An organic garden produces healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables without the influence of chemicals. It is a lot different than conventional gardening. The herbs, veggies and fruits you buy from the local store have many chemical residues on them, which are harmful for your health. In this blog, we will discuss some tips to help you start an organic garden of your own. From creating a compost, spraying homemade pesticides to maintaining the right level of pH in the soil, learn how to set up an organic garden and reap the benefits.
How to Start an Organic Garden of Your Own
Here is the best guide of organic gardening for beginners. Remember you don’t need a lot of space to kick start your garden. If you don’t have a dedicated green space, try placing small containers in the terrace or balcony where you can grow vegetables and plants. Let us take a look at these important steps in setting up an organic garden.
- Choose a garden site
- Make compost
- Maintain the right soil
- Choose appropriate plants
- Water and weed the plants
- Maintain a natural ecosystem
- Spray homemade organic pesticides
Let us understand each of these steps in detail:
Choose a garden site
Pick up a garden site that receives maximum sunlight i.e. 6 hours a day at least. If you already have a garden, limit the lawn area and utilise the space for setting up an organic patch. Keeping a lawn requires water, fertilizer and weekly mowing to keep it green and well-maintained. That is a lot of hassle.
Make the lawn area smaller and create a dedicated organic garden in the area. Start small and then move on to convert the entire garden into an organic one. You can do container gardening and set up 3-4 containers in a small area to kickstart the organic gardening project at home. Later, you can expand the project and switch to organic ways of gardening.
Don’t throw away vegetable and fruit peels and rinds. Dig up a composting pit in the garden and place all the kitchen waste into this pit. Cover it with some soil and let it decompose on its own. It will take a few months. You will see earthworms in your compost pile who are busy converting the kitchen waste into nutrient-rich soil. This organic compost, when ready, can be mixed with the soil to help provide essential nutrients to the plants.
The right soil
For an organic garden, you need the right kind of soil. The pH level should be maintained and should not be too acidic or your plants won’t thrive. Mix some quantity of compost with the soil. Now, check the pH level of the soil by using some pH strips that you can find from any local gardening store. Take some handful of soil and mix it with lukewarm water. You will get the consistency of a milkshake. Dip the pH test strip in it. Remove the test strip after 30 seconds and check the results according to the key given on the test.
The pH level should be somewhere around 5.5 to 7 for the plants to thrive. If your soil is below 5.5, then add quick lime to the soil and then retest. If it is above 7 i.e. too alkaline, then add more compost and test the soil again. Once you have reached the desired pH level, now is the time to sow plants.
Choose appropriate plants
Select some commonly grown vegetables like brinjals, potatoes, tomatoes and lady finger or any vegetable and herb of your choice. Plant them according to each vegetable’s sowing specifications. Make separate sections for each plant and sow the seeds in separate areas.
Water and weed the plants
Make sure to water the plants regularly but don’t overwater them. As a general rule, check the moisture in the soil by inserting your finger in the soil. If the soil seems dry, then water the plant, but if the soil is already wet then don’t overwater the plant or else the roots will start rotting.
Maintain a natural ecosystem
When setting up an organic garden, remember not to kill all types of insects as some of them help maintain a natural ecosystem. There are earthworms, beneficial insects, birds, butterflies and bees that help maintain the ecosystem in your garden.
If you use harmful chemicals and insecticides, it will kill the harmful insects, but at the same time kill butterflies and moths. Bees and birds won’t be attracted to your garden. Earthworms will not recycle plant waste into nutrient-rich soil. Remember: It is important to attract bees and birds to help maintain the ecosystem of your garden. You should also use a natural mulch in your garden.
Spray homemade organic pesticides
Don’t use harmful chemicals and pesticides in the garden. Make sure to use only organic pesticides that you can easily make from ingredients available in the kitchen. Use garlic peels to make a garlic spray to keep aphids and other harmful insects at bay. Organic pesticides are not harmful to the plants and don’t make the plants poisonous. Check out how you can make organic homemade pesticides.
So, these were some of the best ways to start an organic garden of your own. Don’t forget to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will surely get back to you. Subscribe to the Zameen Newsletter appearing on the right hand side of the page. Stay tuned to the best lifestyle blog in Pakistan for regular updates.