Organic Vegetable Garden
Having an organic vegetable garden is gardening the way God intended it to be.
“Working with nature, not against it ”
By organic I mean, only using natural materials, products that are still in their original form with no trace of chemicals.
Fortunately, you can grow an organic vegetable garden simply by using composts, mulches and green manure crops that slowly release nutrients over time, supplying you with all the nutrients needed for your plants to produce an impressive tasty crop for you.
If you feel you need to use fertilisers to boost the soil with nutrients for plant growth, here are some examples of organic fertilisers that can be used in your organic vegetable garden:
• Blood and Bone
• Chook pellet fertilizer
• Fish emulsion
• Mineral rock fertiliser
• Worm castings
• Seaweed liquid fertiliser
To determine if a product is certified organic it will display a label on the package detailing the company that manages the certification, the managing certification company has stringent guidelines that producers need to abide by to maintain their certification including annual soil testing to prove that there are no chemicals present.
It’s important to
‘know your soil’ ,
soil is the life blood of your organic vegetable garden, identifying what nutrients your plants are lacking in or have excess amounts of.
Recognise the need to rotate your crops in your organic vegetable garden so they don’t deplete the soil, but enhance the life of the soil, adding plenty of organic matter to the soil such as compost,
and green manure crops will enrich the soil with plenty of humus and millions of micro-organisms.
Your soil has a life force that needs to be fed a balanced diet of nutrients to keep it healthy, a common problem when the soil isn’t balanced is insects and soil born diseases that weaken the plants, especially fungal diseases that damages the leaves and/or their root systems.
Keep it simple, it’s really not complicated once you know how.....
Compost is one of the keys to a successful organic vegetable garden.
Compost is never high in nitrogen; it’s a balanced and rich form of slow release nutrients that contain a wide range of microbe species that enrich the soil.
When applying compost to the soil always dig it in or cover with mulch for the best results.
Green manure crops are soil replenishers, they provide other sources of nutrients for the soil. These crops are grown as an organic process to supplement the soil; this process involves digging in the crop once soft and sappy back into the soil. This biomass is dug in like you would with manure providing your plants with carbon rich nutrients.
Mulch is the best form of
cover the ground with a thick layer of mulch (15cm or 6 inches) this will stop the weeds from sprouting up through the ground, any weeds that do manage to come up will be easy to pull out because the ground will be nice and soft.
Pea straw, barley mulch & lucerne hay are the best forms of mulch to use, bearing in mind any mulch is better then none at all, a very cheap mulch is grass clippings (costs you nothing, but your time mowing the lawn...) or sugar cane mulch that is cheap if its available to you... be sure to check the origin of the mulch, if you want to maintain an organic vegetable garden, ensure your mulch is organic....
Added bonuses of adding mulch to the soil:
• Mulch provides a covering and food source for worms and other soil organisms who come to the surface to feed, enriching and adding to the soil.
• Mulch helps to retain moisture in the soil.
Other methods of weed control are:
• Pulling weeds by hand
• Digging weeds out with a hoe
• Flame torch ( burning the weed)
• Crop rotation helps, once finished harvesting each vegetable variety, dig in compost, manure & lime to boost the soil ready for the next crop.
Crop rotation is the best way to break up weeds and disease cycles in your organic vegetable garden, by not growing the same vegetable variety in the same place twice, you will not allow soil born disease to build up in the soil.
Separate vegetables into 3 categories heavey feeders,soil improvers and light feeders for rotation, to minimise nutrient depletion & build up of soil pathogens.
is simply pairing plants together that enjoy one another’s company, just as we want to hang out with people that we like and that like us, plants are the same.
Here are a few examples:
• Tomatoes and Parsley
• Asparagus and Basil
• Peas and Turnips,
• Beans, Sweet Corn and Carrots (stay away from the onion family)
• Cabbage, Potatoes & herbs, especially Sage that also helps to repel insects.
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Check out! This cool website on mom going organic in a sensible way. They have heaps of great information on there website.