Interested in growing organic? For many, its the only way to grow.
When starting an organic vegetable garden you must start from the ground up. Compost is the key to a lush, bountiful organic garden. If you dont already have your own compost, check with your local municipality. Most give away leaf compost for free. Some even deliver by the truckload to your home!
Leaf compost is very rich in organic matter; however, it still needs a few amendments. Lime added to your compost will balance the Ph and Gypsum added (about 5lbs. per 100 sq. ft.) will keep the soil nice and loose, it also adds trace minerals such as calcium which is great for the soil. Adding these will also help plants intake the nutrients they need to thrive. Work this into the top 4″-6″ of soil.
Another important key to growing organic veggies is sunlight. Take some time to watch the sun as it moves across your property throughout the day. Start your garden where it will get the maximum amount of sun and plant your rows from NE to SW. It is also important to water your garden in the early morning between the hours of 6 and 10 am. The will allow for good water absorption and any water left on the leaves will evaporate before the heat of mid-day. Watering in the middle of the day is not recommended because the water will evaporate before it has a chance to really soak in (or you will have to water longer to get the same effect). The leaves of the plants may also burn as the water on the leaves heats up. Never, ever water your garden in the evening unless you want a tough battle with the evil fungus! Let me explain. When you water in the evening it is cooler and dark. The ground will absorb the water well, however, the round will only suck up so much, and then the garden is left with water on the leaves and puddles (even small ones) around the stems. There is no sun to gently evaporate the excess. Water and air can carry fungus spores naturally. The water laying on the leaves and around the stems acts as a fertilizer to the evil fungus and it grows literally overnight. Before you know it you have black spots on your tomato and pepper plant and curling leaves on your cucumbers!
Ok, once you have chosen your location, prepared the soil, and have placed your plants in rows, use your recycled newspaper as a weed preventer between the rows. Once the newspaper is wet, no weed can penetrate it. Its not very pretty, do like I do and give it a covering of mulch. Newspaper and mulch also serve a dual purposethey help retain moisture around the plants. Just try to keep them away from the stems of your plants.
Pretty simple so far, huh? There is a great misnomer about the word ORGANIC. Many people think that organic means work. Its just the opposite. Working with nature, and using simple principles is always easier and more successful than working against nature with harmful chemical based fertilizers and control products.