Do you know what’s in your food? From pesticides to other chemicals and unnatural ingredients, modern commercial farming and gardening include a range of additives designed to speed up the process and maximize the look and bulk of vegetables.
However, the health of the plant and the nutritional value of your diet are at stake. Learn more about the importance of organic gardening and how to get started with this guide.
What Is Organic Gardening?
First, what is organic gardening? For most gardeners, organic means growing vegetables, flowers, and other plants without man-made pesticides and chemicals. This basic definition covers most of the benefits of going organic and the reason many individuals and companies choose this approach.
However, organic gardening also has a range of other benefits. It focuses not only on the health of the fruit and vegetables you’ll be eating but also on the overall soil health.
Instead of commercially grown plants as fast as possible, organic fertilizers and growing techniques seek to promote positive pH levels in the topsoil and creating an insect ecosystem that’s beneficial to healthy, natural plant growth.
The Importance of Organic Gardening
While organic techniques may be more time-consuming than man-made chemical approaches, it offers a range of benefits for both you and your land. Here are just a few ways you’ll promote a more positive lifestyle by going organic:
⦁ The improved flavor of vegetables and fruits
⦁ Reduced pesticide intake
⦁ Increased microbe and beneficial insect presence
⦁ Improved accuracy in pH balancing
While the entire process may seem daunting, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to grow your own organic garden.
Whether you’ve had a green thumb and lush garden for years or this is your first time creating a garden on your property, follow these simple steps to enjoy fresh, home-grown fruits and vegetables.
How to Get Started With Organic Gardening
You don’t need acres of farmland to start a garden. You can follow these steps whether you have a large, rural garden or a single indoor flower pot. All you need are a few items and tools, some patience, and a commitment to growing healthy food for you and your family. Here are the basic things you need for an organic garden:
⦁ Healthy soil with room for roots to grow
⦁ Seeds of plants equipped for your native climate
With all of these items, you’ll soon have new sprouts poking through the dirt and plants growing healthy flowers, fruits, and vegetables for your home. If you don’t know the pH level or nutrient quality of your soil, use a soil conditioner to improve the structure, fortify the soil, and keep your plant well-fed.
Next, choose the seed that you wish to grow. Be sure to follow directions about soil depth, time of planting, sunlight, and watering needs. Different types of the same vegetable have remarkably different characteristics, so keep each type in mind when you choose a location for your garden.
Since sunlight and water are the two biggest factors after the soil, you’ll need to plan accordingly. Choose a garden location that has full sun, partial shade, or full shade depending on your plant variety.
Most plants enjoy full seven-to-eight hours of sunlight. If your garden doesn’t receive enough water for your plant to thrive, be sure you have a consistent watering schedule.
Enrich your soil with organic compost or create your own all-natural compost. Organic compost is typically made of ingredients such as animal manure, eggshells, grass clippings, annual flowers, and other garden waste.
Look for ingredients that help maintain a neutral pH level and supply the necessary NPK, or nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, as well as other essential elements for healthy microbe and earthworm growth.
Fertilizer should be applied depending on the soil type. For instance, sandy soil requires as much as four inches of organic matter at the beginning of the growing season and two additional inches every year. The exact amount depends on the health of your soil and whether you’ve used soil conditioner.
Once you have healthy soil and growing vegetables, all that’s left is weeding, watering, preventing insect damage and enjoying fresh, home-grown produce. After the first few plants, you’ll be amazed at how natural and easy it is to grow native plants and enjoy tasty organic produce.
Pesticide Alternatives for Your Garden
One of the biggest challenges of organic gardening is pest prevention. Pesticides, while unpleasant to ingest, remove some of the stress of preventing insect damage to your newly sprouting plants. Thankfully, there are natural alternatives that can still protect your garden.
Insects that eat your plants all have natural predators. One strategy is to employ predatory insects and animals to guard your garden for you. Depending on your climate and the type of insects you’re looking to prevent from entering your garden, here are some common predators to encourage around your garden:
⦁ Frogs and toads
The easiest way to attract these predators is to include a small water source or a plant that has small blossoms. Dill and sweet alyssum are plants that attract the types of animals you want to protect your vegetables and other garden plants.
For many gardeners, going organic is a process. While any amount of pesticide and unnatural fertilizer can contain ingredients you should avoid, a small step toward organic is sometimes better than completely giving up on the idea.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the number of items you need or if you can’t seem to prevent insects from destroying your garden, consider using a small amount of pesticide or chemical fertilizer. Once you start with a base of organic soil conditioner, you can slowly work towards 100% organic produce.
Expanding Your Garden Setup
Once you’ve mastered the basics of organic gardening, you can use a few tools and tricks to expand your selection of organic produce. Use raised beds for easy weeding and harvesting, or buy a greenhouse for year-round organic produce.
Consider trying plants that aren’t native to your area and see how you can grow ones that require less sunlight, higher temperatures, or other considerations. Whether you’re trying to produce an abundance for friends, family, and for sale or you’re simply trying to eat healthier, there are lots of options to expand your new hobby and increase your gardening skillset.
Getting Started with Organic Gardening
Start your garden off right with a premium soil conditioner. At Harvest Gold Organics, we use an innovative conditioner that reduces your watering cost up to 40%. The unique crystal structure of our formula contains all the necessary nutrients to empower your soil and improve your garden growth. It assists your soil in maintaining water and other nutrients to provide prolonged growth opportunities to all your plants.
Order Harvest Gold Organics Premium Soil Conditioner today to discover how you can improve your personal organic garden. From a small flower pot to acres of organic produce, enjoy a healthy alternative to pesticides and man-made chemicals by choosing a leading organic soil conditioner.