Have you noticed that the organic section of your grocery store has grown exponentially in the last few years? This type of food, as it clearly seems, has ceased to be a fad of hippies and environmental nuts. Organic foods are everywhere and you can find them alongside other vegetables and fruits in your local stores and markets. So how about the vegetables and fruits you grow at home?
Have you made the leap to this source of healthy food yet or do you still have a lot of pesticides on your garden shelf? Let’s take a look at how you can transform your regular garden into a delight of organic vegetables. It doesn’t take much and you won’t have as many problems with insects or poor soil as you thought.
Organic gardens are different from regular gardens in the way that the plants are fertilized and in the way that pests are controlled in the garden. True professionals use only natural products and materials and shy away from any synthetic materials that could be harmful to the environment or to those who consume the produce.
Just like conventional gardens, and perhaps a bit more so, organic gardens take a great deal of work. You may need to plan for a few healthy meals when the vegetable or fruit is in season and leave it at that. On the other hand, an organic farmer may decide to can their vegetables or otherwise store them for when they are longer in season. Clearly, a bigger garden is in store in that situation. Make sure your garden has a steady water supply and that the soil drains well into the ground.
Remember that organic fertilizers and conditioners work more slowly than the synthetic variety so mix up the soil with your fertilizer at least three weeks before you actually plant. Make sure you remove any organic materials that haven’t rotted yet and any weeds or unwanted plants. Fertilizers usually mean using animal manures, plant manures, compost or a mixture of different types of organic fertilizers. Some parts of the world rely on human waste but, generally, that’s not recommended.
Your organic fertilizer will remove the hardness of the soil and improve its overall condition. The soil will be able to hold both water and nutrients much better after fertilizing it. In addition, organic fertilizer buffers the soil so it is more stable to extremes of acidity or alkalinity. In many cases, the microbiology of the soil improves and the added nutrients will gradually release themselves as the plants grow.
Organic plant fertilizer will add healthy nitrogen to the soil in a process called “nitrification”. Nitrogen is a necessary nutrient for the growth of most gardens—even conventional ones. Compost piles help organic gardens by improving the usable nitrogen component of the soil.
Animal manures make for the best type of fertilizer for the average organic garden. It needs to have been aged for at least 30 days to make the nitrogen more usable. The manure varies depending on the type of the animal, the way the animal was fed and even the condition of the animal. After letting the soil rest with the animal manure, you’re ready to plant and grow the healthiest garden possible.