For most of us, the thought of growing plants in a garden without the use of any chemicals may be a little too ambitious. A lot of people would like to grow and eat home-grown fruit and vegetables as much as possible; however, it is not always as easy as you may think to gather all that is needed, including the plants to be grown, compost, soil, fertilizer, containers, hoses, etc, etc. You will also have to have the willingness and patience for watering, weeding and occasionally getting dirty and muddy.
There is a lot to consider when you are just starting your organic garden. Among the many essential things to be planned and prepared is the plot. First of all you will have to decide where you want to grow your garden. If you are surrounded with a vast amount of land, you may have many options. However, if what you have is a small concrete space in your backyard, don’t be too concerned; you can still have your own organic garden. There are many options available to suit all budgets, locations and desires.
This is often the most ideal technique because you may not need to buy soil or containers. Growing plants straight into the soil has many benefits, with the most notable being that plants have direct access to organisms that are needed to keep your garden nourished. In the ground are earthworms and micro-organisms that work together to breakdown organic matter into the nutrients that plants need to grow and flourish.
Soil is typically made up of a mixture of varying amounts of compost, clay, silt and sand. Almost all backyards have a soil composition ratio that favors one component heavily; like a soil that is made up of 80% clay. You may choose to not change what is already available; or you can enhance the over-all soil by adding a soil conditioner to improve its physical qualities. Soil conditioners that are commonly used include compost, manure, coffee grounds and peat, and can be found online or at your local nurseries. Use a hoe, mattock or shovel to mix the compost or conditioner into your soil well.
When you do not have a backyard, make use of containers instead. This can be a great option if you have very limited space, or all concrete in your backyard. Almost all vegetables grow fine with this method except asparagus and root crops. Squash, lettuce, beans, peppers, green onions, and tomatoes grow well using containers. Containers and pots can dry out very quickly in warmer conditions, so managing your watering is critical, especially in summer months.
Raised bed gardens are a very popular choice for many gardeners. They are recommended when you do not have enough soil to construct in-ground garden beds (for example, if you live on very sandy soil, you may want to install raised garden beds and fill the beds with good quality soil to give your garden the best possible conditions to allow your plants to grow). Make your plant bed in whatever shape you’d like, by using stones, untreated woods, and bricks to create your desired garden bed border. Just remember not to build the bed too wide, because often you will have to reach across to the middle part of the bed to attend to plants that were placed there; if it’s too wide, you won’t be able to reach! The depth of the bed you decide on will vary depending on a few different factors, including the underlying soil condition and the type of plants you are planning on growing. This is important to consider as you have to allow the plant’s roots to grow freely.
Preparing your garden plot is essential in organic gardening. Different types of locations, crops and conditions require different planning and preparation; hence, you should plan well in advance. However constructing, growing and finally eating your own fruit and vegetables is a very rewarding experience, and is well worth the effort.