Various marketplaces are making it increasingly harder to stay informed about what is in their products. Consequently, many shoppers are taking steps to better control where their food comes from. One great way to take matters into your own hands is to start your own organic garden. Whether you have a small patio or a large yard, here are a few tips for getting your hands dirty while harvesting tasty produce free of chemicals and genetically modified ingredients.
Preparing Your Soil
Experienced organic gardeners understand that successful gardening without chemicals starts with the quality of your soil. The most common problem for gardeners is soil that doesn’t drain properly. Consider adding items like perlite, mulch or sand to loosen your soil which will supply the plant with only the required amount of water. Regardless of soil structure, it’s important to add rich organic matter like compost and worm castings as a source of important nutrients in your soil. If you have extremely difficult soil, consider building raised beds where you have complete control over its makeup. If growing in pots, make sure you choose a potting soil, as the mix is better suited to a pot’s unique growing conditions.
Organic Weed Control
Whether growing organically or not, weeds are a serious issue. Weeds compete with your garden for water, sun and nutrients. As an organic gardener, you won’t be able to turn to traditional chemicals to help, but there are different methods in controlling these nuisances. One of the cheapest options is simply pulling weeds as they pop up. Installing a breathable weed block fabric below a layer of bark mulch can make keeping your weeds under control even easier. If you don’t want to spend money on weed block, consider laying down natural cardboard under mulch that will block the weeds while breaking down and feeding the organisms in your soil at the same time.
Natural Pest Control
Along with weeds, developing a pest control strategy is essential to a successful organic garden. Combat bugs like aphids and tomato worms by hand picking, spraying with your hose, or with natural spray products like neem oil. You can also rely on natural predators like birds, predatory insects like ladybugs and lacewings, or netting when it comes to squirrels or other mammals that can feed on your garden.
While it can feel challenging, when your harvest begins, you’ll be glad you joined the club alongside the many other successful organic gardeners around the world. Click here for more information on how to start your organic garden today.