How to start Organic Garden ?
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- In simple terms, Organic Gardening could be describe as growing in harmony with nature, without using synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides or other such products that upset the balance of the ecosystem.
- For farmers or commercial growers, however, it can be quite complex.
- Following the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) began setting national standards for food that could be label Organic whether it is grown in this country or import.
- New federal programs came into being, charge with making sure that agricultural products label as organic originate from farms or handling operations certify by a State or private entity that has been accredit by USDA.
- The regulations were fully implemented in 2002.
- Organic gardening is more than simply avoiding synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.
- It is about observing nature’s processes, and emulating them in your garden as best you can. And the most important way to do that is to understand the makeup of your soil and to give it what it needs.
- If anything could be called a rule in organic gardening, it’s this: feed the soil, not the plant.
soil for organic gardening
- To feed the soil, gardeners must restore the resources their gardens consume, by adding organic matter.
- That includes adding compost, and possibly growing cover crops – so call green manure that are till back into the soil.
- You can use compost as a replenishing additive, to make both clay and sandy soils more plant-friendly, or as mulch on top of your garden beds.
- Compost is the microorganism- and nutrient-rich soil produce from the aerobic decomposition of organic matter.
- The garden itself is the source for many of the ingredients in compost, including grass clippings, plant waste, and shredded leaves in fall. You can also add kitchen waste such as vegetable and fruit scraps and peelings, coffee grounds, eggshells, and dead houseplants to your compost pile, and, if you wish, chicken, cow or horse manure.
- A water-loving plant situate in a hot, dry spot may survive with a lot of help from you, but it will be constantly stress.
- That’s not emulating nature’s processes.
- Plants that aren’t already stressed are better equipped to withstand insect infestations, too.
- That doesn’t mean there won’t be damage to your plants.
- Organic gardeners generally allow for a certain amount of pest damage, because they understand that they are all part of a natural system that includes wildlife – even bugs.
- Many organic gardeners find that they can keep damage to an acceptable level by checking their plants regularly for early signs of trouble.
- Some insects can be control just by hand-picking.
- Potato plants, for example, can be defoliate by potato beetle larvae, but Burgee horticulture manager Bill Rein reports that walking through your potato plot once a week can solve the problem.
- Just turn over the leaves to check for bright orange larvae, and pinch off the leaves on which you find them.
- Dispose of the leaves safely (not in the compost pile).
Preparing the Soil for Organic Garden
- In order to get the best results with your new organic garden, you’ll want to make sure the soil is properly condition.
- You have to eat, and so do plants, so make sure your veggies get lots of fresh nutrients.
- Healthy soil helps build up strong, productive plants.
- Chemical soil treatments can not only seep into your food, but they can also harm the beneficial bacteria, worms, and other microbes in the soil.
- The best way to gauge the quality of your soil is to get it tested.
- You can get a home testing kit, or better, send a sample to your local agricultural extension office.
- For a modest fee you’ll get a complete breakdown of pH and nutrient levels, as well as treatment recommendations; be sure to tell them you’re going organic.
- Typically, it’s best to test in the fall, and apply any organic nutrients before winter.
- Manure should be compost, unless you aren’t harvesting or planting anything for two months after application.
- Preferably, get your manure from local livestock that’s organically and humanely rise.
Watering for Organic Gardening
- The best time to water plants is usually in the morning.
- Mornings tend to be cool with fewer winds, so the amount of water lost to evaporation is reduce.
- If you water in the evening, plants stay damp overnight, making them more likely to be damage by fungal and bacterial diseases.
- Ideally, you want to water the roots, not the greenery, which is easily damage.
- A drip or soak system can work great, or just carefully water the bases of plants by hand.
- Most experts recommend substantial, infrequent watering for established plants, typically a total of about one inch of water per week (including rain).
- One or two applications a week encourages deeper rooting, which promotes stronger plants.
- To avoid shocking tender greenery, try to use water at or near air temperature; collected rainwater is best.
Organic Gardening Tips
- If you cannot use finish compost for a while cover the pile with a tarp to avoid leaching the nutrients out of the compost.
- Companion planting is an excellent way to improve your garden.
- Some plants replenish nutrients lost by another one, and some combinations effectively keep pests away.
- Dry your herbs at the end of the summer by tying sprigs together to form small bunch.
- Tie them together with a rubber band and hang, tips down, in a dry place out of the sun.
- Keep the bunches small to ensure even circulation.
- Store dry in label canning jars, either whole or crumble.
- Freezing is also a good way to preserve herbs.
important organic gardening tips
- Water in the morning to help avoid powdery mildew and other fungal diseases that are often spread by high humidity.
- The longer the growing season the more compost is needed in the soil.
- A longer growing season requires more nutrients and organic matter in the soil.
- Attract ladybugs to your garden with nectar-producing plants such as parsley, dill and fennel.
- Coffee grounds make excellent mulch around acid-loving plants.
- In general, thinner leave plants need more water to stay alive, thicker leave plants need less.
- Make compost tea by mixing equal parts compost and water and let it sit.
- Pour this liquid directly onto the soil around healthy, growing plants.
- Dilute this to 4 parts water to 1 part compost for use on smaller seedlings.
- Any compost that has not gone into solution can be use to make more tea or use in your garden.
- New beds require plenty of compost, soil amendments and double digging for that extra kick.
- When watering, try to water deeply and thoroughly.
- Frequent, shallow watering train your plants to keep their roots near the surface, making them less hardy and more likely to suffer when deprived of water.
- Once a seed sprouts it must be kept water.
- If it dries out, it dies. If seeds are lightly cover with soil, they may need to be gently sprinkle with water once or twice a day to keep them moist.
- A garden soil that has been well mulch and amends periodically requires only about a 1 inch layer of compost yearly to maintain its quality.
- For an organic approach to pest control, build up your soil to encourage beneficial microbes, other soil microorganisms and earthworms.
- Healthy soil means healthy plants that are better able to resist pests and disease, reducing the need for harmful pesticides.
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