Organic gardening is in vogue, thanks to the health and monetary benefits it brings an ordinary household.
Picture this: You wake up early in the morning. With your sleepy eyes, you opened the window of your room to get some sunlight. As the first ray of the sun shines in your eyes, you see a sparkling organic garden in front of you.
The garden is full of life and biodiversity, bringing fresh thoughts to your mind. The breeze and flowers’ aroma refresh you as if you have chugged a cup of coffee. It couldn’t be better than starting your day with an organic garden.
Do you want to convert your home lawn into a natural garden through organic gardening? The available information on the internet isn’t good enough to get you started. Luckily, our complete guide to organic gardening will hold your hand through the step-by-step process
Keep reading as we will show you:
- What is organic gardening?
- What does it take to become an organic gardener?
- What are some of the best benefits of organic gardening?
- A comprehensive guide to creating an organic garden in your home.
What is Organic Gardening?
It is the art of nurturing small plants, vegetables, and fruit trees in your house’s backyard or lawn without using synthetic means. Also, it avoids using artificial machinery to prepare the soil for gardening.
So one thing is clear from this definition you should avoid pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and other chemicals in tilling the plants. Now you will ask how you would supply the nutrients to the soil if you don’t use NPK fertilizers. The answer to this question is straightforward.
You have to use natural fertilizers like compost, vermin-based soil nutrients, manure, and leafy substances to meet the nutritional value of the soil. In a nutshell, it’s a holistic approach to building an organic ecosystem where diverse life can thrive and co-exist according to the principles of nature.
What does it take to become an Organic Gardener?
For some people, its time consuming and hard to do organic gardening. If you feel the same, then it’s not for you. The stark difference between conventional and organic gardening is a change of mindset. Conventional gardening is all about producing. It distant you from the creative process of nature.
You may put tons of chemicals into your lawn to see a well-shaped garden, but there is no joy. After all, it’s the chemicals that do most of the gardening. On the other hand, organic gardening requires a love for nature and a desire to work with it rather than against it.
Brings you close to nature:
It’s like you become a part of the natural chain that includes microbes, minerals, water, soil, and the right environment to help a seed reach its ultimate goal. That’s the reason people involved in organic gardens don’t take it like any chore. They are more close to nature.
A concern for the environment:
Becoming an organic gardener takes a passion for nature and the environment. Charity indeed begins at home. So, to feel responsible for climate change is something commendable. An organic garden makes that desire real as you commit your time and energy to produce more oxygen.
A curiosity for natural creative process:
Similarly, you must have a deep-rooted desire to inspect every small plant sneaking out of seeds. It doesn’t matter even if, in this process, you get yourself dirty or spend some bucks for the organic growth of your garden.
What are some of the best benefits of Organic Gardening?
The desire to grow vegetables, fruits, and other edibles at home has grown more than ever. A study by Scotts Miracle-Gro and Wakefield Research shows that around 67% of American adults are eager to grow edibles in their home gardens.
There’s a lot of talk about the organic lifestyle. Why? It’s because of the benefits a home gardener gets from nurturing an organic garden. Let’s discuss some of them.
Organic Gardening improves health:
The produce you get from organic tilling doesn’t require synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. That means your fruits and vegetables have little to no traces of toxic chemicals. On the other hand, many studies suggest that even low levels of pesticides in the products can cause health problems for children and adults alike.
The situation in the US is alarming, as 70% of the population is consuming food having traces of carcinogens. EWG’s dirty dozen guide shows that strawberries, kale, spinach, and apples contain the highest level of toxic chemicals in your food. So the food you intentionally ask your children to eat can affect their health badly.
Even if you assume eating lots of fruits and veggies can improve your health, think twice. So, you can avoid the detrimental effects of conventionally grown food by growing your organic home garden. Plus, you have an added health advantage of more nutritious and mineral-rich food.
Organic Gardening is therapeutic:
Many people believe that gardening is therapeutic and relieves stress. According to a recent survey, many people took refuge in gardening during the testing times of Covid-19. They believe that connecting to nature helps them relax their minds from the bad news popping up on social media.
Therefore, it’s better than any other hobby when it comes to mental health. Humans have a long history of living with nature. That’s why we still feel relaxed whenever we go on a picnic in the park or camping in the jungle. These activities are the biggest escape from the grind of mundane, mechanized daily life.
Therefore, having an organic farm at your home is great for staying in touch with nature. Plus, when you till the soil and get yourself dirty in mud and soil, you get intimate with nature– making it a soothing experience for your mind. Working in your garden also gives a sense of purpose. Those who don’t find any purpose and remain in existential crisis can try gardening.
Organic food is tasty:
We– humans– love to eat. No other species on this earth has developed so many weird rituals and styles to cook, savor and enjoy food as we do. That’s why we have evolved our teeth and taste buds over time. Food taste plays a vital part in our moods and feelings.
Suppose you sit at a restaurant to give yourself a delight. A single bite can either cheer you or can ruin your evening. It’s not possible to visit expensive restaurants to eat delicious food daily. But, you can get a fresh and genuine taste if you have organically grown vegetables, fruits, and grains in your home garden.
It’s a no-brainer that organic veggies taste better than supermarket edibles. Eat a conventionally grown tomato, and then eat your self-grown garden tomato. You will feel that the tomato you bought from the supermarket taste like nothing. However, the freshness and rawness of organic tomatoes feel real.
There are many factors that govern the taste of vegetables and fruits. For instance, the food you buy from the supermarket comes from across the country. Countryside-commercial farms grow these edibles and send them to main city centers, where it gets transported to different markets.
You never know how many days the fruits and vegetables remain in air-tight containers that deplete their nutritional value and taste. On the other hand, locally grown veggies take no time to land on your kitchen table and get consumed before they get stale.
You can cut costs with organic garden:
There has been constant talk about the expensive production of organic food. Many people believe that organic gardening is a hobby of the elite. Notwithstanding, it isn’t right. You can save a lot of money if your food is in your home. First, you won’t need to visit grocery stores whenever you want some cabbage, carrots, or fruits.
With rising fuel prices, you can go savvy on your groceries. Also, you can cut on your expenses as you don’t need to pay per product to the vendor. Instead, you are growing everything in bulk. Just buy some seeds you need, soil nutrition (worms, compost, or dirt), water, and sunlight to grow enough food for your family the whole season.
Develops exercise habits:
Gardening can be the best recreational activity for your muscles and joints. It is a hobby cum exercise for you if you take it seriously. The process contains specific exercises, starting from your brain, heart, stomach, and legs.
Even a daily stroll across the garden can speed up your cardio and helps you maintain blood pressure. Also, pruning branches, weeding out herbs, watering plants, and plowing the yard are exercises for your dormant muscles. What to get some stats?
The American Heart Association states that gardening can be a moderate exercise for older and can also help the young. While we can’t compare it with heavy weight-lifting or spending hours in the gym, it can help you lead a healthy life. So, it’s good news for those who have an organic garden or spend time in it daily.
An Actionable Guide to Organic Gardening:
Starting your organic garden can be super easy if you love to give your time to plants and soil. But it can be hard for you if you don’t know where to start. Our step-by-step guide will help you go through each step easily until you harvest your first crop.
Plan out your garden map:
You might have planned to grow veggies in the backyard of your house. Or your front lawn may be your choice. Before jumping into the ins and outs, you first need to know what your yard looks like and where you want to harvest crops.
You can create an organic garden without proper planning, but it won’t pay off well. So, first, plan the map of your garden on paper or PC. The main problem appears when your area is irregular as you can’t plan easily. In that case, you can take the help of Google maps. Open the map and put your house location.
It will show you the satellite imagery. Click on it to view your plot. You can draw the dimensions on paper or choose any drawing app to create a replica of your plot. Once created, you should plan where you want to plant seeds and how to give the irrigation space to the small field. It is almost half the work done before essentially creating a garden.
Harness the micro-climate and zone of your area:
Before even starting, remember that you can’t grow every organic vegetable or fruit in your garden. You can’t go against the climate and the region you live. On the other hand, you can tinker with it a little bit to grow what you want.
Know your area’s garden zone. Find out which garden zone your house comes to. Each garden zone defines climatic conditions. Which crops can grow well in them? Certain crops can’t grow well in certain areas. So, knowing your garden zone can help you find your set of organic crops and vegetables.
Apart from that, you can also get to know when winter comes into your zone to plan the sowing and harvesting of your crops. Go to the USDA website or google plat hardiness zone along with your region to get the map of your state. It will show the vaping temperatures in your region.
Once you get to know your region, you can google the respective crops in your region or go to a seed shop to survey what grows best there. Similarly, you need to know your area’s climatic conditions. Suppose you live in Texas, where the average temperature in summer goes to 38 degrees Celsius.
But you have a plot covered with trees, and the temperature in your house drops by 4-5 degrees.
In that case, your place is relatively cooler than the avg temperature of Texas. Therefore, you must plan your veggie selection based on your place’s microclimate and plant hardiness. It may seem overwhelming, but once you enter the estimate process, you can easily get the data.
Analyze your organic garden site:
There are certain factors you need to know after finding your climatic conditions. The most important thing for plants to grow is sunlight and water. Choose a site where your garden gets 6-8 hours of sunlight. If the water resource is close to the plot, then go for that site.
Otherwise, you can install irrigation pipes to deliver water to your organic garden. You may also need to install several pipes and taps inside the garden. Also, you have to find out the soil’s quality. A rich nutrient soil is the best source for an organic garden.
Yet, sometimes, the soil isn’t good enough. In that case, you can prepare compost or manure to make it right for the proper growth of plants.
Prepare the soil:
You need to know two main things before you prepare your soil. First is your soil pH. It’s important to know whether your soil is acidic or alkaline. Mostly, it’s recommended to have neutral soil. But, it can change the soil pH to suit the plants’ growth.
Secondly, you should have an idea of your soil’s mineral composition. Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium composition determine your soil health. So, performing the N, P, and K tests on your soil is better. You can send your soil samples to a laboratory or perform all the tests yourself.
Depending on the test results, you can add compost and manure to fulfill its nutrient deficiencies. Once your soil is ready, you can plow it to sow the seeds. Some gardeners use beds. If you find them useful, then go for it.
Choose the right plants:
Choosing the right plants for the right soil is important to creating an economical organic garden.
You have to remember that the climatic zone, soil quality, and time matter a lot in gardening. Moreover, you should also determine the preferred plants you want to harvest. Depending upon the seasons, there are different species of vegetables and fruits.
For instance, tomatoes can be grown in winter or summer, but the best time is spring when the weather becomes less harsh. Similarly, you can learn more about different plants and their optimum seasons on the internet.
Take measures to control pests:
There are a lot of pesticides available in the market, but they aren’t organic and can even poison your soil. Therefore, you should avoid them at any cost if you want your organic garden to thrive. What else should you do then?
There are several organic and artificial chemicals-free pesticides you can purchase from any organic fertilizer shop. Moreover, you can adopt several organic techniques to ward-off pests and insects. Moreover, erratic irrigation can also bring pests to your garden. For example, companion planting can help improve pest control.
The most awaited part of maintaining any garden is harvest time. If you follow the steps mentioned above, you will surely get a bounty of the harvest– even more than you expected. Plus, it gives you the satisfaction that your hard work and dedicated time paid off. It’s all about honing the skills and giving your best to your organic garden.
Every organic enthusiast wants to convert their small barren lawn into a lush green garden. The information on the internet does not provide a detailed account of how to create an organic garden from scratch. Therefore, we provided a step-by-step guide to organic gardening for you. Let us know about your feedback.