The Basics of Organic Gardening

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to plant vegetables. But if you want to do this today, you are going to be assaulted with information about artificial fertilizers and toxic chemicals that many modern garderners use. If you want to do it the old fashioned way, which has been proven to be very effective, you need to get the basics about organic vegetable gardening first.

The first thing to know is: What exactlhy IS organic vegetable gardening?

Well, it is simply a way of growing vegetables and fruit naturally which does not use any synthetic products, including fertilizers and pesticides. In short, you work with nature to get what you want.

Choosing the right vegetable to plant depends on you knowing which ones are suitable to the soil and the climate. If you live in an area that experiences droughts, for example, concentrate on growing those that do not require much water.

Before you drop seeds into the soil, make sure that it is ready by tilling the land so it is clear of rocks, debris, and weeds.

The next step will be to prepare your soil by adding compost, bone meal or rock phosphate and greensand to the soil to supply it with nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. If the pH level of the soil is too high, add lime or sulphur to adjust it.

One more thing to do before actually planting the seeds is to apply some sort of organic fertilizer. You can use recycled leaves, grass clippings, coffee grounds, eggshells and kitchen waste which should be applied a month before planting begins. If you are really serious about having good plants, whether you are gardening organically or not, you might want to learn how to make your own compost.

Now, you are ready to plant your seeds. Each seed must be spaced by a certain distance so that the roots do not fight for water. In between each of the vegetables, you can often plant other things as well because the tighter the space, the lesser the chances that weeds will grow.

These are just the basics. You can learn more from a resource such as My Organic Food Garden, by Jeff Serland.

Pests are probably going to be the biggest threat to your organic garden.

To fight them off organically, you can use birds, frogs or other insects. You donít have to go out and trap or buy these creatures to fend off other insects. All you have to do is to create the ideal environment by putting a bird house or a small pond nearby or in the garden itself. Once they are in place, they will do the rest by patrolling your garden and eating those who seek to eat your crops.

Adding animal-friendly things such as these can also add to the pleasure you get from your garden. If you're having fun doing organic gardening, you might want to build your own bird houses as well.

Putting up a few barriers can also help keep some pests out of your organic garden. Row covers are help prevent moths from landing and laying eggs. You can also use sticky traps and foil collars to stop pests and borers.

There are even organic pesticides available. The drawback here is that some of them can only kill one or two kinds of pests. So, before you buy a particular organic pesticide, make sure you know what you are dealing with.

Crop rotation is a great way to preserve the fertility of the soil in your organic garden. After you harvest the current crop of vegetables, and prepare it so it is ready for planting once again, plant a different crop in the same place.

Anyone can learn the basics of organic vegetable gardening pretty quickly and easily have their own little farm in their backyard. It is a great way to have plenty of fresh, natural food which you can pick anytime you want. This is not only often more convenient, and less expensive, than buying from the grocery store, but lets you eat food which is better for you.

Is organic vegetable gardening for you?

It's hard to say, but perhaps so because there is a shortage of natural food right now and most of the vegetables imported do not use this technique, but are heavily laced with pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. The government has provided some incentives to farmers to shift to this method but its going to take more effort to persuade countries that do business with the US to do the same thing.

But, if you DO decide to get into organic gardening, nothing will replace the pleasure of tasting the first vegetable or piece of fruit you grew yourself.
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Page Updated 7:26 PM Saturday 11/9/2013