We love a good DIY projects and especially love garden projects we can do ourselves because we save on labor and get the rush of creating something sustainable. The season for planting is coming to a close in some areas of the globe but if you went through the last summer without your own organic garden, then maybe it’s time you started one.
What Is Organic?
Before we get to the how, it’s best to understand the why and the what. Organics are things that are produced from living matter. When we talk about organic gardening, it means that our produce is grown without using synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or anything that may have a chemical base.
If you are serious about becoming an organic gardener then you should consider the fact that you will be creating your very own ecosystem out in your yard. The soil, the weeds and insects that live inside it and any other tiny organisms that occupy this space will consider it their home.
Create a Plan
Before you set out on any task that is new to you, it only makes sense that you plan out where things go and how you will do them before you dive right in. This leaves less room for error and organic gardening is no different. What types of plants do you want in your garden?
Remember when you are planning this garden that most fruit or vegetable producing plants need a good deal of sun. So make sure you know what the space, sun and watering requirements are for the plants you choose to give a home.
You can space out your tomato plants with some basil around one of them. Make sure your taller growing plants, like sunflowers, are in the back and not blocking out the sun for the lower growing plants, like zucchini. If you are unsure, ask the gardener where you buy your seedlings.
There are quite a few tools that make gardening much easier, for example you will need, a good pair of gardening gloves, a pad to kneel on when you are digging in the dirt and a wheelbarrow.
Wheelbarrows are great when you need to bring heavy things from one end of your yard to another. They also help you transport all the weeds you pull to your compost where they will decay to make organic fertilizer.
If a wheelbarrow is something you are interested in, check out this wheelbarrow sizing guide from the Backyard Boss. You’ll be amazed at the different types and styles of wheelbarrows there are on the market.
Get Your Plants
After you have made all your decisions and the map of your garden has been drawn, it is time to head to the nursery and buy what you need. You can hit a local mom-and-pop establishment or head over to one of your areas chain stores with the garden center.
Then you need to decide if you will start your garden out from seeds or seedlings already started. Seeds need to be grown indoors in pots for a few weeks before being planted in the ground.
If you choose seedlings then make sure to buy organically grown seedlings. Don’t buy too much to start either. Since you are just starting out, go small. The great thing about a garden is you can always add to it or replant.
This part is why it is important to know the spacing requirements of the plants you want to put in your garden. These new friends of yours need room to grow and it is up to the gardener to provide a safe area for the plants to come into their own. When you’ve decided where to plant each seedling, start digging the holes that you will plant them in.
Once the holes are dug, you need to get those seedlings into the ground. You don’t want to wait too long before putting them in their permanent home. If left too long in the containers you bought them in, they could start to die rather quickly.
When you plant them try not to compact the dirt around them too tightly. The roots need room to grow and weeds love tightly compacted soil.
Begin Pulling Weeds
You want to clear the spot you’ve allotted for your garden of any and all weeds but the fact is some weed seeds are deep in the soil and can come to the top when you are digging to plant new things. Anything in the top inch of the soil will obtain sunlight and grow.
So you need to make sure that you are familiar with any invasive species that might frequent your garden. Once they start growing get on your knees and get them out of there.
When you have all your plants in the ground you should consider putting mulch down to cover any weed seeds that might be exposed to the sun. You can create your own mulch with plastic or old newspapers.
If you aren’t sure how to make your own mulch, there are organic mulches available as well. You can use grass clippings, hay, or tree bark, which will all fertilize your garden when they decompose.
Plan Your Watering
Water, like the Sun, is an important element when cultivating your garden. Where you live can dictate how much water is at your disposal.
A great way to repurpose materials is to get a rain barrel. Or put some buckets out in your garden the next time it rains. Fill up what you can and put it aside if water is scarce in your area. If your plants are in sunlight most of the day, especially if the weather is hot, then they will require more water.
Organic gardening goes hand and hand with being frugal. Sure, you will you be using organic materials to start, which do tend to cost more than their non-organic counterparts, but the overall money saved when you have fresh healthy fruits and vegetables for your family is significant.
Also, with the omission of harsh chemicals in your food you will be healthier which will save on the doctor bills. Organic gardening is great for so many aspects in your life implementing it will be one of the best things you do for you and your loved ones.