Organic Vegetable Garden Tips
By guest writer, A. L.
Looking for organic vegetable garden tips?
Creating your very own organic vegetable garden isn’t hard, and for those who love the taste and crisp of freshly harvested vegetables, growing your own is an obvious choice.
The first thing that you have to consider when starting out is the space you will be using to grow your crops. It doesn’t have to be too large. For those living in apartments or have no access to a yard, you can still grow your own vegetables in pots, either hanging off your balcony and window sills, or just indoors. There are many options, and you will quickly see how easy it is to make your own organic vegetable garden flourish.
The two biggest organic vegetable garden tips are to do with soil and the relationships between your plants.
Organic Garden Soil
Let’s start with the garden soil. Use organic garden soil.
If you are growing your vegetables outdoors, you want soil that is well drained and “alive”. Well-drained soil means that there is no chance of standing water anywhere in your garden and that everything drains well within several minutes of heavy watering.
To have soil that is “alive” means that it has not been stripped of its nutrients. The practice of raking leaves means that the garden soil is not being fed by the nutrients from the decomposed plant parts. To solve this problem (i.e. to keep your garden clean at the same time as you keep the soil “alive”), you can buy compost to replace the valuable nutrients in your soil, or organic fertilizer. Alternatively, you can make your own compost. Spread it on top of your soil in spring.
Beneficial Garden Creatures
Another important measure of soil health is earthworm activity. Turn over some dirt and observe. If after a couple of tries you find at least one earthworm, you should generally be quite happy – your soil is in good shape. However, if these beneficial garden insects and creatures are missing, you can go to the store and actually buy yourself a small bucket of earthworms to release into your garden. Keep these friends happy by watering the soil regularly.
For indoor growers, the organic vegetable garden tips would be to get your soil from a nearby nursery. There are a lot of varieties available. Check for natural ingredients, and buy local varieties whenever possible to reduce carbon footprint of transportation.
Relationship Between Plants
Another extremely important organic vegetable garden tips to keep in mind is to take note of the relationship between different plants. Sadly, this tip doesn’t get mentioned very often. Throughout the many years that agriculture has existed, farmers have noticed something really important – plants form symbiotic relationships with one another and this in turn increases the yield of crops.
When you first start planting your seeds, it is important to read up on the conditions – amount of sunlight, shade and water needed – for the seeds to sprout. After these basic steps, the symbiotic relationships in your garden should be considered for an optimal organic vegetable garden.
The most basic organic vegetable gardening tips on symbiotic relationship is about space. Certain plants have deep roots, while others have shallow systems.
A simple example of this is the carrot and the green or white onions. Carrots have roots that penetrate deep and require relatively larger space for optimal growth. Onions, on the other hand have shallow roots, and can thus be planted beside carrots with no harm to the former. Such garden space optimization can help you yield more crops.
Another symbiotic relationship to keep in mind is Nitrogen fixation. Some plants specialize in retrieving this valuable nutrient from the air and soil, while other plants require more of it but yet can’t get it themselves. Legumes like beans are great at fixating Nitrogen and when planted beside Nitrogen-hungry vegetables like broccoli, a relationship is optimized and harvest is enhanced.
Keep in mind another important one of the organic vegetable gardening tips: pest control. There’s no need for anything unnatural when you know about the beneficial symbiotic relationships that exist in nature.
Tomatoes, for one, release a smell that cabbage-eating caterpillars don’t like and are therefore a great companion to have with cabbage crops. Overall, by planting a variety of species within your organic vegetable garden, you will optimize the organic garden pest control that each plant offers to another, and enjoy a pest-free garden, the organic way.
Get Your Hands Dirty
The best of the organic vegetable garden tips one can ever get is this – get down on the ground and work with your hands. Get close to your plants. There’s a lot to learn from them. Try keeping a journal to note down your experiences – it will grow with time.
The most rewarding experience is to harvest your own crops and enjoy the knowledge that these vegetables were loved and cared for during their growth and that they were raised in a pure, organic environment.
Start today, plant some organic garden seeds and get your first organic harvest under way!
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