Caring for Organic Garden

Caring for an organic garden is not much different from caring for a conventional garden but there is one major difference – an organic gardener never uses any chemicals and non-organic products. Providing your vegetables optimal conditions for growth is the key to make your organic garden a success. It does not require much work once having an established garden, especially if you have chosen its location wisely. However, there are some very important tasks that need to be done if you want to keep your vegetables healthy.

The very basic is to provide your vegetables a nutritious soil in order to make sure that they obtain all the necessary nutrients. To do that, dig into the soil as much organic matter as possible once per year and apply a layer of mulch on the surface of the soil after planting. Mulching improves soil quality as well as conserves moisture and suppresses weed growth. However, make sure that mulch does not touch the stems of your vegetables because it can cause them to rot. You can use grass clippings, straw, hay, leaves or any other organic material as mulch, while the best fertilizers are compost and manure.

Organic Garden

When all the vegetables are on their place, you should make sure that they have enough moisture especially during the summer heat. Water your plants as often as necessary but make sure that you do not over water either. Also, keep in mind that some vegetables require less moisture than the others. For that reason you are highly recommended to save the plant labels in case you forget how frequently your vegetables need to be watered. During hot summer days, always water your garden early in the morning or early in the evening not to “shock” your vegetables. Watering early in the morning or early in the evening also gives your plants enough time to absorb some water before it evaporates.

Weeding is another highly important task on an organic garden. Weeds are not unsightly only but they also “steal” important nutrients from your vegetables. For that reason you should keep your garden weed free. The sooner the weeds are removed the better because if you allow them to bloom or even drop seeds you will have to spend more time for weeding than necessary. Also, make sure that you remove them entirely. However, it may be worth to keep in mind that there are beneficial weeds too, while some such as purslane are even edible.

Organic Garden

The last but not the least important thing is to keep your garden pest free. It is a lot easier to keep the pests off your garden than dealing with them. In addition to making sure that your plant have all the necessary nutrients, and enough moisture, space and sunlight, you should also take advantage of companion planting. Many plants help repel or control pests by emitting a smell that tends to keep the pests away or attracting beneficial bugs which in turn help control the harmful ones. For that reason they should be planted in close proximity of vegetables that are vulnerable to pest infestations the most. Examples include marigold, garlic and onions.

As already mentioned earlier, not all insects are harmful and therefore you should attract the beneficial ones into your garden. Many of them will come on their own but every organic garden should also include an insect home because the more the beneficial insects the less the harmful ones.

Inspect your garden regularly to be able to act as soon as you notice the first signs of pest infestation or disease. The sooner you act the better are your chances of saving your vegetables. How depends on the type of infestation or disease as well as the type of vegetables but use organic methods/products only.