Planning on starting your own organic garden? That’s good! Check out these tips before you start.
The right place. Find the right place for your organic garden. Ideally, sunshine hours should be taken into account. Six hours of quality sunlight per day should be enough. Choose the best side of your property to give your garden enough sun during the winter months. Also, make sure to pick an area that drains well. Remember, most organic vegetables and herbs garden don’t like soggy feet, they like well-drained soil.
Clean toxin-free soil. Your soil should be free of all toxic elements. How do you find this out? Have your soil tested either using a home test kit or by taking a sample of soil to your local garden centre. This can help you identify toxins as well as your soils pH and general health. You can then take steps to improve your soil so you can enjoy a fruitful harvest when the time comes.
Respect your back. If you have a bad back or want to avoid a lot of bending, build a raised bed with a wooden frame. Just make sure the wood you use has not been treated with harmful chemicals which could seep into your garden.
Clay can be a challenge. Clay delays soil drainage. If your soil contains a lot of clay and is very acidic, try adding lime to help break up the clay and improve the soil. Turning the soil regularly and breaking up the large clumps of clay soil is also important. A raised bed will help with clay problems as you’ll be building up your soil with compost and other nutrients to fill the wooden edging.
Know your plants. Of course, it’s pretty obvious that you should plant the ones you like to eat the most. But you’ll also need to find out which plants are best suited for the season you’re in. Depending on where you live – near the mountains or the ocean – the list of what you can grow may also differ. So visit the library, browse the internet or ask the friendly experts at your local garden centre.
Add mulch to the mix. Try adding some mulch around your plants at the beginning of summer. This traps moisture in the soil and is especially useful if your garden gets all day sun. It can also save you some time in maintaining your garden because it reduces the presence of weeds. Pea straw is a commonly used mulch that is easy to use.
I need space. That’s your plant talking. Read the instructions carefully when planting your seeds. They will need space in the near future once they’re full grown. No overcrowding allowed.
Don’t drown your organic garden. Watering is important and a must, but over-watering can be just as detrimental to your precious plants as under-watering. Automatic watering systems are a great way to keep your plants from drying out during your vacation or on those weeks that you simply forget!
Flowers not just for her (your wife or special someone), but also for it (your organic garden). Flowers attract a variety of beneficial insects which help to keep the pests out of your garden. Place them on the borders of your garden. Borage, calendula, marigolds and nasturtium are good examples. You can also include herbs like coriander, dill, thyme, fennel and chives which some pest insects don’t like.
Make your own compost. Composting your household food scraps is a good way to recycle them back into your organic garden. You can get yourself a no hassle plastic composting unit or if you’re more adventurous you can build your own compost bin. Just remember, your compost is only for plant scraps so this means – no meat, fish or dairy scraps. Otherwise your previously friendly neighbours might dis-own you! Compost enriches the soil and attracts earthworms which do a great job of keeping your garden happy and healthy.