Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Is Organic Vegetable Gardening for You?

What does it take to be an organic vegetable gardener? For starters, it takes planning, sweat and work, but, if you have a passion for gardening and growing and eating your own organic vegetables, the work really isn’t that bad.

For me, knowing where my vegetables came from, how they were grown and having the peace of mind that I won’t be ingesting any chemicals or pesticides makes enjoying the fruits of my labor well worth it.

I don’t want to discourage you from organic vegetable gardening, but it does take some work; how much depends on your commitment and the size of your garden. Most of the work takes place during planting and mulching. From then on the work gets much lighter leaving time to enjoy the summer.

After your seedlings have been transplanted, your seeds sown and a fine layer of mulch added, the majority of the work is over; it’s basically up to your garden to do the rest of the work. Sure you’ll have to pull a few weeds here and there; they are stubborn after all and some will pop up through the mulch, but they are much easier to pull from beneath a layer of mulch than bare ground.

You’ll also have to combat garden pests, but with the right know-how, doing this organically, without any pesticides, really isn’t that complicated. In the end, you’ll have the satisfaction of providing healthy, organic vegetables for your family - I know I do.

How to Grow Vegetables Organically

Seeds: There are lots of seed companies that sell organic vegetables seeds. They haven’t been coated or treated with any chemicals which makes them organic. They’re a bit more expensive and choosing to go this route is up to you. You can still garden organically without using organic vegetable seeds.

Fertilizer: Fertilize your garden with organic fertilizers. These can be bought at garden centers and nurseries. I use compost and year-old manure and it works wonders.

Mulch: Use organic mulch such as grass clippings, leaves, straw or hay etc. Mulching keeps the soil warm and moist and blocks weeds from growing. It takes some work to completely mulch a large vegetable garden but it is worth it when you spend minutes as opposed to hours weeding every week.

Pest Control: No chemicals or pesticides needed. Hand pick pests, use organic traps and plant insect repelling herbs and other plants in the garden.

The whole point of organic gardening is to eliminate the use of chemicals and pesticides. You can grow a productive and healthy garden without them, trust me, I’ve been doing it for years. My advice is to read about different techniques and tips and give them a try. Figure out what works for you, what doesn’t and what fits into your lifestyle.

Do you have any organic vegetable gardening tips to pass along?

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