Anything can be easily learned today when you have the internet at your disposal. You do not have to attend seminars or workshops to get essential organic gardening tips. It is so heartwarming that people write articles to share what they know, including facts about gardening or farming with the use of natural ways.
When you want to do natural and chemical-free farming, organic gardening tips tell on how you can start and prepare your soil. This is followed by advices on the use of inputs that will make your plants grow robust. The gardening tips do not end here because you can find vital data on how to maintain your natural garden.
Before you start your project of organic gardening, have you understood what this is all about? The term organic tells you that your method is done in a natural way when all the materials used in growing the plants have no chemicals in any part.
Organic gardening tips on how to start building the garden
In as much that you are new to the organic gardening venture, it is best to start small. The small size may be subjective as the chosen size may not apply to anyone in the start-up stage. So let us define this parameter by stating that starting small is using a 50 square meter garden. The reason why you have to start with a small size is to be able to cope with the demands of this organic gardening. Would you believe that a lot of people who started with too big size of garden end up quitting? Thus the organic gardening tips start with the advice that you have to start small. In addition, you can plant multiple kinds of vegetables in the small sized lot.
About the plants, would you like to start with seeds or with seedlings? Different organic gardening advices will have differing opinions.
But my recommendation if you will be tending vegetable plants is for you to go the direct seeding to the soil method. This happens to be the cheapest and easiest way. Transplanting seedlings can be problematic. The best tip when you will apply the direct seed method is to choose the plant that will mature within your desired season.
Soil, sun and water as initial inputs
The soil is not really an input; rather it is a medium in which you plant your vegetable seeds. Next on the organic gardening tips is to prepare your soil. If it is an ordinary kind, it may not be an organic soil which means that you will not be going the natural way. Learn to convert the conventional soil into organic soil. Your gateway is the use of compost. Incorporate the compost into your earth, 2 to 4 inches of mulch or compost will do.
Sun is a very important input as its heat will make your plant become nourished. The nutrients in the soil are never enough. The plant has to make its own food via photosynthesis. One of the most common organic gardening tips is to plant your crops in an area where it will be able to receive 8 hours supply of sunlight per day.
Another input is water. With the amended organic soil, moisture will not give you a big problem. The soil additives will help in water retention or water dispersal. These soil textures are changed into a good kind because you have converted your soil into an organic kind. Thus, it is no longer a big issue if your soil is clay-like or sand-like.
Making the vegetable plants grow
Plant maintenance refers to making your vegetable plant grow healthy. In traditional farming, you apply fertilizers at certain point. When you are into natural gardening, you do not need to apply the NPK commercial fertilizers anymore. Your compost takes charge of this plant need. The brown and green materials in the compost provide the needed macro and micro nutrients.
Microbes are essential constituents in organic farming. The different organic gardening tips deal on how microbes are handled when you are a vegetable organic garden beginner. Your organic gardening tips will tell you that the microbes are as important as the nutrients in your organic soil.
What organic gardening tips should you be familiar with when you want to set up an organic vegetable garden? You start with determination of the size of your garden. Then you consider the plants and the planting method. This will be followed by lessons on the soil, sun and water inputs. Finally know from the tips how you can make the plants grow robust.
When you engage in gardening, know that the soil has a very important role in growing any kind of flora. And today when we are more conscious of the harmful effects of chemicals, we indulge in organic gardening where we shift to the use of organic soil. Indeed the seeds or seedlings and proper maintenance are important in plant growth but there is nothing as important as the contribution of natural soil.
Before you spend lots of bucks in picking the seeds, seedlings and other inputs, take a look first at the ground where your plants are supposed to grow. If the kind of soil is not at par with the organic kind, your gardening may not stand a chance of being successful. You will be wasting all the money you have invested in the other gardening components.
What is organic soil?
Organic soil is an amended earth that contains a combination of decayed organic matter, right pH level, oxygen, mineral, micro-organisms and water, things that are put together to ensure the natural growth of plants. There are many kinds of organic soil such as potting soil, backfill soil or soil for growing vegetables and fruits. Each kind contains ingredients that are certified to be truly all organic. No chemicals are found in the soil and even the control of pests is done in a natural way. Instead of the usual chemical fertilizers, the soil is amended with compost that comes from organic sources like manure from organically-fed grass animals. It has the right pH balance and nutrients and when it comes to appearance, this soil is moist, dark and fragrant.
Soil additives – the organic types
The ordinary soil can be turned into an organic kind through the right soil additives. The additives are mixed into the soil up to a depth of no less than 6 inches; the deeper the better. The additives will improve the physical attributes of the ordinary soil to become more fertile. In addition the additives will aid in water retention, aeration and soil structure. Because of the changes due to the additives, the roots will be able to go deeper to penetrate under the soil to obtain optimum amount of air and moisture.
The additives are organic meaning they come from organic plants and animals. This is in contrast to the inorganic additives that are mined like lime, gravel and sand. The most common additives that amend the earth into organic soil are plant materials and manure of grass-fed animals. These are aged and composted then added to the soil to improve fertility and soil texture. Bear in mind that when you amend your ordinary soil into an organic kind, there are things to consider. For instance, take note of additives that contain high salt concentrations because salt build-up can be harmful to some plant species. Furthermore, if the compost had not been heated to the right temperature, weed seeds and human pathogens are not eliminated and would also be harmful to good plant growth.
Effectiveness of soil made into an organic kind
Why is it better to use organic soil? The act of soil amendment increases the nutrient content of the earth. It improves soil drainage and resistance to harmful pathogens. The soil is healthy with a layer that detoxifies the earth against pesticides and other chemical gardening inputs. The decomposing organic matters deter pest infestation.
To sum up the effectiveness, organic soil as it is nutrient-rich brings out the best in plant growth. Organic farming is not only good for the farmer but beneficial too to the consumers and environment as well.
Gardeners before had been used to improving their soil through commercial chemical fertilizers. However, several years ago, men had become too conscious about the findings on the adverse effects of chemical on men. That started men’s switch to the use and consumption of organic goods and foods. That also paved way to awareness on the use of organic compost as better alternative to chemical fertilizers.
In the past few years, people who want to implement organic farming way merely use animal and plant manure as organic or chemical-free fertilizers. They also do home composting. Today, organic compost is already sold commercially to compete in the fertilizer market with the traditional chemical fertilizers. You buy compost in bags or if you need more, you buy truckloads from waste disposal companies.
What is an organic compost?
Doing composting in your own home for your backyard gardening is one of the best things you can do for your environment. You convert the wastes into something useful. The process is so easy that any homeowner interested in composting is able to do.
What is compost? This is just a mixture of different decaying matter. It is organic in nature as it consists of wastes and manure from plants and animals. Its main function is to improve the structure of soil so you mix it with your soil.
Production of organic compost is a process of reducing wastes up to a point where the wastes could no longer be broken down any farther. It is a natural process that is easy to learn.
What materials are eligible for composting?
The materials for composting consist of the browns and the greens.
• The browns include dead leaves, branches and twigs, straw, hay, dead flowers, wood chips and shredded newspapers. These are carbon-rich materials.
• The greens include grass clippings, fruit and vegetable waste, kitchen refuse, coffee grounds and animal mature from grass-fed animals. You do not include manure of carnivorous animals because these can contain pathogens that can post danger to plant growth. The greens are nitrogen-rich materials.
These two are the basic materials for composting. However, you need water also which is moisture that aids in the breaking down of the organic greens and browns. You also need some garden soil for the layering.
How to do composting
To start the composting process, you have to build a compost pile. Try to allocate a site in your backyard that is at least 3 feet long and 3 feet wide. Or you can also use a container; some use a container that is specially designed for this purpose.
The first step is to spread a several inch layer of dry brown things like straw or dry leaves on the area where you are supposed to build the pile. Place several inches of green materials after which you add over this a thin layer of soil. Add another layer of brown materials then moisten these three layers. Continue this process of layering until your pile is about 3 feet high. If your materials are not enough to reach 3 feet, just let it stand there until you are able to collect more to reach the required 3 feet high. In the layering, pay attention to the proportion of brown to green which is 3 parts brown to 1 part green.
With a shovel or garden fork, you will have to turn the pile every two weeks. You move the materials at the center of the organic compost to the outside. Then the material outside should be turned to the center. Do this every couple of weeks ensuring that you are keeping the organic compost materials damp or moist. After some time, you will notice the presence of earthworms in the pile. The organic compost materials will turn crumbly, sweet smelling and blackish in color. When there appears finished compost in the pile, you can shovel it and use. With the materials that had not fully decomposed, you can start creating a new pile.
In making your organic compost, you should see to it that you adhere to the proportion of the browns to the greens. Too much browns will bring out too much carbon that will make the breaking down of materials too slowly. Too many greens on the other hand will produce excessive nitrogen that will bring out bad odor. In the organic compost, carbon provides the energy for the microbes while the nitrogen provides protein.