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How to Get Started with Organic Gardening

If you’re thinking about getting started with gardening or even if you already have a garden, organic gardening might be the best decision you make. 

When you’re an organic gardener, it will help prevent damage to the entire environment, and it will also eliminate pesticide and herbicide residue on the food you eat. 

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Why Go For Organic Gardening?

organic gardening

We’re learning how dangerous some of these substances can be. For example, the seemingly run-of-the-mill weed killer Roundup is now linked with the development of cancer. 

Synthetic pesticides have been linked to an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease, leukemia, lymphoma, asthma, and neurological disorders.

If you aren’t sure where to start, the following are some things to know about organic gardening.  

How to Start an Organic Garden

Choosing the Right Site for Your Garden

A big part of a successful garden comes down to choosing the right site. You’ll need a place that’s going to get a minimum of six to eight hours of sun a day. Most plants that produce fruits and vegetables need full sun. 

Leafy greens might be okay in partial sun, however. You should also choose a site that’s well away from large roots and trees because those can sap the nutrients from your fruits and vegetables. 

Container gardening is another option if you don’t have a good outdoor space.

How to Start an Organic Garden

Prepare the Soil

With an organic garden, the quality of your soil is extremely important. It needs to be well-conditioned so that your vegetables are getting nutrients. When you have healthy soil, you usually have healthy plants. 

You might want to get a home testing kit for your soil which will tell you more about nutrient and pH levels. Even if you don’t do testing, make sure that your soil has humus. 

Humus is organic matter that’s composed of compost, grass and leaf clippings, and manure. 

Composting

Your garden will benefit tremendously from compost, and you can make your own as part of your organic garden. When you compost, it gives your plants food, helps save water, and it can reduce the number of weeds you’re dealing with. 

A compost heap can be a pile, or you can use a garden composter. You want to rotate layers of brown material, which is carbon-rich, and green material, which is nitrogen-rich. Carbon material includes leaves and trimmings from your lawn. 

Nitrogen or green material includes scraps from your kitchen and manure. Between each alternating layer, add a thin layer of soil. Top your pile with up to six inches of soil and turn your pile as you add layers. 

Barely moisten it with water when needed. It should take you about two months to get high-quality compost, and if you maintain it well, it shouldn’t create an odor. 

Fertilizing an Organic Garden

Along with the use of compost, you can fertilize an organic garden

Along with the use of compost, you can fertilize an organic garden, but you have to be careful with what you choose. There are two broad categories of organic fertilizers

There’s dry fertilizer that uses things like blood meal and bone meal. These dry fertilizers provide nutrients throughout a growing season. You can put dry fertilizer right on top of your garden and then rake it into your soil before you plant. 

You can also add it to your planting holes when you’re transplanting or sowing seeds. You can also mix dry fertilizer beside your plants during the growing season. 

Another type of organic fertilizer is a liquid option. It’s not as concentrated as dry fertilizer, and it doesn’t provide as much of a nutrient boost, but it can be beneficial in some cases. 

Liquid fertilizers that are organic include kelp extract and fish hydrolysate.

Starting with a Small Garden

If you’re brand new to gardening or organic growing, start pretty small. If you start out too big, then you’re going to get overwhelmed with the chores required to take care of lawn.

Weed Prevention

You’re going to have to pull some of the weeds in an organic garden by hand

You’re going to have to pull some of the weeds in an organic garden by hand, it’s inevitable, but you can take steps to control weeds. First, try to use either organic mulch or burlap, which can keep out some of the weeds. 

Watering Your Garden

It’s best to water your plants in the morning because there’s less evaporation. If you water your plants in the evening, they stay damp all night.

That makes them more susceptible to bacterial and fungal diseases. Try to water the roots of your plants rather than the greenery. 

Also see: The Different Types of Gardens You Can Plant at Home

Wrapping Up Our Organic Gardening Guide

Finally, when you’re dealing with a lot of pests, it may be a sign of an underlying problem that you could fix. For example, you should check the moisture and light your plants are getting. 

You can use beneficial insects like ladybugs, and you can buy them from nurseries to keep harmful predators out. Other organic options include horticultural oil, hot pepper spray, or garlic. 

Start with these steps and you're on your way to organic gardening! 

About the Author Ann Katelyn

I'm Ann Katelyn, Creator and Chief Author of Sumo Gardener. Since I was a child I've always been fascinated with plants and gardens, and as an adult this has developed into my most loved hobby. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening and started Sumo Gardener as a way to express my knowledge about gardening with the hope of helping other people's gardens thrive.

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