There are a lot of reasons to grow your own food organically. Organic gardening practices boost the nutritional value of the crops you’re growing helping to improving our own health by avoiding the consumption foods exposed to chemicals and pesticides. It also is positive to the wellbeing of our environment, by avoiding the use of toxic chemical products we protect the soil, waterways, insects and wildlife.
While it may seem like organic gardening requires a lot more time and effort to upkeep than your ordinary vegetable patch, with just a few key practices and considerations you can easily help support your home garden to flourish and support itself.
Here are our top tips for helping your Organic Vegetable Garden thrive:
It all begins with soil quality.
The first step to building an organic garden is setting up a bed of soil that supports the growth of your chosen crops.
By starting with a nutrient-rich and high-quality soil, plants will be able to draw important vitamins and minerals from the soil into its foliage and fruit. Natural and organic fertilizers (like Native Neem Neem Granules or Seaweed and Neem tonic) can be purchased from local garden stores, or homemade utilizing kitchen scraps and green waste for example.
Soil should also be worked to gently loosen soil particles. With the right soil consistency, air will be able to circulate adequately, moisture can effectively drain and plant roots can easily establish.
Composting at home.
Composting is a great way to replenish the nutrients in your garden. It’s eco-friendly and low cost by utilizing your kitchen scraps, organic plant materials and other green waste from around the home and garden.
Using a compost bin or backyard put, you can easily compost at home. There are different methods and types of composting, like hot or cold compost.
Hot composting utilizes heat to speed the rate of de-composition by influencing the beneficial microorganisms responsible for matter decay.
Cold composting methods involve using collected garden and food wastes, arranging them in layers in a bin or pit. Over a few months to a year, all of the organic matter will decay and resemble a similar look to soil. Ready to be used to condition the garden.
Organic garden mulching.
Another way to strengthen the health of your organic garden is to protect soil and plants from the elements. When exposed to harsh weather, soil may clump together as moisture is lost, or becomes heavy and water-logged. Mulching can help retain soil moisture while at the same time providing a sort of insultation to plants against frosty temperatures.
The process of mulching involves adding layers of organic plant matter (like fallen leaves, grass clippings, bark, straw and paper or cardboard) around the base of plants you wish to protect.
Mulching can help lighten the load of gardening chores like weeding as the mulch helps to prevent weed overgrowth and frequent watering, as the soil retains moisture for longer. There’s also no need to have to pay for collection or dumping of garden debris from around your property.
Eco-friendly pest control.
Hungry critters find our homegrown fruits and vegetables as delicious as we do, keeping them away is a job all gardeners can relate to. Thankfully, there are may ways of eliminating and keeping the pests at bay naturally, without having to resort to using toxic chemicals.
First step is to learn what time of pest is inhabiting your garden, then find the appropriate method of elimination.
For example, our favourite ways to keep slugs away from leafy produce is by using slug traps dug into soil, scattering broken eggshells around the base of plants or dusting soil with a covering of Green Tradings Diatomaceous Earth.
Native Neem’s Neem Insecticide is a natural and safe way to rid the garden patch of pests that feast on plant leaves. It’s simple to use, just dilute with water and spray onto foliage. Once pests consume the sprayed leaves, it will impact their ability to grow, reproduce and/or cause them to die.
Native Neem’s Neem Granules are an effective pest deterrent, effective when scattered on top or lightly dug into soil top layer.
Planting certain types of plants in close proximity to one another can have many benefits to your organic garden. Companion plant pairs can help to deter pests, minimize the spread of disease and even enhance the flavour of certain vegetables.
For example, basil and tomatoes planted together can help ward off hornworms on tomatoes while also enhancing tomato flavour. Rosemary when planted near cabbage can help deter moths that like to settle into vegetables and spread throughout the garden. Chives and carrots also pair well together, helping to repel aphids and improve carrot flavour.