How to Start An Organic Vegetable Garden
Organic vegetables are grown without pesticides and chemical fertilizers. To be certified organic, the land cannot have had chemical fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides used on it for 7 years or longer. People choose organic produce because they tend to have higher levels of certain nutrients and have little to no chemical residue.
If you are going to plant organic produce for your own personal use, there is no need for the land to be certified. All you need to remember is that for the produce to be considered truly organic, you cannot use anything with a chemical base. Natural pesticides and fertilizers are available that are certified to be organic and contain no chemicals.
Choosing a Plot
Find an area of your yard where you have not used any chemicals. For the first year or two, fruits and vegetables may contain slight amounts of chemical residue, but that will decrease as time goes on as long as no other chemicals are used on the plot. Before you begin to plant your seeds, till the garden with a rotary tiller to stir up the soil. You can add peat moss and potting soil to add nutrients to the ground. This also reduces the percentage of any chemicals that may be present. Water the plot and till again. When you are ready to plant, rake the area smooth and begin to divide the garden up into sections.
The Right Seeds
There are several companies that specialize in organic seeds and seedlings. Many are certified, but some, even though they claim to have certification certificate, will still contain minimal amounts of chemical residue. Heirloom seeds and those that are truly organic, will sometimes produce smaller plants. This is normal. It is the way plants would normally grow in nature without the benefits of fertilizer that can produce abnormally large amounts of produce.
When looking for companies that offer organic seeds there are several things to watch for:
- Claims of overly large volumes of produce
- 100 percent guarantee (most companies cannot guarantee 100 percent anything when dealing with organic produce)
- Companies that have been in business for at least 10 years (it takes approximately 7 years for seeds to be certified to be from organic sources)
- Companies that are reputable and have a large client base
- Companies that are able to provide a quick turnaround
- Companies that have staff who are able to answer your questions and offer advice on how to best plant and nurture your seeds and seedlings
When you receive your seeds, the first thing you need to do is carefully read the instructions. Because your plants are going to have to rely on natural sources for the nutrients they need, you will have to determine how your locations temperature, average rainfall and ground composition will support your garden. If you are going to have to provide nutrients for the garden, you must find natural sources.
Seed packages will have a topographic chart that contains information about each of the growing areas in the country. Find your area and learn about what you are going to need to make your garden grow. For example, in areas where rain fall is minimal, you will need to water your garden every day. Because you are trying to keep fruits and vegetables organic, you may want to filter your water to reduce the number of contaminants they receive through hydration.
If your land has minimal nutrient value, adding peat moss and nutrient-rich potting soil can provide a dramatic boost to the fertility of the soil in your garden. The nutrients you provide through the soil and water will not only make the plants flourish, it will also boost their nutrient value.
Organic gardening takes an extensive amount of work and diligence. The end result, however, is well worth the effort. Not only do you have fruits and vegetables that are full of nutrients, they contain minimal amounts of chemicals and harmful contaminants that takes away from their natural value. Organic produce and juice boosts the body’s immune system and helps streamline the digestive process without causing the liver to become sluggish and overworked. They are digested easily and more completely, allowing the body to capitalize on the valuable nutrients they provide.
About the Author
Becky Flanigan has lived near the beach since she was a kid. She gave up on surfing a while back, but enjoys walking the beach just as much as ever. Becky always enjoys the challenge of a new writing assignment.