Fresh air and sunshine bring along liveliness and vibrancy to your life. Being outside and spending time in your garden is an effective way, to not only improve your health but also to boost your mood and deal with day to day stress a person might encounter.
Gardening can make you feel like a better person as it plays an essential role to elevate the community services. In addition, it may lead to improved mental and physical health. Gardening is a lifelong activity with layers of experience, skills, and knowledge involved.
What is Organic Gardening?
A terminology that refers to the art of growing plants, vegetables, and fruits in the best way, without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers. This philosophy is more about supporting the overall health and stability of the whole gardening system.
Things “to do” when Preparing for an Organic Garden
- Test the soil
- Consider Vitamins
- Ensure there is adequate space for plants
- Work in the compost
Test the Soil
The best organic garden can only be prepared if the soil contains proper nutrition. Soil tests are essential to determine if any changes need to be made in the soil. Some standard tests that need to be conducted includes measuring the pH, salt content, nutrition and organic matter present in the soil.
To test the soil, you can either go for a “do it yourself – DIY” testing kit or send a sample to any local cooperative extension as they will also interpret the results for you. Therefore, going with a local cooperative extension would be more beneficial.
Fertilizers usually contain three nutrients– nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. Nitrogen is for the proper growth of leaves. Phosphorous enhances the color and fragrance of flowers or vegetables while potassium ensures that the stem and roots are well developed.
However, if they are present in excess quantity, nitrogen can make the plant weak and slow down the formation of the flowers or seeds. Byproducts of animal processing contain a high amount of nitrogen. Also, the shortage of phosphorous can result in poor growth of the plant. One of the most important things for your organic garden is to get all proper vitamins in the right amount.
Ensure that there is Adequate Space for Plants
If you decide to plant your plants, flowers or vegetables too close to each othe, this might have an essential impact on the productivity and health of the plant. To prevent any harm or illness to fruits or vegetables make sure that they have the required space for their healthy growth.
You also need to prevent some fruits and vegetables from coming in contact with the soil or foliage. To avoid this, use canes or stakes to support the netting.
Work in the Compost
Compost is a decayed organic material used for growing plants. The process recycles waste products and converts them into rich soil that is rich in nutrition. An organic garden does not have the benefit of synthetic fertilizer; the compost must be worked intensely into the soil – it would be much easier for the growth of the plant. Once the ground becomes loose, and the compost is thoroughly mixed in the soil, divide the garden into individual beds. The compost is essential for the organic garden, do make sure that you make accurate use of it.
Labeling your plants is vital because it helps to remember exactly what you planted. Installing plant labels or making a map of your garden for future reference can help with this purpose. Using the correct tags and markers can also make your yard look attractive, or you can also opt for creative DIY plant labels and markers that provide you with low-cost decorative options. Therefore, make sure that you use attractive labeling options to add to the beauty of your garden.
“Don’ts” for Preparing an Organic Garden
- Planting too deep
- Over or under watering
- Avoiding too mulch mulch
- Avoiding chemical-loaded water
- Putting off maintenance
Planting too Deep
In general, the seeds need to be planted at a depth which is about twice the width of the seed. Planting your seeds too deeply may cause the plant to fall over – results in lack of root development system.
To be sure about the depth of the seed, read and follow the instructions on the package. A gardener should know that the instructions on the box are not just mere assumptions but tried and tested methods.
Over or Under Watering
For the proper growth of plants, it is essential that you maintain a water level. Overwatering causes the roots to rot which makes the plant die as it becomes impossible for the roots to take in nutrients.
Underwatering causes the plant or vegetables to dry and wilt. Once the wilt gets too bad, no amount of additional water can save your plan. Underwatering also makes the plant less stable as the roots grow closer to the surface.
Avoid too much Mulch
Using mulch to cover the soil and retain moisture is a requirement of organic gardening. However, make sure that you use the right amount – too much mulch can be stifling especially if growing with seeds.
A thick layer of mulch, especially if using compost keeps the sprouts from reaching the soil, and your plant might die — avoid too much mulch!
Avoid Chemical Loaded Water
Also, to monitor the components used in the fertilizers, gardeners also need to make sure that you follow the elements of water supply.
If the water contains too much chlorine or any other harmful chemicals, not a good idea to apply this water to your garden. You can either go with rainwater or let chemical treated water to air out before using it to plants.
Putting Off Maintenance
A common mistake that gardeners make is that they put off maintenance in their gardens. Also, watering regularly, you also need to focus on weeding and feeding plants.
The larger the weeds grow, the less nutrition your vegetables or plants will get and more enormous weeds have a more developed root system which means that pulling them out might also be a hindrance to the roots of vegetables and plants. So, it is better to pull weeds while they are small; not disturbing your rooting system. Regular maintenance can help you have a better understanding of such issues.
An organic garden is quite distinct from a typical garden and might even require more work especially on flower and vegetable garden, as compared to a conventional garden. The benefits associated with an organic garden are very high in the long run.