There are multiple reasons for you to explore how to plan an organic garden. For starters, you can grow your own fresh vegetables, thereby saving money while adopting healthy living. You can shield yourself and your loved ones from a plethora of toxins by eliminating or reducing use of pesticides, fertilizers and chemical preservatives. You can have some quality time with your family while working at the garden, thereby also indulging in a productive activity. However, you should have a foolproof plan to grow an organic garden. It is not an easy task, you will need to put in sufficient effort and you would also need to make a nominal investment to execute the plan.
Here is a brief guide to help you plan an organic garden.
- Let us start with supplies and tools. You will need forks & spades, rake, hand trowel, clippers and pruners, pruning saw, hoe, shears, garden hose, wheelbarrow, lawn mower, multiuse knife, edger, loopers, compost bin, garden gloves, watering can and a soil test kit.
- You need to know how to prepare the soil. This is similar in most cases but some vegetables will have distinct demands. Focus on the conditioning of the soil. Test the soil and you would know which fresh vegetables would grow best in your garden. You will get the details pertaining to the nutrients and pH level in your soil. The same report will also suggest treatments that may be needed to ensure the soil is completely organic. You cannot grow an organic garden, plush with fresh vegetables, if the soil itself is contaminated or loaded with chemicals. Soils rich in humus and enriched with natural compost including manure, grass clippings and leaves will be ideal.
- You need to pick the right crops for your organic garden. The type and quality of the soil, available moisture, drainage and exposure to light would be the most consequential factors in this assessment. Your entire organic garden will not be ideal for the same crop or different crops. You may have to choose different crops for specific spots depending on the micro factors or conditions. Always choose native crops.
- You must have a perfect strategy of planting crops. Most vegetables and flowering plants must be planted close to one another but in rows. You could go for raised beds. Don’t plant crops too tightly as they may overshadow one another. You must factor in the growth and eventual size of the crop while determining the space between two seedlings. There should be some distance between rows to allow natural ventilation and also to provide you an aisle to tread so you can explore the entire garden, attend to the soil and water the plants. Reasonably tight grouping leads to the best utilization of water and nutrients. Watering is not about how much water you use or how many times you water the plants. It is all about when you are watering the crops.
- You need to prevent pests and fungal attacks. This should be done without using or by reducing use of pesticides if you want an organic garden and ideally healthy fresh vegetables. Have a diverse garden, ensure your crops are healthy by providing necessary nutrition, water and exposure sunlight, allow friendly natural predators such as toads, frogs, lizards and even birds and you can use row covers or nets as well.