Many people (myself included) have wanted to venture into the organic world for quite some time; however; we often become quickly overwhelmed when we notice just how expensive it can be. Luckily, now with growing season finally underway, we can create a delicious produce garden that is free from pesticides and toxic chemicals while still having fun.
Don’t know where to start? It is actually quite easy to do yourself as it takes very little effort. In order to avoid becoming overwhelmed early on it is best to remember that you can start small. For most beginning organic gardeners it is often recommend to start by using just one or two plants. For those wanting a large organic garden it is possible to hire someone to plant and maintain it.
While an organic garden does require a bit for effort than a traditional garden, it is definitely a worthwhile venture for those attempting to foster a more holistic, environmental friendly lifestyle. An organic garden requires the use of absolutely no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. But, how do I ward off pests, and bolster my plants health without these? Read on for specific tips and ideas.
Tips for Creating the Perfect Organic Garden
Tip #1 – Preparing the Soil
In order to achieve the best results with your new organic garden, you’ll want to make sure you thoroughly prepare the soil, in order to properly condition it. Some of the best ways to ensure good healthy soil is to get it tested and to ensure it has plenty of organic matter. You can do this by mixing in compost, leaf, grass clippings and manure.
Tip #2 – Choosing the Right Plants
It really pays when choosing the right plants, or seedlings, to make sure you’ll actually eat what you’re planning on planting. Otherwise you’re taking up valuable space for something you might never put on your plate. When selecting plants it is additionally important to ensure that they will thrive in Arizona by checking the USDA’s Hardiness Zones.
Make sure to only purchase plants that have been raised without chemical fertilizers and pesticides. You can typically find these at your local farmer’s market and nurseries that carry organic friendly plants. Some plants such as sunflowers, coriander, dill, sweet peas, squash and cucumbers do better if they are grown from seeds.
Tip #3 – Plant Crops in Wide Beds
For the best results when harvesting plants, such as vegetables and flowers, you should group them tightly together in a wide bed that you know won’t be trampled on. Raised beds work great! This tip reduces the amount of weeding and watering you’ll need to provide your organic garden with. In addition, this helps to maintain the proper amount of nutrients and compost, as well as promote air circulation.
Tip #4 – Water in the Morning
Tip #5 – Weeding & Mulching
Tip #6 – Protect Plants from Insect Infestations
One of the best ways to protect your plants from insect infestations naturally is to foster a healthy amount of natural predators such as frogs, lizards and birds. Ladybugs work to! You can also use nets and row covers, but plan on needing to change them often, due to our harsh summer temperatures. Organic solutions include horticultural oils, insecticidal soaps and hot pepper sprays.
Tip #7 – Harvesting the Fruits of Your Labor
Plant the following to make awesome organic salsa from scratch:
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Jalapeno Peppers