Last Updated on August 16, 2022 by Real Men Sow
Organic gardening is a great way to grow food and connect with nature. It is also a great way to save money on groceries. Here is a guide to organic gardening to help you get started.
It is an enriching experience to grow a garden. There is nothing better than seeing seasonal flowers bloom outside your windows or going out to your backyard to pick fresh herbs and vegetables for dinner. Gardening is more than just fun. It’s also good for your health. Gardening has many health benefits, but organic gardening is even better.
It’s good for you and the environment. Organic gardening means avoiding pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, which can be harmful to the environment or the people who come into contact with them. It’s more than just replacing chemical products with natural options. Organic gardening focuses on nurturing and harnessing healthy soil to create gardens less prone to disease and pest infestations.
You don’t have to be a gardener expert or a novice. However, you may need to change your approach when you start an organic garden. With a little knowledge and preparation, you can be set up in no time. These are our suggestions for how to get started.
How to Guide to Organic Gardening
Organic gardening is a great way to get fresh, healthy produce without having to worry about harmful chemicals. If you’re new to organic gardening, though, it can seem a bit daunting. Here’s a quick guide to help you get started.
Learn about your local climate
The first step is to research what type of climate you live in. Are you in a hot and humid climate? A cold and snowy climate? A dry climate? Once you know what kind of climate you have, you can begin researching what type of plants will thrive in your area.
Locate your local plant RHS hardiness zone
The plant RHS hardiness zones reflect how cold each region gets in winter (as measured using the average annual low temperature). Each zone is given a number, and the map is divided into 10-degree zones. Your number will allow you to select perennials that thrive in your region and avoid costly gardening failures.
Find out your local frost-free day.
This is the date you can expect frost in the area. This data can be found by calling your local extension office. It is essential to know the frost-free date to plan your garden. You don’t want any plants or tender transplants to be planted until you have experienced no frost. The average frost-free date in your area will be later than the historic last frost date. The average date is a good guideline, but the actual last frost date will be your best option when you are trying to plant summer transplants such as tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers.
Ask experienced local gardeners.
Experienced local gardeners are another great resource for learning about your local climate and which plants (and varieties) grow best in your area. You can also find Master Gardeners chapters in your area if you don’t have any friends who are gardeners. You should be aware that not all gardeners in your area will use organic methods. You might need to adapt their methods and advice to fit your garden.
Selecting Guide to organic gardening site
The most exciting part of creating an organic garden is choosing a site. There is nothing more exciting than choosing a place in your yard to plant a garden. These are the key considerations when choosing a garden site.
It’s likely that the garden site you choose will be easily accessible from your home. You should consider how easy it will be to access your garden if you have a larger home. Your organic garden spot should be visible from home or near your daily commute. Your garden will be more visible during your day, so you’ll notice when to water, weed or harvest. It is also a good idea to have your garden spot near your garage or tool shed.
Unless your garden is specifically designed to be a shade garden, ensure that you get at least six hours of sun each day.
While it may not be possible to make a choice, it is a good idea to at least check the soil in your planned garden site before you commit. You can compare two properties to determine which one has deeper and better soil.
This is essential for almost all living things. You should ensure that your garden site has water access. This could be via a spigot, a nearby water source, or a stream. Also, consider the moisture and drainage of your chosen area. It may not be suitable for common garden plants to thrive if the garden spot is too low and collects puddles after heavy rains.
If you can, avoid choosing a site for your garden that is likely to get windy. If this is not possible, you can plan to build or grow a windbreak.
Get to know your soil guide to organic gardening.
When choosing plants for your garden, it is essential to consider the climate and conditions of your location.
Check To Make Sure You Have Enough Soil
Yards with poor soil tend to be the most difficult to maintain. This is especially true if the house was built within 50 years. It is common for builders to add too much topsoil at the end to allow grass to grow. Also, it tends not to be compacted. Her advice? She advises, “Go outside and see if you are able to pierce the soil with a shovel.” You should add material to your soil to make it more porous before you start an organic garden. Ellen suggests a mix of 60% compost (not manure), 30% topsoil and 10% peat moss. Raised beds can also be an option. Ellen says that raised beds are a great option for suburban areas. They make it easier to maintain the garden’s edge.
Determine the type of soil you have
Many types of soils include loam, clay, and sand. Do the squeeze test to determine which type of soil you have. Loamy soils are ideal for garden plants because they contain the right amount of clay, silt and sand. If you do have clay or sandy soils, you can amend it with organic soil amendments such as compost.
Get a soil test
Next, you will need to test the soil on your garden site. The basic soil test is relatively inexpensive and will give you information about the soil’s pH and other important nutrients like nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus.
After receiving your soil test results, talk to your local extension agent or the facility that performed the soil test to find out how to best organically amend your soil before planting. You should mention that you prefer to use organic fertilizers such as compost, bone meal and manure over synthetic fertilizers.
Planning Guide to organic gardening
After choosing a site and familiarising yourself with the soil, it is time to create a plan for your organic gardening.
- Start by listing the plants that you want to grow in your garden. This could include tomatoes, basil, and even zinnias. Consider creating separate lists of annuals and perennials to ensure that you can plant them in different areas in your garden.
- Next, create a map of the garden site. You can scale the site by using graph paper. You should consider how you intend to arrange the beds in your garden. This could be a grid layout or raised beds.
- You should mark the location where you plan to plant your crops. Also, note how much space each one will take up. To determine the space required by each plant, we recommend that you consult an organic seed catalog.
- Create a planting plan. Use the seed catalog to determine which plants should either be transplanted or started from seeds. These dates are usually for annual plants in a spring or summer garden and will correspond to your local frost-free day. Order seed or purchase transplants well in advance of the planting date. Organic seed and transplants are best to ensure your garden’s integrity. Avoid GMO seeds and plants.
Get ready for the ground.
Preparing the ground is a must at least a few weeks before you plan to plant your organic garden. This will be necessary if you are starting a new garden.
You should make sure you include any organic soil amendments that you intend to use. It’s always a good idea for organic compost to be added. The top 8-10 inches should be covered with soil amendments. For the next spring, prepare the ground by covering it with straw or plastic tarp.
Time to plant
Start laying out the seeds and transplants using your garden plan. Follow the schedule you have created. Make sure to read the instructions on the seed packets and the informational tags included with transplants. This will ensure that everything is planted correctly according to spacing, depth, water requirements, and sun exposure.
Some plants are more sensitive to drought than others. However, all plants need constant watering to thrive. Different plants require different amounts of water. You should water your plants regularly, especially in the dry, hot season. To encourage roots to grow deeper, you should water less often and more deeply. It is a good rule of thumb to give your garden plants 1-2 inches of water each week, regardless of whether it comes from rainfall or intentional watering.
Avoid overhead watering, if you can. Wet leaves can cause disease. Water in the morning rather than during the hottest hour of the day. The second best option is to drink water in the late afternoon.
Drip irrigation is a good option. It is a bit more work and cost-intensive than traditional drip irrigation, but it will be worth it if you want to grow organic gardens. Drip systems reduce the labor involved in watering and provide water to the roots. This helps to reduce disease.
Management of weeds
Organic gardening does not require using chemical herbicides to manage the inevitable weeds that will grow in your garden. You’ll have to use other methods to keep the weeds away . These are the main strategies used by organic gardeners.
- Mulch is a great way of preventing weeds from growing in the first place. Mulch is a great weed control strategy for perennial plants and ornamental trees, as well as for fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplant.
- You have another tool in your arsenal when it comes to controlling weeds in your organic garden . All you need is a few elbow grease and the right tools, from gloves to wheel hoes to flame-weeders to hand and wheel hoes. Make sure to weed early and often. Baby weeds are easier to manage than their fully grown counterparts.
Management Guide to Organic Gardening pests and diseases
Plant diseases and nuisance insects are a part of gardening, even though they can be frustrating. There are many options for natural pest management and disease control.
Manual removal of pests
This option is most suitable for pest problems that aren’t quite out of control. Play a game with Japanese beetles and okra, and remove tomato hornworms and zinnias.
Manual removal of diseased crops
If you notice any signs of disease in your crop, it is a good idea to remove the affected parts or plants. Make sure they are removed from your garden and compost pile. This will prevent the disease from returning next year.
Choose from any number of DIY pesticide recipes or deal with problem bugs and diseases in an environmentally-friendly manner.
Organic pesticides and other disease control products
There are many commercially-available pesticides and other disease-fighting concoctions which are organically certified. Check out the online catalogue or ask your local garden centre.
You can create barriers to keep larger pests out. Depending on your location, you might have to deal with deer, rabbits and groundhogs. There are many options to deter unwanted garden pests.
Integrative pest management
This holistic approach to managing pests and diseases is more proactive. This system requires gardeners to do everything possible to make their gardens less inviting to pests or diseases.
The more you plant, the greater your harvest. This Guide to organic gardening will help your family eat organic food and learn natural gardening practices. Some of these may seem expensive or time-consuming, but you can make them work for you.