Organic vegetables are very tasty and healthy. Now imagine harvesting almost half a ton of these wonderful, beautiful, and organically grown vegetables from your own backyard? If you want to grow your own, there are easy tips and tricks to do just that.
Start Small: As a beginner, you should start small. For instance, starting with 50 square feet is advisable. A lot of beginners try to start out too big and they end up becoming overwhelmed and frustrated. To this end, starting with a small patch of land for your organic garden is very important. You can grow a lot of vegetables in 50 square feet.
Build Up The Soil: Expert gardeners advise beginners to build up the soil before planting any vegetables. A deep, organically rich soil will promote the growth of extensive roots that can reach more nutrients and water. This will result to a lush, productive growth above ground. You can build up the soil through these methods:
- The basics of cultivating good soil include integrating a couple of inches of high quality compost into the top inches, preserving a layer of straw or leaf mulch which is about 2-4 inches. In addition, adequate water must also be provided.
- Another option is to make raised beds. This is a great way to get loose, fertile soil and it allows you to plant more seeds. Raised beds use less space for paths; thus, you will have more room to grow your plants. In addition, this method also saves you a lot of time. This is due to the fact that the plants grow close together which prevents weeds from growing. This means you won’t spend too much time weeding. Lastly, since the plants grow close together, watering and harvesting becomes more efficient.
Choose The Right Plants: It is recommended to buy most of your plants, especially if you are a beginner in organic vegetable gardening. Look for plants that are raised without chemical fertilizers and pesticides. You can go to your local farmer’s market since they may have native plants and different varieties that are suitable for your location. In addition, choose plants that are less susceptible to pests and diseases.
- Sweet peas
Organic Fertilizers: In deep, rich soil, fertilizing your vegetables won’t be a necessity; however, fertilizing your plants can help them grow faster and yield better produce. If you need to fertilize your plants, you should choose natural products. For instance, you can use well-rotted animal manure from plant-eating animals, such as rabbits, chicken, and horses. You can also look for organic materials online or at your local farmer’s market.
Pest Control: Controlling the pests in your garden is very important once you plant your seedlings in your garden. There are natural and safe techniques that can keep your organic garden pest-free without the use of harmful pesticides. Here are a few methods:
- Hot caps: You can protect seedlings by giving them a boost with these waxed-paper domes. Put hot caps over your plants to protect them from most insects and bugs.
- Companion Planting: This is a very common and effective pest control technique. You will need to plant specific herbs and flowers near your vegetable garden to keep pests away. These companion plants can also help certain vegetables grow and yield more crops.
- Beneficial Insects: These insects are nature’s natural pest predators. Ladybugs, ground beetles, praying mantis, and lacewings are some of the best beneficial insects you should attract in your garden. These insects hunt and eat harmful bugs that can damage your vegetables. You can attract them by planting nectar-filled flowers or you can purchase them from garden supply stores.
- Pepper Spray: You just need to grind hot pepper in the blender and add water. Spray the mixture on ripening vegetables and fruit to keep pests from feasting on them. You will need to reapply the spray after rain.
- Peppermint Oil Spray: This has the same effect as a pepper spray. The strong scent of peppermint can deter rodents. Again, this pest control solution need to be reapplied after rain.
Proper Watering: Of course, you need to water your plants to help them grow. You should water your plants in the early morning. This is when the winds tend to be cool and there are no strong winds; thus, the water won’t immediately evaporate. As a tip, you should water newly planted areas every 2-3 days. During spring, water less often, around 1-3 times a week. Deep but less frequent watering will encourage roots to go down.