Growing an organic garden can be so much fun! From planting to harvesting, it’s a great way to keep your hands busy while also bringing some healthy natural food to the table. However, knowing where to start might be a bit of a challenge. So, if this is a project you would like to get started on, follow these helpful tips for growing an organic vegetable garden!
One of the most important aspects of organic gardening is crop rotation! This method involves changing what you plant in a particular area each year so that soil-borne pathogens or insects don’t have a chance to survive, affecting future crops. So, for example, if you’ve planted peppers every year for three years in a row in one part of your garden, it’s best to find another spot for peppers next year.
There are apps and even services that can help you track which fields are doing well for specific vegetables throughout the season! Just remember that different vegetables take up other nutrients from the soil, so planting them in an area where they’re not taking up all the nutrients will keep your soil healthy and enriched.
Keep Pests Away Naturally
One of the biggest challenges that organic gardeners face is how to keep pests away because pesticides aren’t an option. Luckily, you can take some natural steps to help cut down on these problems. First, make sure your vegetables get enough water (especially if they’re under-watered), as many insects will stay away from plants with moist soil.
You also want to avoid planting the same type of plant in the same spot every year since it makes it easier for them to find their favorite food! Furthermore, having deep beds will ensure that predators, like ground beetles and spiders, have plenty of room to roam around and hunt for pests without harming your vegetables or flowers.
Attracting Beneficial Insects
Just as there are pests that you want to keep away, there are beneficial insects that come in handy when it comes to pest control! Ladybugs, praying mantises, and lacewings are great examples of these helpers. In addition, of course, planting herbs like parsley and dill will give them a tasty snack while they work hard for your organic garden!
If you’re looking for an extra dose of help with these little guys, try setting up some bug boxes throughout the vegetable garden or even in your flower beds. Watching what becomes attractive to these homes can be fun, especially if you have kids who love bugs!
Build A Compost Bin
A compost bin is a great way to turn your kitchen and garden waste into a nutrient-rich addition to the soil. Just get yourself a large trash can, drill holes in the bottom, and add leaves or straw for airflow. Then get to layering! It’s best to start with the newspaper at the bottom to absorb any excess liquid from moist foods. After that, alternate between layers of fruits and vegetables and your grass clippings (for nitrogen) and dried leaves (for carbon).
Once you run out of room, use your shovel to mix up all of the ingredients in there! You may want to let it sit in there for about six months for everything to decompose before you add it to your garden (but that isn’t always necessary). Just be sure not to add any meats, dairy, or pet waste.
Water is, of course, essential for growing vegetables and flowers. However, if you’re using well or tap water (which may contain chlorine and fluoride), your plants can absorb those chemicals along with the water. This can be especially harmful to root crops like carrots and potatoes. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to run water through a filter before watering your veggies to make sure they get the purest source possible! You can also use rainwater that has already gone through an initial filtration by nature. This is especially helpful to those who live in dryer climates where there isn’t as much rainfall.
Customize Your Garden
One of the benefits of growing an organic vegetable garden is customization to suit your needs. For example, if you’re not too concerned about reaching high yields with your vegetables, try growing dwarf varieties and keeping them closer together so they’ll grow faster and give you more harvest per square foot.
If space is scarce, try using raised beds or even containers! Planning what each type of plant needs throughout the season helps you avoid common problems like under-watering or over-watering. Lastly, don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques! The worst thing that can happen is you end up with some extra compost in your backyard.
An organic vegetable garden can be a great way to have fresh food for your family or teach kids about the different stages of development. It’s also an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint and give back to nature. If you’re just starting out, try growing just one kind of plant first to see what works best for you. Then customize your space according to needs!