It is becoming more popular to avoid unnecessary chemicals, pesticides and other synthetic substances that stay in the vegetables regardless of how much they are washed.
Organic vegetables are those grown without the use of synthetic substances like fertilizers, hormones and pesticides.
You may ask, “How am I supposed to grow vegetables in my garden without fertilizing them and without keeping the bugs away?” Believe it or not, there are many things a backyard gardener can do to grow organic produce. It is entirely possible to grow a successful garden organically in your very own backyard.
The first thing you need to do when you want to start an organic vegetable garden is to pick a sight where the garden gets at least 6 to 8 hours of the sun’s rays per day. Without the sun, your vegetables will have a hard time producing fruit.
If you already have a garden in a sunny spot, the next thing you need is good soil. Those that have only rocky or clay soils might want to look into building raised beds in which to grow vegetables.
It is hard for roots of plants to grow around rocks or in clay and the raised beds allows them loose aerated soil. You don’t have to build raised beds for an organic vegetable garden.
If your soil is fertile, double dig or use a tiller to dig down about 8 inches to make the soil loose.
Your soil also needs to be well-drained so that no water puddles in your garden when it rains. To check the contents of your soil, which is essential in organic gardening, you must take a soil test.
Get soil test kits at your local nursery that you can perform right in your garden, or go to your local Extension Service and they will give you instructions and a kit that you bring back with soil samples and it is sent off for testing for a nominal fee.
Testing your soil gives you all kinds of information like what the pH of the soil is, what nutrients are prolific and what is missing.
Depending on the results of your soil test, you might have to add natural substances to your garden soil before planting.
Organic matter, including compost, sulfur or lime, is one of those things that will benefit your organic garden. It infuses the soil with all those good things that plants love to take up through their roots in order to stay healthy and growing.
Organic matter consists of leaves, grass, other plant matter, hay and more. If you are planning an organic garden, you better plan for a big compost pile too. They go hand in hand. Your nursery or extension service can help you decide what additives need to go into the soil in your garden.
Natural fertilizers are those made of natural substances. Make organic garden tea from fish and other green plants to enhance the garden or opt to use coffee grounds or egg shells. Natural pesticides might contain hot sauce, peppermint or citrus peels.
Don’t make the mistake of getting seeds or transplants from a garden center that are not organic in the first place because you are defeating the purpose of your organic vegetable garden. ONLY get certified organic seeds or plants.
Regular plants are usually already exposed to pesticides and fertilizers with chemicals in them. Organic seeds come from organic plants that have never seen synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. You also have to watch out for seeds that are genetically modified. Look for plants and seeds labeled “Organic”.
Pests And Disease.
It is more difficult to grow an organic garden in your backyard because you do not use synthetics to treat pests and diseases. Use companion planting to keep pests away. Basil grows well with peppers and tomatoes. It enhances the flavor and keeps certain types of pests away.
Many plants benefit each other by growing together and at the same time, some plants should never be planted near others because they will hinder their growth. Rotating crops is another trick organic gardeners use so that the soil does not become depleted of certain nutrients.
If you plant tomatoes in the north side of the garden this year, plant them on the south side next year.
Organic might not be as easy as using synthetic pesticides and fertilizers on your garden, but you know exactly what you are eating and what your children are eating. You aren’t putting unnecessary chemicals into the body through what you eat and you will probably stay healthier for it. You can have an organic vegetable garden in your backyard if you are willing to take the time and effort.