Are you looking to start an organic garden and grow your own food?
With this pandemic, there has been an influx of new gardeners in North America.
More time at home, and threatened food security means everyone wants to start learning how to grow their own garden.
It’s great! Gardening has many health benefits, from stress relief to healthier foods.
Gardening with Kids also helps your children learn to eat healthier. If you include them in your gardening adventure, they will be more likely to eat the food that they help to grow.
Starting an organic garden is not difficult at all. After all, all you really need is soil and seeds. Yet there are techniques that can ensure you have a more successful garden. Planting seeds and having nothing grow well can be very discouraging.
So why organic gardening?
They tips on how to start an organic garden will keep you from making common mistakes that beginner gardeners often make.
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1.Start With Your Soil
Did you know that there is a difference between dirt and soil? Dirt can be anything from sand to mud, but the soil is dirt that is filled with living microbiology that will feed you plants.
Just tilling up a strip of lawn and starting to plant your seeds will not guarantee you success.
For an organic garden to flourish, you will most likely need to amend your soil with compost, green manures, or animal manure.
What to Amend Your Soil With in Your Garden
Compost is a great soil builder, and can be bought in some cities. You can also make you own.
Green manures are plants that are grown for the direct purpose of working them into the soil.
Some examples of green manure crops are clovers, alfalfa, oat grass, and peas, or other legumes.
Depending on what your soil is lacking, you should add beneficial carbon back into the soil.
Manure from cows, horses, and chickens is a great soil amendment. Just be sure that it is well aged and decomposed. Also, don’t add too much or it will burn your plants.
If you are just starting to work your soil and want to plant right away, then I would suggest getting compost to amend your soil before planting.
If you are thinking ahead, and have some time, work your ground, and then plant a cover crop. Let this grow for a couple of months, and incorporate in into your ground.
2. Plant those things that you love to eat.
There are definitely things that are easier to grow than others, but when you are first starting out, everything is trial and error.
Beans and peas are very easy to grow, as well as root vegetables such as potatoes and carrots. Plant, weed, and harvest.
There are things such as tomatoes and peppers that often have more problems, but even these are not hard to grow.
3. After having planted your garden, wait.
If it’s too dry, water gently. Rainfall water is the best for a garden but if you do need to supplement, then go ahead with a sprinkler.
I start weeding about 2-3 weeks after I have planted my garden, although it might be different in your location.
I don’t start weeding as soon as weeds starting sprouting, but let them grow a bit.
The insects that come to your garden will eat your weeds instead of your tender young plants.
Beneficial insects come to feed on the pests that are feeding on your weeds.
See how that all ties together? You want the beneficial insects in your garden, and if they have a good food supply, they will come.
5.Be consistent with Weeding
After the initial weeding(which is usually the largest), I try to weed my entire garden once a week.
This helps keep the weeds at bay enough to keep you from getting overwhelmed, and gives the plants less competition for nutrients and moisture.
6. Harvest and Enjoy
Congratulations! You are officially a gardener and have gained a lot of new skills. Now eat and preserve your food as it gets ready, and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Learning to grow an organic garden and grow your own food is simple by following these steps.