How To Get Rid Of Weeds In A Flower Bed Organic Gardening – The Basics to Starting a Small Garden

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Organic Gardening – The Basics to Starting a Small Garden

Gardening has come a long way since my childhood. I remember seeing people try their hand at planting a garden the size of Alabama. It was a time when everyone thought bigger was better. Huge gardens were planted with the hope of getting fresh vegetables for the table. This was a great way to bring healthy fresh produce to the family table at a cost effective price. The only problem was that by planting the last 40 hectares with vegetables, the final product was disastrous. Not to mention maintaining that oversized garden was a job in itself. A huge garden would take hours upon hours to weed, cultivate and harvest the growing fruits. When the produce started arriving, there was an overabundance of vegetables. The whole neighborhood lived off your garden. This saved the owner money, but also helped the entire community while the gardener did all the work.

Today, a backyard garden can be a great way to save on an ever-increasing food bill. Over the years of gardening, I have found that creating a small efficient space with more vegetables can be very beneficial and a big savings for a growing family. Doing it organically is more important now than ever. An estimated 136 million pounds of pesticides are used on lawns and gardens each year in North America alone. In fact, the happy homeowner uses about three times as much pesticide as the farmer. It’s not good for people and it’s definitely not good for the environment. If there is a way to produce healthy, vitamin-rich vegetables in this day and age, then it is important that we all try to help Mother Earth heal. That’s what organic gardening is all about.

Choose a sunny spot to start your garden. This is the area in your yard that gets the most sun all day. If it is shaded by trees and shrubs, it can be trimmed to allow maximum sun during daylight hours. Summer has longer sunny days, so we want to use as much as possible so that the garden produces as much as possible. Ultimately, too much shade will slow down the growing process and diminish your overall end product. After the place is chosen, then we have to turn over the soil by hand or with the help of a tiller. This aerates the soil by turning the grass or weeds back into the soil. Once we do that, we can plan a place in the garden.

Planning is important because we want to use the space that we prepared so diligently efficiently and get the most for the small space that we will use. Remember the direction of the sun and plan your garden so that taller vegetables face back and lower ones face forward. In this way, you will make better use of the sunlight. Another part of the planning phase of your garden is the arrangement of the rows. I have found in the past that using tighter rows can reduce the need to weed or mulch larger runs. Once the planning and layout is complete, we can proceed with planting the garden with seeds and/or plants. The seed will take time to germinate and emerge as a young sprout. Mature plants such as tomato plants can be purchased from a local source in your area and can be cut back so you have to wait for germination. Some vegetables will still need to be started from seed, but use whatever seedlings you can get to shorten the time to fruit production.

The garden will now be taking shape, especially when the rows become visible with small shoots poking through the soil. As the plants mature and grow in size, it is important to pull the soil around the base of the plants. This encourages root growth and discourages weed growth. With tomatoes, it is preferable to make a hill that will support the plant, although tomato baskets or other stands will be needed to help support the plant as it grows. At this point we can start covering the soil with organic mulch or straw to further discourage weed growth. This is another reason why it’s good to keep row widths narrow. Straw will retain moisture in the soil during dry periods and will also keep weeds at bay. Once this step is done, there is nothing left to do but wait for the garden to start producing vegetables.

Watch your garden carefully for possible invaders like insects that will destroy everything you have done so far. There are beneficial insects such as ladybugs that are attracted to your garden and will hunt harmful insects or their larvae. Ladybugs eat aphids, mites, whiteflies and scale. There are also homemade mixes that are cheap to make, and it’s also important to know what you’re putting in your garden. These mixtures are made from garlic, cayenne pepper, nettle or horsetail and diluted in water. An example of a homemade recipe for killing soft-bodied insects (mites, aphids and mealybugs) consists of one tablespoon of canola oil (the oil suffocates insects) and a few drops of Ivory liquid soap mixed in a liter of water. Shake well and pour into a spray bottle. Spray the infected plant from the bottom up making sure to get the underside of the plant’s leaves. The ideal time to spray is in the morning as the sun will help the mixture dry on the plant and kill harmful insects. Also remember that if it rains, extra spraying may be necessary to keep your garden pest free.

Well, these are the basics, but it should get you started in your little corner of heaven. There are other aspects of organic gardening, such as composting, which will be covered in another article. Good luck and happy gardening.

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