People seem to be talking about GMOs and food additives everywhere you look. As a result, growers and companies are producing more natural and organic items to appease health-conscious consumers. However, those specialized products come at a premium price – nothing comes for free in our world. On the other hand, an organic vegetable garden is a wonderful idea if you value natural or organic products. What could be more natural than your own backyard?
Even the most experienced organic gardener will tell you that it is all about trial and error – sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Furthermore, weather, pests, and insects are rarely predictable. When maintaining an organic vegetable garden, you have to try different things, but you can boost your chances of success if you follow a few ground principles. This article presents you with the dos and don’ts in an organic vegetable garden.
Do’s of an Organic Vegetable Garden
For the first several years of your organic vegetable garden, add 4 inches of compost per year to boost your organic matter level. Once you achieve a critical mass of organic matter, reduce your composting to 2 inches each year.
Place a 6-foot (2 m) circle of woven wire for simple composting.
Begin by putting leaves or grass clippings in the bottom, then all kitchen garbage (eggshells, coffee grinds, trimmings, and animal waste).
Adding extra yard clippings will help the heap work.
Remove the wire and move it a few feet (1 m.) to the other side.
Shovel the compost back into the wire. This process is called turning.
After a year, it encourages the compost to boil, resulting in what farmers call ‘black gold.’ Work your compost into your organic vegetable garden soil in early spring.
(2) Organic Fertilizers
Companies manufacture organic fertilizers from feather meal, bone meal, kelp meal, soybean meal, composted animal dung, and others. Organic fertilizers aren’t commonly mined. They rarely have N-P-K rates beyond 15% per pound and are frequently much lower (e.gchicken manure 3-2-3). Its nutrients are slow-release and not instantly water-soluble.
The amount of fertilizer in your organic vegetable garden depends upon the soil type (pH, organic matter, and cation exchange capacity).
It also depends upon prior cropping history, and the vegetable’s nutrient intake.
Heavy feeders like tomatoes can remove up to 120 lbs of nitrogen per acre.
Every two years, you should analyze the soil for total nutrient content.
Thus organic fertilizers in your organic vegetable garden fed soil, not the plants. Soil organisms must digest them to make nutrients available to plants. So you need to be patient, and it’s a slow and continuous effort to enhance the soil health of an organic vegetable garden.
(3) Organic Mulch
Because no one loves to water frequently, utilizing mulch to cover your soil and retain moisture for a more extended time is also a prerequisite of organic gardening. Mulch, such as straw, chopped leaves, a light layer of chemical-free grass clippings, newspaper, cardboard, and so on, is excellent for soil protection of your organic vegetable garden.
Spread a 1- to 2-inch-thick layer of mulch on the soil to reduce weeds.
It forms a barrier that inhibits weeds from absorbing sunlight and sprouting weeds in your organic vegetable garden.
This mulch layer also prevents spores of fungal diseases from travelling onto plant leaves.
Use organic material such as mulch (such as cocoa husks, weed-free straws, or newspapers) to contribute beneficial organic matter to the soil as it decomposes.
(4) Natural Pest Control
Check the leaves daily for pests, holes, or other markings on the leaves and stems in your organic vegetable garden. Webbing is another typical pest problem. Investigate the solution to the problem and address it as soon as you notice it.
Manual picking is the best idea.
You only need a bowl of soapy water. If you have hens, you only need a bowl of water.
You can smack the pests into the basin. The soapy water will kill them.
If you have hens, the clean water will keep them immobilized long enough for your birds to pick them out and consume them alive.
Another popular way is find the finest companion planting combinations for your organic vegetable garden. Like Bugs will be confused and will stay away from your tomato and pepper plants if you use herbs like basil and scent-rich flowers like marigolds.
(5) Watering at Mornings
The ideal time to water plants in your organic vegetable garden is usually in the morning. Why? Mornings are often cooler with less winds, so the amount of water lost to evaporation is minimized. Plants watered in the evening stay damp overnight, increasing their susceptibility to fungal and bacterial infections.
Ideally, it would be best to hydrate the roots rather than the vegetation, which is quickly injured.
A drip or soak system can be pretty helpful, or simply water the roots of plants by hand.
Most experts recommend significant, infrequent watering for established plants, approximately one inch of water each week (including rain).
One or two sprays per week stimulate deeper roots, promoting more vigorous plants in an organic vegetable garden.
To avoid shocking tender plants, use water at or near room temperature; collected rainwater is ideal for organic vegetable garden.
(6) Crop rotation
Crop rotation in a tiny garden is complex. It might not be helpful for small gardens for insect control because pests fly a few feet over to your new location. But, it is suitable for pathogen reduction in an organic vegetable garden.Tomatoes and potatoes are susceptible to fungi. Planting them every five years reduces the risk of infections developing. So there is no need for fungicides or unbalanced organic soil.
Plants have varying root structures.
Tap-rooted plants dig deep to get nutrients, whereas Shallow-rooted plants graze on the soil’s surface.
Plants with different rooting patterns can get more nutrients in the same soil without exhausting it.
Those diverse root kinds help aerate the soil, allowing water and air into the soil and extending the microbe’s reach in your organic vegetable garden.
Crop rotation is excellent for soil aeration and nutrient scavenging in your organic vegetable garden.
(7) Cover crops
Because cover crops grow densely among one another, they form a living mulch in the organic vegetable garden. They contribute to the reduction of soil splash and erosion and the control of weeds. You should seek to grow cover crops in your organic vegetable garden whenever you are not growing veggies in your yard.
A few of the most acceptable alternatives include mustard and radish for cold weather; buckwheat for warm weather; and winter wheat, winter rye, or crimson clover that you can plant in the fall to overwinter.
Before they flower, use a sickle or weed trimmer to cut them down to the ground level in the organic vegetable garden.
Toss out the roots and pile up their leaf debris on top of the bed as a mulch to cover the roots and prevent them from growing.
You may pile compost on top of this to make a nice layer.
When a gardener incorporates cover crops into the soil to give organic matter and nutrients, they are referred to as “green manures.”
Don’ts in Organic Vegetable Garden
(1) Strong or Fast Acting Fertilizers
Avoid using salt-based fertilizers in general (e.g., anything with ammonium in the title). These tend to acidify the soil in an organic vegetable garden, which might be harmful to the survival of soil life forms.
You should avoid most things with more than 30-40% water-soluble nutrition content. Fertilizers containing 50-70 percent (or more) water-soluble nutrients can wash away with rain.
Suppose you need a fast-acting fertilizer for an organic vegetable garden to address a deficiency in a plant (for example, purple leaf tips equals phosphorus deficiency).
In that case, we suggest you use an organic liquid fertilizer sprayed on the leaves for emergencies – compost teas tailored to cure the specific deficiency work well for many organic gardeners.
Fast acting fertilizers could end up in places you don’t want them. Furthermore, they lead plants to develop too quickly for optimal health, making them more susceptible to pest and disease problems.
(2) Irrigation with Chemical Loaded Water
When it comes to the productivity of organic vegetable gardens, water quality is paramount. Using chemically loaded water will result in an infusion of unnecessary chemicals in soil and crops, and there is no use in making all efforts for organic and safe veggies.
Using water to water your organic vegetable garden is not smart if your water source contains chlorine or other toxic chemicals.
Chemicals like this have been developedexpressly to kill bacteria and other microorganisms. Thus, it will kill beneficial soil microbes, ultimately injuring your plants and hampers productivity and quality of produce.
Water from natural sources is best, but try to harvest rainwater if you are in an urban area.
And if there is no option, you can let chemically treated water sit out for a few days before using it in your organic vegetable garden.
(3) Herbicides, Pesticides and Fungicides
Nobody enjoys weeding. However, in an organic vegetable garden, it is necessary. Weeds are plants that have an incredible ability to thrive in harsh environments. It takes a lot of effort to kill them. So, anything you can use to kill weeds will affect the soil life.
However, even organically certified herbicides should be prohibited in a fully organic garden.
You can squash those insect offenders with your gloved garden hand when it takes you to get appropriate pesticides from the market.
There are legitimate reasons to apply fungicides in an organic orchard. They are, however, almost always unnecessary in an organic food garden.
Use biofumigant cover crops like mustard frequently if you have fungal diseases.
Fertilize your soil using neem meal and cornmeal. Continue to add compost.
Plant fungal pathogen-resistant hybrid seeds for a few years until the situation is under control.
Avoid chemical-loaded herbicides, pesticides and fungicides in your organic vegetable garden.
(4) Over Expectation and Too Much Maintenance
The most important thing to remember about plants is that they are living organisms and that neglect, unless you’re fortunate, results in dead plants or, at the very least, sad-looking plants.
Be realistic about how much time you have to devote to your organic vegetable garden, and avoid planting more than you can manage to keep up with.
It’s much more appealing to look at a modest, thriving garden rather than many withering plants among a sea of weeds.
Furthermore, excessive maintenance can be just as detrimental as little upkeep.
Some of the new gardeners are so passionate that they end up overdoing it: overwatering, over-fertilizing, and over trimming.
It’s simple to do if you enjoy fiddling in your organic vegetable garden.
(5) Wrong Manure
Some types of well-composted manure are suitable for an organic vegetable garden, while others are not. In general, you can use well-composted herbivore manure, such as rabbit pellets, in organic gardening.
Manure that has not been composted or that comes from meat-eating animals is a no-no in an organic vegetable garden.
These forms of manures are not recommended for use in your organic garden.
Manure from pets, such as cats and dogs, can be particularly troublesome.
You should keep these creatures out of your organic vegetable garden.
Toxoplasma gondii is a deadly disease that can spread through garden soil by cat excrement. If you live in a city, there is a significant probability that cats are or have been roaming around your yard.
Although the virus is not a chemical fertilizer, it is a source of contamination that can have negative consequences if proper safeguards are not taken.
(6) Overcrowding of plants
Some salad crops, such as spinach, loose-leaf lettuce, arugula, and kale, don’t mind growing shoulder to shoulder with other crops in the same field.
On the other hand, most veggies do best when they are not packed together too tightly in both conventional and organic vegetable gardens.
For example, tomato plants require adequate air circulation to thrive, so make sure to space them at least 2-3 feet apart.
Broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, sweet corn, potatoes, and peppers are among the veggies that require a little more area to grow.
There are more chances that your plants may be affected by diseases like blight or mildew if they you plant too close together.It isn’t easy to control these in an organic vegetable garden.
(7) Planting in Too Much Shade
Planting veggies in a shady location is a major no-no.
A few vegetables tolerate some shadow, such as lettuces and peas.
Most vegetables require at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight to grow.
Less than that, and you risk having underperforming plants in your organic vegetable garden.
If you are planting your first vegetable garden, keep an eye on the sun to determine the optimum location throughout the season.
Check the sunshine in the spring, summer, and fall because what is sunny in early spring may be shaded in summer once the trees have filled with leaves.
You could be becoming increasingly concerned about the safety of your foods at the supermarket. Many people consider producing their own vegetables in an organic vegetable garden due to health worries about pesticides and genetically engineered produce. An organic vegetable garden is the best option for healthy, chemical-free veggies without digging into your pocket.
Some people believe that organic gardening is difficult, but the truth is that it can be as simple as ordinary gardening. Of course, there are several factors you should be aware of to ensure that your plants thrive in the organic vegetable garden.