Organic Vegetable Gardening
Growing organically is really good old fashioned gardening, as practised before synthetic chemicals were invented but with the addition of modern scientific research, such as, the introduction of beneficial insects.
It's also all the good old fashioned methods, only available to a few in the know, in a small area. Such as seaweed, which only those gardeners close to the coast would have used. Nowadays, of course we can all go down to the garden centre and buy it in a liquid form. We can use it, diluted, on our tomatoes as feed, or to dip our seedlings in, before transplanting, to reduce stress. Now to get down to the "Nitty Gritty" of how to go about it! Firstly, before you rush out, rip up your lawn and go crazy with the rotovator take a little time to ponder on the following, and be realistic!
1. How much time do you (and your family) really want to spend on your
I know, from my own experience, how easy it is to get carried away,
grow tons of stuff all at once, be totally worn out, frustrated, and
who the heck's going to eat all this stuff anyway!! If you don't want
to spend much time on your plot, you may want to think about a low maintenance
garden. This involves using mulches such as bark and / or landscape
fabric on your paths and growing crops, such as potatoes, under black
plastic. (See picture, above.)
Now back to the Nitty Gritty! All organic gardening needs to be a balance
of soil fertility, companion planting and the encouragement of wildlife.
What you need, if you have the room, is a compost heap, or ideally two. Once you've made your heap, dig this gold dust into your veg plot. Preferably in the Autumn when preparing for the next growing season.
The Companion Planting Bit
You can either plant your Marigolds around the entire plot, or just around susceptible crops. Now how do I plant my crops? If you plant rows of onions between rows of carrots, you will deter Carrot Fly. To avoid diseases you should not plant the same crop in the same place for at least three years. So make a plan of what you've planted where, because believe me you won't be able to remember especially if you've planted loads of veggies!
Now to the Attracting Wildlife Bit
Put up as many nest boxes as you can for lots of different birds, such as Tits and Flycatchers not forgetting bat boxes and hedgehog houses.
You should also put up lots of bird feeders throughout the winter and early spring. And don't forget the Hedge Pigs! My mother- in- law weighs hers before winter sets in, and if they're not heavy enough to make it through the winter, she feeds them up with cat food!
She also feeds them throughout the winter, which encourages them to stay in her small garden. You may find that initially, by growing completely organically, it may seem that every bug in the world has made a "beeline" for your garden. Don't panic! It's not that you're doing anything wrong, it's just that populations of the good guys, the critters and birds, need to build up. This can sometimes take as long as three years. So be patient, and stick with it. Believe me it will really be worth it in the end I promise!
A Further Little Word
If you need any further advice on organic veggies or have comments
on this web site, send me an EMail. The chums here at firstname.lastname@example.org
From Helen, "The Organic Veg Doctor"