Tips for Organic Vegetable Gardening
Organic vegetable gardening is easy. But to help you, here are some tips you should know.
#1 – Choose what to Grow
The most important thing is to decide what you want to grow. There are many vegetables you could grow but keep in mind that certain vegetables cannot be grown in every climate.
Start by figuring out what vegetables you and/or your family enjoy eating. Choose those that are well adapted to the soil, temperature, and growing season in your area. Sun and shade exposure can also be factors.
If you live in an area where droughts are frequent and you cannot water, make sure you are planting drought resistant vegetables as these don’t require as much water to grow.
#2 – Plotting your Space
You should determine how much space you have. This will make it easy for you to plot on a sheet of paper the layout of how you want your vegetables to grow.
With the list of vegetables you have chosen to grow, plot out where each will be planted keeping in mind leaving adequate space between vegetable rows or hills.
#3 – Mulch your Vegetables
You should mulch your vegetable garden with organic material. Recommended mulch can be made from food waste, dead leaves or grass and manure. This helps conserve water, adds humus and nutrients as well as discourages weeds from growing.
Aside from compost, you can also use natural fertilizers and organic material to help the vegetables grow. These materials also encourage native earthworms that are nature’s tillers and soil conditioners.
The best part is that you don’t have to use much mulch because 85% of the vegetable’s roots are found in the top 6 inches of soil.
If you decide to buy vegetables that are grown instead of using seedlings, most of these come in plastic containers. Be careful when you remove them so you avoid tearing the outside roots especially if these have grown solidly inside the container.
#4 – Protect your Plants From Pests
The biggest threat to your vegetables are pests. Insects, birds, and frogs are can help aid in the removal of vegetable pests, so make sure to setup an environment that is friendly to these. If your crops have been infected though, spray infected stems and leaves with diluted soapy water and then clear water. This is a very effective natural way to rid your garden plants of pests.
Believe it or not, only 2 percent of the insects in the world are harmful. This means the rest are beneficial. Some examples of these include ladybugs, fireflies, green lacewings, praying mantis, spiders and wasps since they eat insects that try to eat your vegetables. Another thing they do is pollinate the plants and decompose organic matter.
#5 – Remove your Weeds
Don’t forget to remove weeds that come up in your garden. By monitoring you garden, and with a little bit of time each week, you can simply pull these out by hand. Another option is to spot spray. One natural herbicide that kills weeds is full strength household vinegar.
#6 – Practice Crop Rotation
Practice crop rotation. Basically this means to plant your crops in new places each year. If you plant cucumbers in one area of your garden this year, plant them in another area next year. This will make sure that the soil is always fertile.
When planting new vegetables, avoid regular deep cultivation as this will damage the roots, dry out the soil, disturb healthy soil organisms and bring weeds to the surface that will soon germinate.
If you follow these tips, you will surely be able to have a successful organic vegetable garden. Depending on your climate, you can plant and harvest them all year round so you don’t have to buy these goods from the supermarket anymore.