People have become more health conscious nowadays. With increasing awareness on the harmful effects of “modern food” to our health, people have turned to organics. However, organic vegetable garden produce can be very expensive compared to those that are conventionally grown. Hence people are encouraged to cultivate their own organic vegetables.
Gardening by itself is a very engaging hobby. For a gardening enthusiast like me, the garden is a world of wonder and a confirmation of life’s miracles. Even solitude spent in a garden brings me so much joy. When I want to relax, I head off to my favorite seat near my upside down tomatoes and read a book.
I loved gardening even as a kid. Living in an urban area means limited space yet I always had some pots for my favorite tomatoes, bok choi and sweet basil back then. My mother used to tell me home grown vegetables taste better than those bought from the local stores. I didn’t understand it fully then but I do agree with her. Now that I have come to know organic gardening, I appreciate her wisdom better.
It is easy to get overwhelmed with concerns like soil condition and how to ensure that your vegetable seedlings come out strong. But starting a home garden is not as difficult as you think. However, you need to learn some basic things in order to start right. So here are some tips:
Choose your organic vegetable garden location
There are three things that you need to consider in choosing the right location for your organic vegetable garden. These are sun, water, and wind. If you will be growing plants that need direct sun exposure, make sure that you position your garden to take full advantage of the sun. Study your ground’s topography and see if there are areas that gather water and make the soil sodden. Lastly, make sure your plants are not exposed to high winds. Your vegetable seedlings may not grow well in conditions like this. Consider putting up a hedge or shrubbery in order to temper the effect of the winds.
Know your soil
It is important to assess your soil to know what needs to be done to make it perfect for your plants. If you are planning to do a double dig, you need to have your soil tested. You can also opt to do it yourself by digging a 12–inch hole and see if your soil retains its shape when a slight pressure is applied. This is an indicator that your soil is in good condition and that air and water can freely rotate. This is crucial in organic gardening as your plants need to grow strong roots to search for nutrients. Otherwise, it would be good to consider a raised bed for your vegetable garden. To improve your soil, you can add compost made from your kitchen and garden wastes. As personally observed, vegetable seedlings really grow well in a mixture of soil and compost.
Get the best organic planting materials
Your vegetables start from seeds then grows to become vegetable seedlings. You can choose to plant your seeds indoors and transfer the organic vegetable garden seedlings later outside. A lot of gardeners prefer this method as it is easier to care for your vegetable seedlings indoors. There also those who choose the direct seeding method. If you opt for this, make sure that your seed bed is well conditioned and not directly exposed to sunlight. Vegetable seedlings are still fragile and needs to adapt to the environment slowly. Use organic seeds to make sure they are chemical free and not genetically modified. Those that come from conventionally grown plants are loaded with synthetic fertilizers, fungicides and other seed treatments that are harmful to our health. Furthermore, organic seeds adapt better to organic gardening conditions.
Learn about companion planting
Some plants thrive better when they grow side by side with other plants. Companion planting principles are used by some gardeners as it is believed to aid in pollination, pest control and better yield.
Watch out for any pests and diseases
And do you know what? Bugs are really fond of vegetable seedlings! When you notice these problems, act immediately. Just like human health, garden pests and diseases are easier to deal with when arrested immediately. Also, you can use home-made organic pest control to eliminate the bugs. My favorite is a mixture of chili, garlic and water. Simple to make and effective!
Organic gardening is fun. It engages the senses and makes you appreciate nature. It is good exercise and is therapeutic. It gives you time to think and commune with yourself. And the perk? You and your family get to eat the fruit of your labor – safe and healthy organic vegetable garden vegetables.