Planning to grow organic food in your backyard? Here’s how you can go about it.
Most of us have planted a seed in a cup of dirt, watered it, and watched it grow and bud. But creating a garden that produces healthy food and flowers for all seasons is not a basic thing to do, especially for those who do not know gardening.
Before you’re all set to create your own organic garden in your backyard, you will need the essential tools that will successfully help you maintain it. Some of these tools include a trowel, hoe, fork and a spade.
No matter who you are or where you reside, an organic backyard garden can help you have a productive vegetable garden, that can be done all by yourself, even by busy families. All you need to do is to use raised beds, weedless soil, and with a thoughtful use of limited space, you can grow healthy and delicious vegetables.
A 2012 Census conducted by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) stated that 0.7% of the number of farms and farmland acres grow organic plants, of which 16,525 farms were classified as organic.
If your planning to start your own organic backyard garden, a raised bed option of building it from the ground is best suggested. Building a raised bed is a good idea if your soil is poor or doesn’t drain water well.
A raised bed is a container that’s filled with organic soil and is made from wood, stoner or metal. This is a slightly expensive approach and requires planting seeds manually. But it is best suited for an organic approach.
If you’re looking to use natural soil instead of a raised bed, then you will have to deal with a problem of sod. Sod is an extra layer of grass grown over natural soil, and if you are planning to use your backyard for organic farming, you will have to extract the sod and check if the soil is best suited for the purpose. This is time-consuming. Rather, you can opt for a raised bed which will serve the purpose of organic farming.
An organic garden will need a minimum of six hours of sunlight each day. You need to determine where your organic garden would be to determine the actual ratio of sunlight required for the purpose.
In case there is minimal sunlight, you will have to ensure that your garden gets half sun for 2 hours, is considered as one hour of full sunlight. Based on the ratio of how much sunlight your organic garden requires, you can categorize it on the basis of half sun, or full sun and thereby calculate it on the basis of 6 hours of sunlight.
You will have to draw a blueprint of how your garden needs to look and what type of plants does it need to inhabit. To do this, you will have to get familiar with different edible crops and their survival in terms of space, water, soil, fertility and soil temperature.
It is suggested that you sow some fast-growing vegetables like spinach, baby leaf lettuce, pea shoots etc. This will take at least 4-5 weeks for you to consume it. After you’ve plucked their leaves, you can leave one or 2 plants to flower.
In order to speed up the process of growing organic vegetables, you can pre-germinate the seeds using coffee filters or tissue papers by putting it in unzipped plastic bags. Pre-germinate can be identified as the process of a seed sprouting. Here are some steps to know before you sow an organic seed:
You will encounter a battalion of pests that will storm into your organic garden no matter what. All you need to do is to fight it without the use of chemicals. Learn how to fight against garden pests using these simple tips:
Colors like yellow, light blue, white and red can be used to attract different types of garden pests. A sticky trap can be placed on the sides of the raised bed that will act as a defense against pests.
The climate in your area will affect the type of plants that you prefer to grow organically. You will have to choose plants that will fare well in your area’s climate. Plants that require a different climate may only grow with the use of chemicals and pesticides.
If you live in a cooler area, it may be difficult to grow certain plants like tomatoes and tender fruit, because these plants are grown in a warmer area. Spring grains and crucifer crops can be grown in cold climatic conditions.
During winter perennial fruit plants, as well as winter cereal and forage crops (animal fodder) can be grown, but it depends on the severity of your area’s winters. Select plants that could reasonably survive given your area’s climate.
If you are a gardening enthusiast, you’ll need to get your gardening spirit out by planting, trimming and cleaning out raised beds used for your organic garden.
Spend a few hours cutting perennials, fruit trees, trimming shrubs, and sowing. You need to focus on improving the soil by adding organic matter that will improve its structure and increase water-holding capacity.
A few inches of organic matter added to the soil will help it supply all the nutrients that these plants need for a faster yet healthier growth.
Organic matter comes in different forms. Here are different types of organic matter that will help you determine which of it best suits your organic garden:
Compost is the process of decomposing organic matter and converting it to peat. This process recycles various organic materials (waste products) and produces a soil conditioner (compost) that’s healthier for growing and consuming plants.
It is considered rich in nutrients and can be used in gardens, landscapes, urban agriculture and organic farming. The compost is beneficial as a soil conditioner, fertilizer and acts as a natural pesticide for the soil.
Microorganisms that do the work of breaking the ingredients into compost can be added to the pile of compost and this will act as natural pest controllers who will save your plant from any sort of disease or infestation.
Composting requires four main elements, i.e. water, air, living plant materials and dead plant materials. The dead plant materials provide carbon that’s necessary for the process of composting, while the live plant materials provide nitrogen. Some of these materials are dried leaves, pine needles, newspaper sawdust etc.
Avoid composting weeds or diseased plants since you might spread weed seeds to diseases when spreading your compost. Simple, don’t make your compost contagious for your dead plants.
A mushroom compost is an organic fertilizer for your plants that are made by mushroom growers using organic materials. Hay, straw, corn cobs poultry or horse manure are used to naturally create a mushroom compost.
The major benefit of using mushroom compost is that it is inexpensive, enriches the soil, and supplies nutrients for healthy growth of plants.
It also increases the water-holding capacity in the soil, thereby decreasing your use of more water. Most importantly it is most suited for all garden plants. To get the best results from organic gardening using mushroom compost, you will need to mix it in the garden soil before you sow seeds.
Organic manures are natural products used by agriculturists to provide food for the crops they harvest. There are a number of organic manures like farmyard manure, green manures, compost prepared from crop residues and other farm wastes, and oil cakes that are used as organic manures.
Organic manures are different from that of fertilizers that it contains different amounts of plant nutrients. Organic fertilizers are derived from animal excreta, human excreta and vegetable matter.
Instead of burning leaves, recycle them naturally by turning them into an invaluable soil builder. Leaf mold greatly improves the structure and water holding a capacity of the soil.
It also builds perfect conditions for the community of beneficial organisms that dwell in your soil. Leaf mold for organic farming can be used in several ways in your garden.
You can dig or till into your garden beds to improve soil structure which will thereby hold water under it. This will help you save water, as water retention will help nurture the soil, helping the plant to grow faster and healthier.
All of us want to gain the highest yield of yield fresh and healthy food from the seeds you’ve sowed. But when it comes to keeping your crops healthy in large quantities, there will be a lot of insects that are prone to munch on it for a living.
So, how do you stop pests from entering into your carefully nurtured organic garden? Well, there are a number of approaches that can help you produce more harvest rather than allow the infestation to spread.
A simple pest control that you can create all by yourself is a soap spray insecticide. Similar to that of an oil spray, a soap spray insecticide is effective for controlling mites, beetles, and whiteflies. To make a soap spray insecticide, mix 1 and a half teaspoons of mild liquid soap with 1 quarter of water, and spray directly on the infected surface of the plants.
While you are in the process of setting up an organic garden in your backyard, ensure that you also take care of your home while you’re at it. All you have to do is spend some time comparing home warranty companies before you sign up for one. Take a look at some of the best home warranties in your region and get the best plan.
Since it’s spring, you will have to look at some spring maintenance tips for your home and ensure that all your appliances and systems are working well. Also, this is the perfect time to start your own organic backyard garden.
Using with HomeWarrantyReviews.com, you will be able to determine a simple, reliable and quick manner to escape all home issues that plague appliances and systems. Use our ratings and free tools to ensure that your home has the best home warranty plan in place.
You can also try our Home Maintenance Calculator and you will be amazed by the money that you would have to shell out if you didn’t have a home warranty. Have a doubt? All you need to do is to comment below.