Not only are organic fruits and veggies better for you, sustainable organic gardening is better for the earth, too.
And, there isn't a more tasty or inspiring way to enjoy fresh, clean, nutritionally-dense vegetables and fruits than with your very own organic garden.
Ready to get started?
What is Organic?
Organic gardening is a method of growing fruits, vegetables, and even lawns, flowers and ornamental shrubs, without the use of pesticides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, or genetic modifications (GMOs).
This not only reduces most of the health risks associated with conventional growing techniques, it also improves soil quality and yes, in many opinions, even makes fruits and vegetables taste better.
Choosing Your Site
When it comes to where to plant your garden, not just any old spot will do. For instance, while there are shade-friendly veggies such as kale, lettuce or herbs, most plants need around 6-8 hours of sunlight each day.
You also need to be in close proximity to water and storage for gardening supplies, and be sure no tree roots are running through your garden. That's because they take valuable nutrition away from your veggies!
But, even if you don't have a lot of room in your yard, container gardening works quite well, and containers can also be moved with the sun, if you're in an area with limited direct sunlight.
The Right Soil is the Right Stuff
Next, healthy plants need healthy soil, which should be rich, loamy, and drain well so your plants can establish strong root systems. This means composted soil which you can even create on your own, with a compost pile. While this task does take time, organic soil can readily be purchased at most garden centers, and home improvement stores.
Rotation, Rotation, Rotation
Another important aspect of keeping your garden healthy and productive is crop rotation. Since different plants take up different nutrition from the soil, continuously growing the same crop in the same location will deplete the soil of these nutrients.
For instance, while corn takes up a lot of nitrogen, beans produce it, which annually swapping their locations can cause a balancing effect.
Your Garden is Hungry - Thirsty, Too!
As mentioned above, composting is an outstanding source of the type of rich, loamy, nutritionally-dense soil that will keep your garden healthy and productive. It takes time though, as does the entire gardening process, though opting for organic fertilizers and plant foods will help speed things up.
You should also be in the habit of checking the soil for moisture before watering, since too much water can be as bad as not enough. Do this by inserting your finger an inch or two below the soil surface, and if it feels moist, watering is most likely not needed.
Another important part of watering is to avoid watering the plant leaves, and avoid watering later in the day and after sunset. Wet leaves or plants overnight can lead to disease and fungus to form. Invest in quality watering tools, such as a Ray Padula hose nozzle, garden hose, and water wand to make watering your garden an easy task. You can also set up a sprinkler, and attach a timer to your faucet for automatic watering.
There are a couple of other things to be aware of, such as mulching to help limit weeds and to retain water. It is also important to remove any diseased or dead plants and sanitizing any garden tools that may have touched them. You will also need to control pests, such as slugs, tomato worms, and aphids, which can be done in a variety of ways - organically!
For instance, chickens love to eat snails and slugs, and paper wasps can be used to control cabbage worms. If nothing else, hand-picking pests such as tomato worms or snails also works quite effectively, and gives you even more time in your garden to enjoy its soothing environment, which, by the way, is even better when you're barefoot!
That, and there's no better way to say "happy spring!" to the neighbors than by showing up with a bounty of fresh produce you've grown and simply couldn't eat all of yourself. Bon appetite to all!
This post is provided for informational, educational purposes only. This information is intended to provide general guidelines. Because tools, products, materials, techniques, and local codes are constantly changing, Ray Padula Holdings assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information contained herein and disclaims any liability for the omissions, errors, or outcomes of any projects or tasks completed. It is the responsibility of the reader to ensure compliance with all local laws, rules, codes, and regulations for any projects completed. If there are any questions or doubts regarding any elements of any information provided, consult a local, licensed professional.