Saturday, May 4, 2019

Starting your own all natural, organic garden

Newly planted edibles in the flower garden
Saturday, May 4, 2019

If you are thinking of starting an edible garden without using chemicals, now is a great time to start an all natural, organic garden.  You don't need much space to get a lot of fresh produce and even fruits.  Organic gardening isn't harder than conventional gardening with synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.  The reason I garden organically is it just doesn't seem like something that is designed to kill other living things whether it be weeds or bugs could be good for you or your family to eat.   

 Growing your own food can be therapeutic and cost effective.  I grow all my edibles either in a pot or in my flower beds.  This way you don't have to worry about hoeing weeds and grass out of the garden.  You take care of your edibles just like you do your flowers; using mulch to keep the weeds at bay.

Studies have shown that organically (all natural) grown foods contain 18-69% more antioxidants than those grown conventionally (with synthetic fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides) as reported by the British Journal of Nutrition.  These synthetics inhibit a plant's production of phytonutrients, according to  Makes sense to me since herbicides and pesticides are designed to kill other living things.

Here are the steps to get started: 
Step 1  Buy the basic gardening tools you will need.  I use a trowel, gardening gloves (the ones with rubber on the fingers to keep my fingers clean and dry), and a foam pad to kneel on when gardening.

Step 2  Decide where to put your little garden.  Most fruits and veggies need 6-8 hours of sun to do their best.  Make sure to put the tall plants like tomatoes in the back.  Give bush veggies like zucchini and cucumbers plenty of space and easily accessible to pick regularly.  Plan to tuck your veggies in and around your flowers.

Step 3  Do a soil test to see what your garden bed needs for the optimum growth.  Dig out a core 6" deep in various locations in the garden.  Mix all the soil together and take to your local extension office to get tested.  Many do the test for free or a small fee.  If you want to just get started, use a balanced organic fertilizer for vegetables.
Edibles in pots
Step 4  Start small!  The number one reason people get overwhelmed with edible gardening is trying to do too much all at once.  You can grow a nice garden in just a 6' by 6' space.  Here are some easy to grow summer veggies to start with:
2 tomato plants (one plant with large tomatoes for sandwiches and pizza, one with small for salads and snacking)  
2 pepper plants (one sweet pepper plant and one spicy pepper plant)  
1 bush zucchini plant  
1 bush cucumber plant  
1 eggplant  

The peppers, zucchini, cucumber and eggplant can all be grown in pots if you prefer.  Decorative container gardening for edibles
Edibles in the flower garden in summer
Step 5  Plant!  Add the amendments around each veggie as you plant them.  Give a monthly supplement of nitrogen around each plant through the growing season.  I use blood meal for quick nitrogen for your plants.

Now, watch it grow!  Summer garden tips 

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