Organic vegetable gardening has become immensely popular recently because gardeners are trying to produce vegetable gardens that are eco-friendly, bountiful and most of all healthy. If you are one of those people who are thinking of starting an organic garden in your own backyard, then follow these 6 simple steps.
- Choose a spot that is free of grass and weeds, or alternatively you can pull out the grass if there is any. Some vegetables like to grow in the shade; however, most vegetables need to be exposed in direct sunlight to be able to grow healthily. Therefore, when the only vacant space in your backyard is shaded, then just grow plants that love the shade. Similarly, when your available spot is exposed to direct sunlight, grow plants that love the sun.
- Decide whether you will grow the plants in a raised garden bed or directly in the ground. Obviously, when you choose to have raised beds for the plants, you will have additional work involved, including constructing plant boxes and filling them with soil.
- Prepare the soil. Try to determine your natural soil’s composition. If you’re fortunate enough to have loam, you should be able to grow healthy vegetables without having to add amendments to make your natural soil richer for the plants to grow. However, there is a high probability that it is not loam with good proportions of sand, silt and clay. When this is the case, you may have to supplement your natural soil with organic composting matter and planting soil mixes. To make sure that the amendments you have added are evenly distributed, mix thoroughly using a shovel, hoe or mattock.
- Plan your plant arrangement. At this point, you probably have a list of vegetables you would like to grow. In considering plant choices, ensure you think about your garden’s size and the chosen plants’ care and support requirements. This will help you design a perfect planting arrangement for your chosen plants. Generally, all of the tall plants must be placed in the back of your garden plot so they will not shade the shorter and smaller herbs and vegetables. Some plants need much more room than others. They all start out small, but some can quickly take hold and take over your garden. Take note of the height and separation requirements for each plant so that they will have the best change of growing and flourishing in your garden.
- Manage the presence of pests. If you are growing organic vegetables, your choice of pest control must align with organic gardening standards, which means not using synthetic pesticides. There are many organic methods available to help with pest control, including crop rotation, keeping your soil healthy, using barriers such as netting or mesh, and traps such as the beer trap for slugs. You should remember that for your plants to grow organically, they will need pollinators like butterflies and bees. Therefore, if you will use chemical sprays to get rid of insect pests, they might harm the beneficial pollinators as well.
- Always apply mulch to achieve the desired natural soil moisture. Also, don’t forget to regularly pull out any weeds. The presence of weeds, especially if uncontrolled, will harm the plants since they will compete with your plants’ absorption of nutrients.
So by utilizing all of these 6 simple steps, you will be able to make an organic vegetable garden that is healthy, bountiful and eco-friendly. This growing trend of adapting a healthy lifestyle by growing your own fresh organic fruit and vegetables will be good for your health and for your wallet.