Organic vegetable gardening is becoming more and more popular for several important reasons. It can give you healthier food at a lower cost than buying it at the store. Having a garden also gives you an activity that’s both productive and useful. If you’ve been thinking about setting up an organic vegetable garden, or if you’ve already started one, the tips in this article will be helpful.
Tips for Organic Vegetable Gardening
Why you should grow an organic vegetable garden? We all know the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables; they are good for our immune system and metabolism. They provide the essential nutrients that our bodies need to do the things that we do and to keep living our lives to the fullest. We all agree that vegetables are crucial to a healthy diet; however, did you know that where you get your vegetables from is just as important?
Benefits of Organic Vegetables
There are many places that you can get your vegetables from; however, some are better than others. An organic vegetable garden is going to provide you with the best vegetables for your needs and is going to make sure that you are eating only the best things for your body.
Organic vegetable gardening is much better than going to a regular supermarket unless you know for a fact that the food grown and sold to the supermarket has been grown completely organically.
If you can buy foods that you know were grown in an organic vegetable garden you are not only going to be safeguarding your own health, but you are going to be doing great things for the environment as well.
You might be wondering what exactly an organic vegetable garden is. Basically, when something is grown organically, that means that there are no chemicals or other preservatives that have been used in the growing process. This means that there was nothing used either to get rid of bugs or to fertilize the soil or for any other reason, that was not completely natural.
Even if you don’t think that the chemicals used to treat non-organic vegetables aren’t harmful to you, they are still harmful to the environment. Buying food grown in an organic vegetable garden is a good way to keep the environment clean and healthy, at least in one small way. Whenever possible, you should try to use foods that were grown in an organic vegetable garden because you know that they weren’t treated with any chemicals.
That means that you can safely know that the chemicals weren’t used in your food and won’t end up in your body. It is impossible to get everything off of a vegetable when you wash it, so by using organic foods you can be sure that you aren’t digesting anything that might be harmful to you.
Scare Off By Higher Price
Many people want to eat more organic produce because they read how healthy it is, but when they see the prices at the store, they wonder how much of it they can really afford. An organic vegetable garden allows you to affordably have all the organic produce you want.
While starting a garden may require you to go out and buy a few things, such as tools, seeds, and perhaps soil, in the long run, you’ll certainly be able to save quite a bit. In fact, as you get more experienced you may even have more produce than you can use, in which case you can give away, trade, or sell what you can’t use.
One of the ways that organic gardening differs from other kinds is that you don’t use any kind of toxic chemicals, either to help your plants grow or to control pests. This can be a challenge, especially for new gardeners, as insects can definitely be destructive to your garden.
One natural way to combat these intruders is to encourage their natural enemies to take up residence in your garden. This may include birds, praying mantises, frogs, and ladybugs, all of whom eat the insects who might ravage your garden.
A birdhouse, for example, will encourage birds to visit your garden frequently, which can create a nice atmosphere aside from providing a way to control pests. You can also create a little pond to attract frogs and toads, who will enthusiastically gobble up insects for you.
Lifetime for Gardening
Gardening is something that you can study for a lifetime and still not know all there is to know about it. So the best approach is to study a little, then apply it and see what happens. Some of what you learn will be from experience. However, you should also take advantage of all the resources that are available to you now.
Aside from articles and websites online, there are many good magazines and books about organic gardening. A good book with photos and diagrams can be very helpful when planning your garden. You may also want to meet others in your area who have organic vegetable gardens. See if there are any groups or lectures on this topic nearby.
The Basics of Organic Gardening
The organic matters used in organic gardens is nothing more than decaying plants and/or animal wastes, compost made from dried leaves, grass clippings, with added household food scrapings make for good soil enrichments to be used as topsoil dressing for an established garden or added and then worked into the soil for a new garden.
With the addition of organic matters into the soil, it naturally improves its texture while enriching it for the plants to get the air, water, and nutrients that they need.
When you opt for organic gardening it does not entail the use of synthetic pesticides, so keeping your garden free of pest means keeping a close eye on it and constant inspections of your plants, and if you do start to notice garden pests address the issue immediately.
There are many organic pesticides available on the market, but before you begin any treatment be sure that the pest you are treating is a pest and will become a problem. Organic pesticides are very effective and they are less toxic to humans and pets. The best defense when treating is knowing what your problem is before you start to treat it.
Given the right growing conditions, plants will grow strong and healthy without a lot of stress than plants that struggle to survive and less stressed plants attract fewer garden insect pests. The use of mulch in your organic garden will serve many purposes, such as water conservation, helps to moderate the soil temperature, feeds the soil, and best of all it is very attractive and it helps to prevent weed growth.
Once you have selected a site for your garden, a good rule to remember is to plant plants that require full sun in the sun, and plants that require less sun should be planted in partial shade and of course, shade-loving plants deserve a shaded area.
Plant a variety of plants to help attract beneficial insects to your garden. As you get more and more into organic gardening you will soon discover which seasonal changes that plants go through and this will help you to determine any problems that you may encounter. Organic gardening is a wonderful and challenging experience, a gardening experience that one will surely come to enjoy.
Personal and Commercial Organic Gardening
Organic gardening is a completely natural approach to growing plants without chemical or artificial additives. Basically, that means that you avoid using chemical fertilizers or pesticides, use organic seeds and everything else needed for gardening.
Organic Gardening for Personal Use
If you intend to start organic gardening for your own personal use, you are not required to meet USDA standards. It is entirely up to you how organic you want to go.
Most organic home gardeners pay a lot of attention to the soil, making sure they don’t use chemical additives. Most also eliminate chemical pesticides but may fudge a little if they are invaded with some bug that they can’t get rid of with organic means.
Home organic gardening fans often don’t bother to buy special organic seeds or choose completely organic soil. However, most home organic gardeners produce healthy, chemical-free foods. They are also protecting the environment by keeping chemicals out of the water supply and food chain.
USDA Organic Certification
If your organic gardening has a commercial purpose, you need to get USDA Organic Certification. You cannot label the products you sell as “organic” without this certification.
USDA Organic Certification came about because there were no standards for organic gardening, and consumers had no way of knowing what they were getting. Now, if you buy food that is labeled “organic,” you know that it was grown without chemical additives.
You may also be sure that the seed was organic, and that the soil has had no chemical additives in it for at least five years. Obtaining USDA organic certification is time-consuming, expensive and a paperwork headache, so many organic gardening enthusiasts just fail to pass through the whole process.
Other Organic Certification
There are other certifications you can get if your organic gardening is going to produce profit as well as food. These certifications are not authorized by the USDA, and you cannot call your produce “organic” if you choose them.
One such certification is “Certified Naturally Grown.” Produce with this label is grown under the same conditions as USDA Organic produce, but you don’t have to pay the USDA fees and do the USDA recordkeeping. Small organic gardening endeavors find it a much more realistic option.
Organic gardening is a great way to provide healthy produce for you and your family, or even for business. If you use organic gardening for personal or commercial purposes, you can be sure that you are protecting the environment as well as the health of those who eat these organic foods.
If you’ve decided to start an organic vegetable garden, you’ve made an excellent decision that will reward you in a number of ways. You can start small and grow some of your favorite vegetables, and gradually create a more ambitious garden. Keep the above suggestions in mind as you work on your organic vegetable garden and it will give you delicious and nutritious vegetables for many years to come.
Read also: How to Grow Your Own Vegetables