The modern world seems to have realized the results of using chemicals used for growing the food we eat. Every day there is something or the other discovered, which is used in plantation and is harmful for the human body. Hence, the need of getting in touch with the basics of organic gardening is called out for.
The main things one needs to consider in organic gardening are –
- The soil that is used for organic gardening. The soil needs to be rich in nitrogen and there should be natural ways of doing so. Any synthetic way of increasing the nitrogen level in the soil is prohibited in organic gardening.
- Clay soil is advised as the best by the experts in the organic gardening arena. The clay has better water retention and superior nutrient ability as compared to any other soil. In addition, you could any day add the natural composts clay to make it even better for organic gardening.
Soil though is the indispensable aspect of organic gardening but then there are other aspects that one can’t ignore while organic gardening. Some important aspects are mentioned below –
- The organic matter tops the list as this would make the soil rich. Conventionally this is done by adding synthetic stuff in the soil but then these chemicals are in the food that we eat. Hence, organic gardening would not use these but use the natural manure and fertilizers. There are natural once available in the market but there is so much organic matter that we have around us that we need not spend money to purchase the same. Decomposing leaves, meat left over, kitchen waste like the vegetable peals, the garbage dumped and which is decomposing , the pet manure etc are some example of free and natural composts or organic matter that would make your soil rich and your plants healthy.
- Pest control is another consideration. You can’t use the chemical sprays to get rid of the pets in your organic garden and even if you do, not only the purpose of organic gardening is failed but at the same time these pets would grow immunity to the chemical and continue to damage the plants. What you would need here is the natural way of getting rid of them. The natural ways would include – natural predators of the insects that are ruining the plants, you could use natural sprays available in the market or you could dilute liquid dish washer in water and spray. This is also a good pest control way. At the same time you need to ensure that the plants that are spreading the infection around should be removes as soon as possible from the organic garden. You also need to conserve rain water and use this water for gardening. One of the easiest way to save rain water is to use good quality rain barrels that can hold up to 55 gallons of water. We will discuss more on rain barrels later in this article.
- Selecting plants for your organic garden is the most basic thing that you need to start with. The organic gardening doesn’t mean that you could grow every thing and anything. In fact the plants that would suit the natural condition that is prevalent in you region should be your first choice as these would be easiest to grow and would have great produce as well. The others would need too much care and might disappoint you.
Using rain barrels to save water
Catching and using rainwater can be as simple as a single plastic barrel with a gravity feed to a flower bed, or they can be sophisticated systems that supply all your water needs. A rain barrel is a system that collects and stores rainwater from the roof, then dispenses it via spigot or hose. On average, nearly 30% of our daily water use is attributed to lawn and garden care. Based on these experiments and others, it appears that rain barrel water is safe to use on edibles, particularly if you adhere to some easy-to-follow advice to reduce exposure to bacteria and other contaminants. By collecting rain from a roof during wet months and storing it in a tank or cistern, homeowners can create an alternative supply that won’t tax the groundwater or jack up the water bill.
- Collecting rain is relatively simple and cheap, and it also sends a strong message about the importance of water conservation.Rain barrels can save an estimated 1,300 gallons of water for homeowners during the peak summer months. Because rainwater contains no chlorine, lime, or calcium, it is ideal for watering gardens.
- Collecting water from rain events decreases the amount of drinking water used to water plants and after all, clean, fresh water is a limited, precious resource!
- Unfortunately, some roofing materials—namely treated wood-shake roofing—release much higher levels of pollution than other roof types and are still too suspect to allow use of the runoff on food.
- And because rain doesn’t contain the minerals found n wells or the chlorine in municipal supplies, it’s ideal for watering the lawn, washing the car, doing the laundry, taking a shower—even drinking if it’s properly filtered.
- Additionally, because some cities or towns ban watering during times of dry weather, in certain places a rain barrel may be the only way to maintain a garden.
- The water collected from the roof can be laden with leaf litter, bird droppings (potential for bacteria), dust, other airborne materials, and chemicals from roof material.
But tests on the stormwater dripping from asphalt shingle roofs find that it’s remarkably clean. Rain Gardens, also known as bio-retention systems, mimic natural water retention and serve as a stormwater management feature, as well as a beautiful garden. The benefits to having a rain barrel are huge. It is best to use the water on inedible plants such as the lawn or flowers. To save a little water from going down the drain, Hungerford offers a simple, efficient, low-cost method for homeowners to collect and recycle water. They are low lying areas created to absorb, and filter runoff from roofs, driveways and parking lots. First, water in your rain barrel is not subject to community watering restrictions and has no additives like fluoride or iron to irritate your plants. The water can be used on vegetable plants, but to ensure safety, make sure to water near the base of the plant and avoid the fruit and foliage, especially on leafy greens. She suggests installing rain barrels, which are simply large containers that capture rainwater at the end of your downspout.
Rain gardens are planted with native plants adapted for high levels of water, which help to hold the runoff and filter pollutants while the runoff water slowly soaks into the ground. Second, your water bill will be smaller. According to Hungerford, a quarter-inch of rain falling on the average home yields about 200 gallons of water. Third, a rain barrel helps reduce problems associated with storm-water runoff. A rain barrel can be filled within a matter of minutes during a good rain.
Tips for organic gardening
Organic farming has become a runaway success, posting sales in the billions, showering eager consumers with naturally grown vegetables, fruits, and meats, and showing no signs of becoming a niche market again. n most soils, fertilizing your vegetables isn’t necessary, but it will help them grow faster and give better crops. Don’t know where to start? Dry your herbs at the end of the summer by tying sprigs together to form small bunches. Naturally, many people want to emulate that success in their own gardens.
- If you feed your plants, choose natural products.
- It is possible to hire someone to install and maintain a beautiful organic garden for you.
- Tie them together with a rubber band and hang, tips down, in a dry place out of the sun.
- But what strategies from a commercial farm will work in your backyard?
- Well-rotted animal manure from plant-eating critters (rabbits, horses, sheep, chickens) is a great source.
- But most of us can roll up our sleeves with a surprisingly small amount of effort.
Keep the bunches small to ensure even circulation. Here are nine suggestions organic farmers have for home gardeners. Or look for prepackaged organic materials online or at your local garden center. Remember, you can start small, even with just a single plant or two. Store dry in labeled canning jars, either whole or crumbled. Choose healthy plants and viable seeds to plant. Note: If you have rich soil already, you may be best off not fertilizing. Don’t worry if things aren’t perfect right away. Freezing is also a good way to preserve herbs.
If you begin your plants from seed, be sure to thin out the plants for optimal growth. When you encounter problems like weeds and you have no idea to take care of it. Much of the Smiling Gardener Academy goes into making great soil, but the basics of making good soil are incorporating a couple of inches of quality compost into the top few inches, maintaining a 2-4 inch layer of straw or leaf mulch (not bark, wood or stones), and providing adequate water. The main reason we garden is to be able to enjoy the fruits of our labor in the kitchen! If starting from purchased plants, be sure the plants are strong and healthy.
Seek help from an expert or research a little and you would have the answers. It takes years to build up good soil, so in the meantime while we’re starting a vegetable garden, liquid fertilizers are extremely beneficial. Since the beginning of agriculture, families have reserved a piece of land specifically for growing food for their own family. Choosing heirloom seeds and plants will allow you to save seed from one year to the next from the best of the season’s crop. Like for weed, you could pull them with your hands especially, when your organic garden plants are little.
My 2 favorites are sea minerals and fish fertilizer. These kitchen gardens, have always been close to where the food is prepared, and the produce and herbs have been gathered at their peak of freshness to be eaten immediately or canned and preserved for the winter. Once they are grown the weeds can’t harm them much as compared to when they are tiny. They provide a broad spectrum of nutrients instead of just the N-P-K of most conventional fertilizers. Proper information can save you a lot of labor and can offer solution. They are used throughout the growing season, often once a month.