Can You Put Weed And Feed In A Flower Bed Eat Green – How to Grow Your Own Organic Fruit and Vegetables

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Eat Green – How to Grow Your Own Organic Fruit and Vegetables

Basics of organic gardening

Organic gardening differs from “conventional” gardening mainly in the area of ​​fertilization and pest control. Organic gardening is planting without chemical fertilizers and building the soil naturally to support healthy plant life. People are increasingly aware that organic food is better for the environment. This organic gardening primer will help you get started in this fun, healthy hobby.

The main thing to remember is that organic gardening is not just about the use of pesticides and the soil in which your garden grows. The goal is to create an ecosystem in your yard where every part is respected and in good shape. Hardy plants can better defend themselves against pests and diseases.

Soil is the source of life

Soil is the source of life for plants. Indeed, one of the problems with chemical gardening is that it sterilizes the soil and robs it of its life. Organic soil is alive and contains a lot of living matter. From this fountain of life, plants create nutrients for you to consume.

At the beginning and end of each growing season, the organic gardener works the soil by adding natural garden fertilizers to enrich the soil and replace the nutrients that the plants have used up. You can use organic fertilizers of animal origin and organic fertilizers of plant origin or any combination of the two. You want to add mass to the soil along with nutrients.

Organic fertilizer of animal origin

Organic garden fertilizer of animal origin can be reduced to one word – manure. Cow manure, chicken manure, fish emulsion and bat guano are the most commonly used, but horse and rabbit manure can also be used. Use solid animal manure to dig into the soil and make a “manure tea” for transplanting seedlings.

There are some safety issues to consider when using animal manure. All manure should be aged or composted before being used as an organic garden fertilizer to remove E. coli and other potentially troublesome pathogens. Also, you can’t use the manure of humans or predators such as cats. Their digestive system contains bacteria that are pathogenic to humans, and the bacteria can get into or on food grown in soil fertilized by their feces.

Organic plant-based fertilizer

Compost, seaweed, worm castings and “green manure” are the most standard plant-based organic garden fertilizers. Seaweed and algae are usually purchased as dried and processed organic garden fertilizer.

“Green manure” is planted as a cover crop, usually in the fall after harvest. Plant a nitrogen-fixing plant like soybeans, and the symbiotic bacteria in the roots will add nitrogen to your soil. After the cover crop sprouts in the spring, dig it into the ground and let the plants decompose and enrich the soil.

Compost

By far the most widely used organic plant fertilizer is compost. Compost is a great way to recycle plant matter. There are many theories about composting and you can learn how to do it from community workshops, books or other experts. In fact, it is not difficult to make compost. Simply store all vegetable scraps, garden scraps, plant scraps, grass clippings, dried leaves and other plant scraps and let them decompose. A hot compost pile that you turn frequently (to get air into it) will make compost in a few weeks. A compost pile decomposes faster if it generates heat and needs to be at least three cubic meters in size to get nice and hot. If your compost pile isn’t that big or doesn’t heat up well or you don’t turn it, don’t despair, it will still be good compost. You can throw the vegetable waste in a pile and leave it. If it sits for a long time, like a year, it will compost itself.

A worm box is an alternative to a compost pile. Worm castings are very rich in nutrients. To create worm castings, start with the right type of worms, which can be obtained from any organic gardening source. Place them in a sort of covered tub with slightly moist plant material. The worms do all the work and you get a rich organic garden fertilizer at almost no cost. Read about how to set up a worm composting system or purchase a kit from your local garden centre. Don’t forget to add earthworms to the soil, as they create natural fertilizers in the soil and provide aeration.

Add natural fertilizers like these to the soil at least twice a year and dig them into the top six inches of soil. Within a few years, you’ll have rich, dark, productive soil—even if you started with sterile, gray, chemically treated dirt.

Water is a necessity of life

All living organisms need water. It is important for the health of your plants to provide them with enough water to thrive. However, indiscriminate use of water wastes water and washes away soil. Watering where it is not needed encourages weeds. Water when the sun is low, early morning or evening to reduce evaporation. It is important that the water reaches the roots of the plants without running off and taking precious soil with it, so add water slowly and let it soak in. Use the sprinkler hose to water only the garden plants and nowhere else. If a soaker hose (or irrigation system) isn’t your choice, dig a shallow well around the base of each plant and fill it up and let the water soak in. Use mulch around plants to conserve water and prevent rain from eroding your fertile garden soil.

Don’t let weeds rob your garden plants

Only your prized plants should benefit from the rich soil and water you provide. Therefore, it is necessary to remove all other plants that find your garden a great place to live. This means that it is important to weed your organic garden. In the mid-twentieth century, at the height of chemical use in horticulture, it became common to spray herbicides on the soil to control weeds. But now we understand how harmful such use of chemicals is to the environment. Pulling weeds by hand is neither difficult nor time-consuming. Your organic garden is a wonderful place to spend time, so why not spend it removing weeds that compete with your plants.

Here are the basics of weed control. First, make sure you get rid of the weeds before they go to seed. The weed routinely produces thousands of seeds in a short period of time. If weeds are growing around the edges of your garden, mow them down before they spread their seeds. Second, when pulling weeds by hand, be careful to pull out the roots so the plant doesn’t grow right back. We dig out deeply rooted weeds with a trowel. Third, use mulch as a barrier to weed growth. Organic mulch will also help retain moisture and add organic material to the soil. In winter, you can cover the entire area with plastic to kill the weed seeds.

Control pests without harmful pesticides

Pest control is probably the biggest problem organic gardeners face. Chemical-based pesticides are some of the most toxic substances you can have in your food or pollute the environment. So how do you prevent voracious insects like Japanese beetles from destroying your crop? In organic gardening, you start with the least toxic intervention and work your way up from there.

Pest control

The first step is to plant wisely. Remember that healthy plants will need less of your help in fighting pests, so make sure your plants are well fed and watered. Also use companion planting and crop rotation to deter pests before they arrive. Some plants repel bugs and are good to plant next to tasty plants. Garlic, onion and calendula are commonly used to repel bugs. Plant them in a border around your garden and between garden plants. Crop rotation is a method of planting a different crop in a specific area of ​​your garden each year. Where you put tomatoes this year, put pumpkins or corn next year. Crop rotation is particularly useful in preventing plant diseases.

Non-toxic means of pest control

The next step is to remove the pests when you find them. Remember that not all insects are pests. In fact, many bugs are your helpers in pest control, but the wholesale use of toxic pesticides eliminates both predatory and harmful bugs. It is important to be able to identify good and bad bugs. Go outside early in the morning or late at night when it’s cool and remove any tomato worms, potato bugs, Japanese beetles, slugs or other harmful insects you find. Crush them or carry a bucket of soapy water to drown them. Better yet, feed them to your chickens. The most effective way to get rid of small bugs like aphids and mites is to spray the plants with a hose and wash the bugs off with a strong stream of water.

Physical barriers are another non-toxic method of organic pest control. They prevent pests from accessing your plants. Some examples of barriers are cutting the tops and bottoms off of coffee cans and pushing them into the soil around tender young plants to keep out worms, or using fine mesh to cover your plants to protect them from grasshoppers or birds.

Predatory insects

One of the biggest defenses against pests is other insects. Bugs that eat other bugs are a fantastic means of pest control in an organic garden. Ladybugs, praying mantises and lacewings are all beneficial insects. You can buy them from a garden store and release them into your garden. These predatory insects control aphids, mites and many other pests. Most spiders are also insects, so let the spiders do the work for you.

Use of organic pesticides

If you are using these non-toxic pest control agents and still face a heavy pest invasion, the last resort is to use organic pesticides. They are usually made from plant derivatives or minerals. These natural pesticides are certified for use in natural agriculture and are much less dangerous than synthetic pesticides, but they are still toxic. It is important to find out how harmful the pests are; you can choose to live with them instead of using something that is organic but more toxic than you want to expose your food to.

Insecticidal soap is quite safe for food plants and the environment and works well to get rid of garden pests. You can buy it at a garden supply store or make your own by adding a few drops of liquid dish soap to a cup of water. Spray it on the plants and then rinse. Works great on aphids and thrips.

You can usually tell how toxic an organic pest control is by checking the warning label. If there is no warning on the label, the substance is probably not toxic. If the label says “caution”, the product is toxic. “Warning” on the label means that it is moderately toxic, and “danger” means that the substance is very toxic. Organic horticultural pesticides rarely carry a “danger” warning. It is very important to apply organic pest control products exactly as directed on the label. These products can be dangerous and must be used properly to minimize exposure to all toxic pesticides.

For more information

If you want to get started on your organic garden, you’ll find plenty of help. Find gardening clubs or workshops in your community; gardeners are always ready to give advice. Additionally, there are countless books, magazines, and websites. You can also find your local co-op office which offers advice in partnership with local universities. Like all living processes, organic gardening has its own rhythm. You don’t do everything at once. Start slow and learn as you go.

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