Organic Gardening is the best practice if you want to ditch chemicals like fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. The word “organic” can be quite daunting for budding gardeners, but many organic planting strategies work wonderfully for gardens. Some practices include composting, crop rotation, cover crops, companion planting, and integrated pest management (IPM). Organic gardening practices are best for you whether you are a seasoned or budding gardener.
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Let us learn more and highlight the dos and don’ts of organic Gardening. Some of the tips and techniques for growing a healthy organic garden are available in the subsequent articles:
Know About The Climatic Condition Of Your Area
Organic Gardening is a technique of Gardening in sync with environmental practices. For a better understanding of the climatic conditions and seasons for planting, take help from USDA. The US Department of Agriculture(USDA) provides a plant hardiness zone map by ZIP code. Further the zip code divides the country into thirteen zones as per average annual temperature.
So for efficient organic Gardening, you must be aware of your area’s climatic conditions. This information will help you discover the vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs that will flourish in your area. Once you are familiar with your climatic condition, note the first and last frost dates for calculating the duration of the growing season.
When you visit your local garden center, look for plants that are marked with your corresponding hardiness zone. If you are planning to buy seeds, compare the total days to maturity listed on the seed packets to the length of the growing season.
Testing Of Soil
Soil plays a crucial role in any kind of Gardening, so before starting your organic garden, get your soil tested. With a small fee, your soil will be tested by your local USDA cooperative extension service office. The soil testing can make you aware of the portion of clay, silt, sand, and organic matter in your garden soil. You will also know if your soil has the correct pH levels and about the nutrition deficiencies.
At the USDA soil testing office, you will receive instructions to correct any imbalances. You can also test for detecting the presence of lead and arsenic. If the toxicity level of the soil is very high, then do not plant edibles in the soil.
Select A Location For Your Garden
This is another important part of organic Gardening, as most flowers and vegetables require long sun exposure. The growth of plants is easier on a flat piece of land. If the land is near a structure, that will be great as it will protect from the winds.
Decide On What To Grow
After setting up a base for organic Gardening, decide on what plants you want to grow on your premises. Whether you want a flower garden, herb garden, container garden, vegetable garden, or a combination of all? Most organic gardening practitioners plant flowers and herbs near their vegetables. This practice attracts pollinators and other useful insects. Further, assess the space available for Gardening and avoid planting big plants if you have small rooms.
Prepare Your Garden Bed
Before Gardening, you must prepare a plant bed by cleaning and clearing away the existing vegetation and weeds. Suppose you plan to start a lawn, then you will require a sod cutter to remove grass. After that, you need to prepare your plating space. Once you are done clearing debris, spread a thick layer of compost on the growing area.
You can also try sheet mulching to remove weeds from their roots. It is best if the beds you create are not more than 4 feet wide to reach the center without stepping on soft soil.
Seeding Or Transplantation
There are two important techniques for getting plants into the soil: planting seeds directly in the ground or transplanting baby plants. Most organic home gardeners opt for mixing, planting crops from seed, and purchasing some transplants from the garden center.
Add Mulch To Your Garden
The mulching process requires covering the soil with rocks and organic matter to keep the soil moist and warm. In this condition, weeds will not germinate, and the earth is kept to keep the soil warm and moist. The humid condition is best for worms, and other creatures love mulch as it decays and becomes food like compost.
But choose the right kind of mulch for each crop. For instance, wood chips are perfect for fruit trees, perennial flowers, and other large and long-living plants.
Make Your Compost Pit
The compositing technique is a natural way of adding nutrients that are beneficial to the microorganism present in the soil. Creating a compost pit is simple as it requires collecting organic matter like leaves, food scraps, and grass clippings in a bin. This organic compost maintains the health of the soil. You can purchase them from your local gardener or start your own compost pile.
The need for watering your organic gardening increases during the growing seasons. On average, plants will require an inch of water per week. If your area is rainfall deficient, then constant watering becomes very important. However, too much watering is not good for the health of your plants. Watering your organic garden in the morning is advisable to prevent water from evaporating.
10 .Use Of Cover Plant
The cover crops are fast-growing, cold-hardy plants used for maintaining soil health during the off-winter. Their roots keep soils in the ground, preventing soil erosion and locking in moisture. The most prominent cover crops are legumes that add nitrogen to the soil. During the springtime, mow down your cover crop for healthy and weed-free soil for the new season’s plantings.
Wrapping Up With The Organic Garden
Organic Gardening is best practice for Gardening or a seasoned grower looking to reduce chemical fertilizers and insecticides. Many organic methods like crop rotation, cover crops, and composting help grow healthy plants. In this article, we have described in great detail the top ten ways of building an organic garden from scratch. After reading the article, you will learn about the best organic gardening practices.