There is nothing like being able to walk out into your yard and pick your own fresh, organic vegetables. I love tending to my own garden, preparing the soil, having fresh vegetables, and a healthy lifestyle. Organic gardening is a little different than traditional gardening and tending to roses, because it’s food. You need to be extra cautious with keeping the soil healthy, animals and pests out, and very well watered so you don’t lose your plants.
Organic Gardening Techniques
Below are simple steps to accomplish a beautiful organic garden.
Step 1: Preparing the Soil
The first thing you need to know is how to prepare soil. The dirt where the plants will be planted needs to be kept moist for when it’s time to incorporate the composted soil and plant your fruits and vegetables. Then you need to prepare the compost soil to get it ready for planting seeds and growing your new garden.
You can get a designated compost bin to add red worms for helping prepare your soil. I use whatever buckets I have lying around and the plastic containers my seedlings come in are perfect for collecting all of my kitchen scraps. Drop in any of your used tea bags, old coffee grounds, apple cores, orange and banana peels, leaves and twigs, etc. Keep it just slightly moist every so often and preferably outside to avoid smell or bugs that could intrude and be attracted to the organic matter you are storing.
Used coffee grounds are a great addition to garden soil in conjunction with the composting matter; but applied directly to the soil on its own, actually attracts microbial growth which can lower the nitrogen levels in the soil, rather than raise them. If you apply it directly after your morning coffee, be sure you are using a nitrogen rich fertilizer (like bat guano or poultry manure) to combat this issue. I also sometimes use nitrogen drops while watering from a watering can to help my soil because of the climate I live in and the dirt quality.
After a couple of weeks of the decomposing organic matter, add it to the garden soil and plant your seeds. You can purchase organic seeds or just plant any fruits and vegetables that are starting to go bad. I hollowed out my green peppers and planted the seeds to grow them and they are grown now. For papayas, I just tossed the seeds at the side of the garden. I tossed old potatoes and they grew extremely well in very little time in a big bin.
Step 2: Taking Care of Your Budding Organic Garden
Since pests love to invade and feast on your growing fruits and vegetables, and you want to grow the best produce possible, you need to keep the intruders out while nourishing your soil at the same time.
Epsom Salt is a great and very inexpensive home hack to provide your soil the magnesium it needs while also giving your organic plants safe, non-toxic pesticide protection. Here is a simple recipe to keep the unwanted invaders out and your plants growing healthy and fuller without harming your health:
- 1 Tbsp. of Epsom Salt
- One gallon or so of water
- Mix in easy pour container or spray bottle
- Spray weekly to keep bugs out and the soil rich
I have had bugs completely destroy my garden, flowers included; so in each hanging planter and garden area, I shook the Epsom Salt container all over and directly onto the plants and dirt; then watered as usual. After a couple of weeks, I had them sprouting again! I kept up with this routine and had no more problems. My green peppers are growing in very well — thanks to the magnesium boost and my flowers are stunning.
Step 3: Vegetable Protection
If your yard is open, you might want to build some extra fencing around or greenhouse style enclosure casings on the garden because animals love your organic gardening just as much as you do! I have had chickens and wild goats devour my entire garden in just a couple of hours.
I was really sad to go to bed late looking out onto my cherry tomatoes ready to pick in the morning, then waking up before the sun to go harvest the fruits of my labor, to find my whole garden eaten and a chicken family scrounging for leftovers still. Other than that you are ready to get started growing your own organic garden!
What’s your organic gardening technique?