What is an organic vegetable garden?
Organic gardening is gaining in popularity and for good reason; you can harvest the crops when they are ripe instead of buying them at the store, when they are still green. Fresh home-grown vegetables always taste a lot better than the store-bought variety. Starting an organic vegetable garden can be a rewarding and fun-filled experience for the whole family.
You don’t need lots of space to start a vegetable garden, and you don’t even need to start outside. With a few containers you can easily make an indoor vegetable garden which is perfect if you live in an urban area where space is at a premium.
What is an organic vegetable garden? Simple, it is a style of gardening that uses natural fertilizers, soil and non-genetically modified seeds to create a sustainable garden. Basically this type of gardening does not use synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or pre-mixed soils. It uses natural techniques that have been used throughout the ages.
Here are some tips to help get you started in organic gardening.
1. Organic soil
The first thing that you will need is good soil that is free of contamination. Healthy soil is important because it will give the plants all the nutrients that they need, and healthy soil equals healthy plants that can fight off pests and disease better than unhealthy plants.
Start preparing the soil by mixing the organic fertilizer into it. This will give the soil the necessary nutrients that will keep your vegetables satisfied and healthy. There are many different kinds of organic fertilizers that you can choose from such as peat, worm castings, bat guano, manure, blood meal, bone meal, fish meal and humic acid.
If you are growing in containers, select soil that has not been altered by man, but rather choose soil that is unprocessed and has not been contaminated. Some soils have inorganic fertilizers added them and if you add your natural fertilizer to this you will get a concentration of nutrients that could kill the plants.
2. Heirloom seeds
Some seeds have been genetically altered to prevent them from lasting longer than a year, or to keep the plants from producing viable seeds for the next growing season. Needless to say these are the seeds that you need to stay away from since they have been altered by man.
The seeds that you want are heirloom seeds. This kind of seed is as close to nature as you can get. They are open pollinated which means that they have not been altered by man and that the seeds that these plants produce will be viable for generations to come allowing you to have a sustainable vegetable garden. Plant the seeds according to the instructions on the package.
3. Planting the seeds
Some plants grow well together because they have traits that are beneficial to each other. By growing this way the plants will help each other stay healthy and reduce the risk of an insect invasion.
Plants that grow well together include tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, corn and potatoes. Deciding what plants to grow is up to you.
Once the seeds have been sown the next step is to mulch the ground. Mulching does several useful things, it mixes the nutrients into the soil, helps stop erosion, keeps weeds from growing, and helps control and stabilize soil temperature.
There are several different kinds of organic mulch to choose from and they all have their advantages and disadvantages. It is important to choose the mulch that is right for your garden because different vegetables have different needs. Organic mulch include straw, leaves, burlap, grass clippings and newspapers.
5. Pest control
Some insects are friendly and some are not. Learning how to tell the two apart is an important step that you will need to learn quickly. Inspect your plants regularly for signs of an invasion. Acting quickly to kill the unwanted invaders can save and protect your plants.
There are organic pesticides available that are safer than man-made pesticides as well as many home remedies that can be just as effective. You can get collars for your plants that will help protect them from boring insects and worms. Crushed eggshells work well to keep slugs and snails away. Mixing equal amounts of garlic and chili peppers (around 10 to 20 cloves and 10 to 15 peppers) in a gallon of water provides and effective natural pesticide that can kill soft-bodied pests.
Learning to grow your own vegetable can be a fun and rewarding hobby that will benefit you and your family by producing great tasting nutritional food for years to come. An organic vegetable garden is a great way to reduce your grocery bill allowing you to save some money.