It is now “back to the basics”. People are now appreciating what their ancestors had done for centuries, the things they forgot in the name of modernity and scientific advancement: namely organic farming.
With more and more people realizing the benefits of organic gardening and farming, they are now giving up the use of chemicals like fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides. An organic garden to grow your own vegetables is not only a green gesture but also translates into healthier food for you.
Start by looking for a well drained sunny spot to prepare for your organic beds. Remember to prepare beds that are no wider than two and half feet to give you ready access from both sides. Their length would be dependent on the space available.
Till the bed soil until fluffy and loose. Cover with compost or organic fertilizer 2-3 inches deep. Then till again to work it into the soil. Let it set for 2-3 weeks before you begin planting. Stake out the bed or contain it with a frame to keep the soil from running. It also helps with the drainage.
Select the vegetables you would like to grow. It makes sense to grow local vegetables or those which are suitable to your climate. Look for varieties that are pest and disease resistant. Local cooperatives should be able to help you out with your decisions. Look for organic seed packets once you have selected your veggies. Remember to place each one of them with enough space between them so as to avoid diseases and encourage proper growth.
Remember to water religiously in the beginning till the seedlings have taken root and are doing well, then it would make sense to stick to a predetermined watering schedule depending on the veggies chosen.
Veggies like broccoli, spinach and peas are best planted in early spring when the soil is thawed or in the fall. Veggies like squash, corn, peppers and tomatoes will thrive once the soil is completely warm and there is no danger of a frost.
If required, you can opt for organic pesticides or better still for natural enemies. Ladybugs would be a great option for aphid infestation as they love to feed on aphids.
You can also use hover flies and lacewings to fight pests. You can either purchase them to release in your beds or plant plants like zinnia and dill which attract and nourish them.
You can also provide habitats for bats, toads and birds which feed on insects and pests.
Also remember healthy plants repel some pests and are also able to outgrow any damage done to them. Weeding is also a good way to keep pests away.
Look out for organic pesticides and fertilizers to keep your organic garden healthy and you will reap the benefits of healthy vegetables.