduced chance of acquiring plant diseases since it operates under the surface. However, this type of irrigation system is more expensive and more complex to do. You can try to make your own drip irrigation system on your garden; however, you may need detailed instructions. If you really want to have a drip irrigation system, you can go and ask a professional about guidelines. You can also pay some expert to install a drip irrigation system for you.
A drip irrigation system works by permitting water to drip gently and consistently to the soil. This will allow equal dissemination of water along the roots of your plants. This method would decrease the amount of damage that the typical irrigation systems cause.
Water is important to our life as well as keeping your organic garden flourishing. You can say that irrigation is the lifeline of your garden. That is why take heed of the important tips on irrigating and enjoy an afternoon stroll to your buzzing garden!
Recycling Water for your Organic Garden
Water is life. You certainly cannot live without water. And that fact is also true to your organic garden. You have recently learned about the proper irrigation system. Now, is the best time to learn on how to recycle water for your organic garden.
What is recycling of water?
Have you ever heard of the government programs about recycling? What about your papers with a label “recycled”? Recycling means using a certain thing or idea or just using that thing again. You maximize the potential use of those things so that you won’t need to throw it or just waste it. In recycling water, it is of no difference. You can recycle your used water for your organic garden.
What is the importance of recycling water?
Recycling water is very important especially nowadays. It may be true that a larger portion of the earth is composed of water, however, water resources even the underground ones are gradually drying up. In US alone, 25.6 billion liters of drinkable water is wasted on garden irrigations in a day. So, what about if you sum up every droplet of water that is wasted on the whole world in just a day? Surely, you will be surprised! Are you going to wait for all these resources to be totally depleted? If not, then start recycling your water now!
There are various ways to recycle water. You can help Mother Nature. You can educate your family about recycling water while serving healthy foods to your family. You can save money by decreasing your water bill. Recycling water for your organic garden is both rewarding and pleasurable!
How can I recycle water?
There are certain ways that you can do to recycle water.
- Use of grey water
Grey water are water that are derived from your kitchen sink, bath tubs and washing machines. You can also use any water as long as it does not have any fecal particles or chemicals. Fecal matters and water which may contain chemicals is not recommended because it may cause diseases to your plants and is equally dangerous to you and your family’s health. Water with fecal particles and with chemicals is known as “black water.”
- You can use water that are derived from your kitchen sink such as the water you have used after rinsing rice and the water you have used after washing the dishes (take note: you must use environment friendly dishwashing liquids).
- After taking a bath, you can use the water in your tub. It would be better for you to ask the cooperation of your family members, in this way, you and your family are building ways to reduce your water bill and are helping the ecosystem. You can use a bucket to fetch the water from your tub. It is better for you to use this bucket for this purpose only.
- If you are using a washing machine, you can place a drum nearby and connect the hose and drain the used water in. However, you should always remember that you should use environment friendly detergents. These types of detergents are already gaining fame and are widely used by environment conscious people.
- Use of rain water
Rain water is also a good source of water for your organic garden. There are even “rain gardens” where they primarily use rain water for their plants. These rain gardens are also known as rain runoffs. You can gain benefits from the rain water that runs off the roof of your homes. This is a type of irrigation system that produces a flood type of irrigation. It is used for gardens in low lying areas. This can help in providing water for your organic garden. Aside from that, you can actually save rain water by catching the water from the spout of your home. You can save this rain water in a barrel or drum and use it to water your plants.
Tips in using grey water:
- It is recommended to use grey water for your flowers and shrubs only. It is still better to use fresh water for your organic vegetables to decrease the risk of contamination from unknown microorganisms on grey water.
- If you still want to use grey water for your vegetables, use it on vegetables that grow above the surface. Do not use it on root crops and green leafy vegetables.
- Never use grey water in drip irrigation systems.
- It would be better if you water your organic garden simultaneously with fresh water and grey water.
- Grey water are alkaline, you can add sulfur in the soil of the plants that prefers to live in an acidic environment.
- Always use cooled grey water in watering your plants.
- Never use grey water that is used to bath your pets.
- You should also never use grey water that is used to wash clothes soiled with fecal matters (e.g. reusable diapers)
- Use filters. If you use a watering can, put a rain nozzle on the spout to filter large particles.
- Always check the labels of your detergents, make sure that it does not contain harmful chemicals for your plants such as salt, chloride, sodium and boron. It is recommended that you use detergents labeled as “environmental friendly.”
- Have a dram or barrel where you can contain the used water from your tub. In this way, you can also cool the tub water.
Recycling water is a simple but innovative way of helping the environment. You don’t need to go rallying with environment enthusiasts in front of a city hall to prove that you want to help the environment. In your own little ways, you help the environment
Removing Harmful Pests in your Organic Garden
Removing Harmful Pests in your Organic Garden
Are those harmful pests kept eating their way through your organic garden? These pests will leave holes on the leaves and on the fruits of your plants. You may have a thriving organic garden but it will never be pests free if you do not take any actions against them. There are pesticides available but remember, you can never use chemically based products on your organic garden.
Grubs, worms and earwigs are pests that can cause a substantial damage to you garden. That is why you need to do various methods in removing pests from your garden. There are many ways that you can eliminate these harmful pests without using chemical based products. There are also ways on preventing pests on amassing on your garden.
Ways on how to prevent pests from your garden:
- Bird baths
Birds are natural pesticide. They can help in eliminating the pests from your garden. Building a bird bath near your irrigation system would help. Birds help by eating the pests thereby, getting rid of them.
Artificial ponds can provide an attractive highlight to your organic garden. Looking at it provides relief from a stressful day’s work. Aside from that, it can be used to have a healthy ecosystem of aquatic animals. Lizards as well as frogs can help in getting rid of pests. They eat slugs, aphids and other varieties of insects. Animal eating insects will help in reducing the population of pests from your garden.
- Plant nasturtium, marigold and mint
Nasturtium, marigold and mint are natural pesticides. Nasturtium repels beetles from beans and cucumbers. The smell of mint will also keep white flies at bay. Marigolds will also help in keeping animals away as well as insects. Aside from that, marigolds are conducive for the growth of beneficial insects such as lacewings, centipedes and ladybugs. Lacewings and their larvae and ladybugs eat a significant number of aphids from your garden.
- Healthy plants
This is one of the best prevention of pest controlling techniques. Healthy plants are more resistant to insects and pests. Insects and pests usually targets sickly looking plants that is why you better take care of your organic garden!
Handpicking is probably the most traditional way of removing harmful pests on your garden. You can do this by manually checking your plants every day. In this way, whenever you see a tiny pest or an insect behind one of the leaves of your plant, you can just pick them and kill them right away! However, this method is tedious and time consuming.
Also, you don’t need to use expensive sprays as pesticides. There are many organic substances that you can use as sprays.
- Tobacco mixture
You can use tobacco to kill a respective number of pests including root lice, fungus gnats, flies, worms, spider mites, aphids and thrips. It can be prepared by mixing tobacco and water or doused tobacco. However, it can be hazardous to other plants and to you as well, that is why you need to take caution in using tobacco.
- Hot pepper spray
You can crush peppers and dust it on the foliage of your plants. You can also use hot sauce as a spray. With the use of any hot pepper preparation, animals and foliage eating insects will leave your plants alone.
- Neem oil
Neem oil is a very effective solution for your pest problems. It works not by eating other pests. It works in an entirely different way. Neem oil actually modifies the way insects think. Because of this modification, the insects will not eat nor mate which will reduce their lifespan.
- Spearmint spray
A mixture of spearmint, water, hot pepper and green onions is proven to be a good insecticide. With this mixture, insects and pests will literally run away from your plants. You can bath or spray your plants with your own spearmint spray.
Spinosad is an all-natural pesticide. It can be fatal to insects which ingests leaves or crops treated with spinosad. That is why it is one of the most efficient ways in getting rid of pests. Because of these characteristics, spinosad is said to affect a wide variety of insects. It is best to read the directions and follow them. Spraying spinosad in sunrise or sunset is proven to be very effective.
- Beauvaria Bassiana
It is a natural growing fungus in the soil. It causes a disease to insects called “white muscadine disease.” When the insects’ skin comes in contact with the spores of this fungus, Beauvaria Bassiana will cover the entire skin until the inner body of the insect. This would then cause the insect to die. It works differently than spinosad because unlike the latter, Beauvaria Bassiana is fatal in contact!
- Diatomaceous earth
Diatomaceous earth is a sedimentary rock that is milled and refined to produce a powder. This powder is then dusted to the foliage of your plants. The dust is coarse causing cuts on the body of an insect especially of worms. If this will happen, the dust will surely get inside the cuts causing dehydration to the insect and eventually, killing these pests. It surely is an agonizing way to die!
- Bacillus thuringiensis (BT)
Bacillus thuringiensis is a biological pesticide. It is now being incorporated to other pesticides to potentiate its effect. It is an all-natural pesticide and is very popular to organic gardeners. Aside from that, it has no harmful effects on your pets and children and even with beneficial insects. It works when insects eat leaves and crops that are cured with BT.
With all of these alternatives in mind, are you regretting doing an organic garden? Of course you don’t. Organic gardening is a step towards healthy living and removal of harmful pests is a part of this step. Making do it yourself insecticides and pesticides as well as building or making a way to prevent amassing of pests in your garden is truly a worthwhile experience!
Picking of your Organic Garden Yields
You’ve prepared the area for your organic garden. You’ve raised garden beds for your plants. You’ve chosen the appropriate plants for the season. You’ve decided on the type of water irrigation. You’ve fertilized the soil with organic fertilizers. You’ve finished planting your crops. You are done dealing with pests. Now, what will you do next? The answer is simple, HARVEST!
Months of digging, toiling, mulching, weeding and watering your plants are not very easy. In all fairness, for the sake of your organic garden you have endured all of these. That is why, your efforts deserves to be awarded. You will be awarded by harvesting your own plants and vegetables! There is nothing more fulfilling than a taste of the harvests you’ve tended with your own sweat and blood! That is why; it is time for you to learn on when and how to pick your yields!
What is the importance of knowing how and when to harvest?
It is very important for you to have knowledge because an improper way of harvesting would lead to decrease yields. Aside from that, it can cause your plants to wither.
How to pick summer vegetables:
Pick tomatoes when the color is red wherein it is truly ripe. Pinch a tomato slightly and check if they are slightly soft. This would mean that your tomatoes are prepared to be eaten! In picking, gently twist the tomatoes from the stalk.
Picking sweet corns
Harvest corn after the silks turns dry and brown. Then check for the maturity of your kernels, slightly open the top and squeeze one kernel and if a milky white liquid came out, it is ready to be gathered. Encircle the top of an ear with your hands and gently pull it up. It is better to cook freshly harvested sweet corns because they exude the sweetest taste at this time. Enjoy the sweet taste of your corns with melted butter or milk!
Gather cucumbers when they are still young. Gathering cucumber when they ripens or when they turn long is not good. They may taste bitter and curt at this time. Pinch the base of the cucumber vine using your thumb away from the vine body. You can now use these cucumbers on your salads or just eat them as they were. Enjoy a crisp and healthy veggie salad!
Eggplants taste best when they are still young and shiny. Reap eggplants by cutting them instead of pulling. Avoid reaping eggplants that are already brown or have lost their gleam. Relish your eggplant with glee!
Picking summer squash or zucchini
You can harvest zucchinis while they are still young. Avoid harvesting them when they have grown to behemoth size. To harvest, have a nice grip on the fattest part and gently twist that part. Enjoy the behemoth taste of your zucchinis then!
Picking bush beans
Gather your bush beans while the seeds are still immature and slender. It is better to gather bush beans while they are young to ensure crispness of your yields. Gather bush beans every now and then because this will encourage further production of crops.
It is best to gather okras when the pods are about 2 to 3 inches. Make sure that you gather okras where the seeds are still half mature. Use a knife in cutting and cover your hands with gloves while cutting because the skin of okras is prickly and may cause itchiness. Appreciate the sweet, slimy taste of your home grown okras!
How to pick spring and autumn vegetables:
You can pick beet greens whenever you want and you can pick beet root crops when you see a part of the beet slightly bulging from the soil. Pull or you can also dig up the root crops. As for the greens, you can just snap them from the body. It is better for you to use the greens upon harvesting.
Pick the first sprouting offshoots as this encourage thicker and more broccoli tops for the next harvests. You can harvest by cutting the heads. Enjoy the taste of your broccoli in soups or you can just plainly steam them!
Gather the heads of cabbages when you think they are already ready to be picked. Remove by cutting them from their body while avoiding the destruction of leaves. If you do this, more heads will surely shoot up from those leaves. Have fun gathering cabbages!
Carrots are an all healthy root crops. You can reap them if you see a protuberance from the soil. Reap them when they are 1 – 2” thick to ensure the appropriateness. Just dig up the root and you are ready. You will surely adore the healthy taste of fresh carrot juice!
Picking English peas
In picking English peas, choose those that are 2” long. You can pick the peas by pinching the between your fingers, twist gently and pull away from the vine in a swift motion. You can also use scissors to be able to pick peas. Hmmm. You’ll surely revel on a pea flavored soup!
Gathering onions? Hmmm. In gathering the bulbs, you must first wait until the onion leaves turns brown and shriveled. When the leaves turn brown, it means that the onions stopped growing and they are ready to be picked! Pickled onions are just perfect for the winter days to come!
What about potatoes? You can already harvest new potatoes after 60 to 90 days. You can harvest up to two potatoes in each plant. In harvesting, dig or mulch the potatoes from your raised beds carefully as not to destroy the other potatoes.
Do you love the taste of turnips? After months of toiling your garden, you can now enjoy your organically grown turnips! Gather turnips while their diameter is still 1”. The taste of turnips are much sweeter in a light frosted environment, however, do not let them stay under the ground too long. Turnips might turn woody if you will let that happen. As it is a root crop, carefully dig them.
Spinach is the legendary veggie that gives Popeye his invincible strength. It turned out that he was all correct! In gathering spinach, cut the stem making sure that it is near the base. Avoid cutting leaves from the center to encourage more growth of leaves. Take pleasure from your new found source of strength, spinach!
Lettuce anyone? Lettuce is the mainstay of veggie salad. That is why it is fitting to grow them first on your organic garden! In gathering lettuce, just cut off the leaves. When you see a lettuce leaf seeding, remove it fast because it can trigger other leaves to seed. You can never resist the palatability of fresh lettuce!
The crisp flavor of celery on soups and salads made this a favorite on organic gardens. You can already pick your celery after 85 to 120 days from planting. Celery will taste sweeter and crisper when you blanch them!
There is nothing more fulfilling than eating your home grown veggies! These veggies are all nutritious, scrumptious and delicious! You can now enjoy a hearty salad or soup or just even eat these vegetables raw!
Alas! The time of harvesting is already finished. You need to prepare your garden again for another year of planting. Preparation is very important. This is the time where you can correct the mistakes you’ve committed in the past months of planting. This is also the time to try other techniques in planting and decide on which methods to use. However, don’t be afraid of committing mistakes. Organic gardening is not just about producing the best harvest; it is also about learning and healthy living.
- Sit back, think and decide
Now is the time for you to assess your previous performance. Grab a pen and a paper and list all of the activities you’ve done which produced a good result while listing down the activities which produced bad results. Doing this, you would be able to evaluate everything. You can now retain the activities that produced worthy outcomes and you can do an alternative for those which brought bad outcomes. Then, decide on things that you can do for your organic garden.
- Garden Clean-up!
Cleaning up your garden is also important. You need to remove the stumps and left over from your garden. Eliminate the weeds. You can use spades and shovels to remove weeds and old root crops. Chickens are also helpful in removing perennial weeds. They will keep scurrying around your garden leaving your garden toiled in no time! Use rakes to remove masses of dead weeds and grasses.
Collect the dead weeds and vegetables and place them on your compost pit or bin so that you have something to use during planting. While doing this, don’t forget to place the newly collected dead weeds and vegetables on the bottom of the compost. This way, the bottom compost will be at the top which will be effective for better access when needed.
- Toiling the soil
After removing all the dead weeds and plants from your organic garden, it is time for you to toil the soil. Turn over the soil so as to make the soil at the bottom go over the top. This way, the nutrient enriched soil will be maximized by the next rotation of plants for the next season of planting. Toiling the soil will help in aeration of the beds. With proper air circulation, there will be proper drainage and proper absorption of nutrients from the soil.
- Amending the soil
After toiling the soil, you can now add amendments. Apply compost to your garden beds from your compost bin. Make sure that the compost is well mixed with the soil. This is to provide adjustments for the type of soil you have and to be able to add nutrients.
- Mulching the soil
You can also start mulching the soil. Put some dead weeds and leaves on your garden beds. Do this especially if you are planting during the cold months. Do this a week before planting as this will also help in preventing growth of weeds. Mulching the soil will help in trapping the heat on your soil which will encourage the growth of beneficial microorganisms from your soil.
- Securing your garden beds
Now that you are done with the soil, you should check for the durability and security of your garden frames. Make sure that the garden frames are still standing firmly. Make sure that there are no rotting frames, if there are, you may need to change it now so that there will be no need for tedious work after you’ve already planted on your garden beds. You must also secure the joints of the garden frame. Make sure that the joints are fastened tightly.
- Building trellis
If you are planning to plant vines, then you might as well start building trellises. Make sure that the trellises are strong and sturdy so that it can carry the heavy fruits of your vegetables. You can maximize your trees which can act as trellises however; you must consider that plants need sunlight. If you use a tree as an alternative for trellis, your vines might not receive the sunlight that they needed so much.
- Checking water irrigation system
Do not forget to check your water irrigation system. If you have a drip irrigation system, check for faulty pipes and clogs. Also, if you have an automatic controller, change the timer in accordance to the needs of the plants you are going to plant. If you are using a bucket and a dipper or even a watering can, check if these tools have holes.
- Keeping garden tools
Also, it is important for you to assess your garden tools. Check for any nicks and cuts. If needed, buy new ones. You may as well oil and sharpen your tolls every now and then and keep your tools in a dry and neat area so that you won’t have any difficulties with regards to rust and finding them. Your tools are considered as your weapons in the battlefield of organic gardening that is why it is very important for you to take care of them!
- Crop rotation
Crop rotation is used in acres of farm. It is a type of planting wherein they use different crops each season to plant. For example, farmers will plant corns for this season, on the next season, they will grow rice. This type of planting will encourage soil nutrient enriching. Growing the same crop every season will deplete the soil from nutrients. Applying crop rotation method would help in replenishing these depleted nutrients. Crop rotation is good for your garden too. You can utilize this type of planting to enrich the nutrients in the soil of your organic garden ensuring now healthy and productive yields.
Preparing for the next season of planting is important for your plants to maximize their full potential. Preparation is the pillar of the next season’s productive yields that is why it is very important. Give your best all throughout the season and your harvests will surely be the greatest!
All the best.
denny hemlin-doctor gardening