Organic Gardening – Helpful Tips for Beginner Gardeners

In this age of global warming of our planet, increased pollution and fast food, many people no longer trust the fresh produce on offer as many try to exercise some control over what they eat.

Similarly, the chemicals that have been used for so long in gardens are no longer accepted as the only means of channeling the vicissitudes of nature.

One of the key ways to improve our environment (and our health) is to ‘go organic’. “

Why organic gardening?

Organic gardening is one that uses only natural materials and does not use artificial fertilizers or chemicals.

Try to work with nature instead of against it.

Advantage

Organically grown foods taste better than those grown with artificial fertilizers.

Costs – Organic material can be created by returning all waste to the earth, which is an inexpensive process compared to inorganic, which tends to be much more expensive in the long run.

Same with chemical sprays. If you create an orchard where parasites are not a problem, you save a lot on the cost of chemicals.

Another advantage is that by adding organic material to the Earth, it continues to improve it, and by dumping chemicals, it ultimately impoverishes the soil.

The size of the fruits of an organic garden is usually larger and of higher quality.

Tips for planning an organic garden

The first step to take when planning a garden is to make a list of what you want from it, imagine what you can achieve within the space and time available.

Once you have determined the priorities, it is time to locate or organize the available space within that garden.

Some areas will be sunnier, others will have better soil or soil, some places will be much wetter, etc.

To cultivate a good garden you will have to find the best position in relation to the sun and the air.

If weeds grow better in one part than in another, this may mean that the soil is better there. Be aware of areas that have sun all day or only a partial day.

caring for the earth

The soil is the most important part of your garden, the composition of the soil varies, so be aware of this variation.

Sandy soils are very light and friable and drain easily.

The clay that is formed consists of fine particles that stick together creating the characteristic stickiness of clay. Clay drains very slowly, so clay soils create a wet, slippery environment in which few plants are comfortable. Dry, sticky soil is also very difficult to work with.

Between these two types, clay and sandy soils can be improved simply by adding fertile mulch.

A soil can be acidic or alkaline. The relative acidity/alkalinity of soil pH is measured on a scale of 0 to 14 where 7 is neutral.

For the best organic garden soil, it should be on the acid side of the neutral point, at the 6.5 point. Below that, the soil is too acidic and will not allow some minerals that plants need.

But clay, sandy, alkaline or acid soils can be modified.

Another consideration of soil structure is its profile. Generally, in a garden, the top layer of soil contains the best soil. The layer below it is known as groundwater. And below this is the real underground.
It is essential to keep these layers in their respective places.

Identification of layers of earth.

Surface layer: It is the darkest and richest part of the garden profile. It is where plants primarily grow and is also where most worms, bacteria, and insects reside, many of which are beneficial to plant growth.

Finally we must consider the area of ​​hardness that can occur between the different layers of the soil. This is a correctable problem if it is not known in time. If not corrected, it can compromise the dig depth.

soil analysis

To find out if your garden soil is loamy or sandy, place a sample in a jar of water and then shake it up, allow the different components to settle in layers and any organic material will float to the top.

Because of its ability to retain or lose water, dig a hole as deep as a shovel and fill it with water. Let drain and refill the hole. If that water disappears quickly, that means the soil also drains well. On the other hand, if it’s still there after a few hours or even days, it’s clearly locked on the opposite end.

If it regularly disappears in half an hour or so, then its use and capacity are correct.

There are several natural indicators of the acidity or alkalinity of your soil. For example, if there are ferns or rhododendrons in your garden, this means that the soil is acidic.

improve the land

Once the soil is tested, only then will it be possible to see what can be done to improve it.

In light soils, such as sandy ones, it is best to add decomposed organic material, this will help retain moisture and also provide nutrients for the plants.

Clay soils are more problematic to treat, mainly because they are hard and difficult to work. To improve it, stones (gravel) must be added, because it improves drainage, separates the soil and makes work easier.

Ash-burnt weeds, organic material in the form of manure or poultry manure can also be added to help transform the soil into a lighter medium. The worms will constantly break it down and mix with the soil, the worms will cover most of the new layer so that the original soil becomes fertile and usable again.

Sewer system

Drainage is an important part of improving the soil. Gravel can be added to waterlogged terrain, but if there is a serious problem of stagnant water after each downpour, a suitable drainage system must be installed.

This is done by digging trenches in the form of drainage pipes.

Cover with small stones or simply fill the trenches with rubble covered with gravel.

An alternative is to use water to create a pond and then install water drainage pipes.

Gardening is not just about planting seeds and then sitting back and waiting for the harvest. Between these two events, weeds attempt to colonize the bare soil and crop-eating insects seek out these succulents.

The gardener’s job is to prevent this from happening.

For some, digging and weeding can be very relaxing and therapeutic. When weed control or soil balance is lost, gardening becomes a battle.

The secret is “little and often”. If time permits, spend an hour a day.

Another obstacle will be nature, which tends to get in the gardener’s way with the occasional bad weather.

You can take steps to minimize its effect:

Wind

Create various problems. First, the wind can easily blow down the entire garden bed.

Windbreaks are something to keep in mind when setting up any garden, although it may not be essential if you live in an urban area where buildings protect it from the wind, but in rural areas it can be vital.

The best windbreakers are those that allow air to filter through. Although a wall or fence will look solid and appear better in strong winds, they actually cause a lot of turbulence that can be just as devastating as the wind itself.

A row of trees allows the wind to naturally filter through.

A much faster solution is to build a fence to allow the wind to pass through. It can be made of wood or bamboo.

A modern alternative is to use screens, sold especially for this. This type of windscreen must be firmly anchored in the ground and needs to be renewed or replaced from time to time.

A hedge creates a perfect barrier that slows down the wind and causes it to seep into a moderate current.

Cold

The cold is not bad during the winter. It helps to break down and kill the insects that have arisen. But when spring sets in and plantings have begun, frost can be deadly, or at least a hindrance.

The gaps can be covered with metal or fabric, a fence or hedge placed at an angle along the slope above the frost hole so that cold air is diverted to one side and go to another side. A row of bushes or a V-shaped curve uphill also deflects frost from cold air.

It is always advisable to have a flower garden near a vegetable field. In some cases, it may even help to mix the two.

An alternative favored by many organic gardeners is to create a series of raised beds, each containing one or more types of vegetables, planted in blocks rather than rows.

Some plants grow best in containers or trays for planting later.

It is best to plant on cool days, preferably if there is a chance of a light rain. Humidity and cold help the plant to survive.

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