how to start an organic garden
There you are bringing home a new plant, you’re full of hope and promise. You feed and nurture it but after a while you notice the leaves are turning brown and crispy. Let’s look at a few reasons this could be happening to your plant Growing an organic garden isn’t only trendy, but has amazing positive impacts for your health. Growing your own organic food tastes better and it’s more nutritious, plus it offers bragging rights at your next potluck. Growing an organic garden means that your fruits and veggies will be free of harmful chemicals found in common pesticides, herbicides and even fertilizers. Sounds great, but you’re not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered with these 8 simple steps to getting your own totally organic garden.
test your soil.
Getting a soil test is easy, and can help you understand what you’re working with in terms of acidity, pH levels and texture. Once you know what you’re working with you can start to add whatever nutrients are lacking.
Whether you have a yard or not starting a compost pile is a must! Compost is an excellent way to make your own slow-release plant food. It’s rich in micronutrients that encourage happy plants by building soil fertility. Compost can improve any type of soil without using any chemicals.
use organic seeds.
An organic garden isn’t just about your soil being free of chemical pesticides, it’s also about the types of seeds you use. Some seeds get treated with chemicals. Be sure to double check your seed packets, it should say whether the seeds are chemical-free. If you’re using transplants, try to get your hands on ones that are organically raised. Word to the wise – most commercially grown plants are doused in chemicals to keep them looking nice and free of pests.
practice good garden hygiene.
Some diseases spread quickly from plant to plant. If you notice one of your plants is looking sickly, make sure you remove it immediately. Cleaning up debris, throughout and at the end of each season, is helpful to prevent pests and fungus that could hide out over winter.
rotate your crops.
Don’t grow the same plants over and over in the same spots. By rotating your plants you can prevent your soil from being sucked dry of the same nutrients year after year.
Some pests can be picked off by hand, but others may need more help. Row covers and cutworm collars help to keep bugs from attacking small crops. Sticky insect traps are excellent allies when it comes to attracting and catching bugs too. If little creepy crawlies make your skin crawl, you can try (gently) knocking them off your plants and into a container of soapy water.
Try to get out to your garden every day and check for any warning signs. Take a look under leaves for eggs or signs of pests and remove them quickly. Daily checks can help you stay ahead of any problems like brown edges, white patches, curling, and yellowing. Plus, you’ll feel more connected to your garden and nature.
get rid of tempting chemicals.
If you have any leftover chemicals, dispose of them through your city’s hazardous waste collection day. Be strong and step away from the spray!
Building your first organic garden isn’t hard, so don’t give up if it’s taking longer than you thought. Be patient, feed your plants, and think “green”.
Instead of row on row on row of the same plants, organic gardens tend to practice crop rotation. Some plants do well when planted with other specific veggies.