Growing organic vegetables in your own garden is really easy!
It’s not just a great way to get some exercise and produce healthy food to eat, you’ll also be saving money in the long run as you harvest your crops. There’s no excuse – so make so your 2011 resolutions include growing your own organic vegetables…
These days organic gardening is becoming not only a popular hobby but also a great way for people to load the kitchen table with organic vegetables that don’t cost much.
Fresh fruit and vegetables can cost a surprisingly large sum of money when you buy them at the shops, but growing your own is really cost efficient.
How to grow your own organic vegetables
With a bit of luck you have a fairly good-sized back yard that you can dig into, but even if you live in a flat or town house you can find space to grow organic vegetables.
Here are a couple of things to bear in mind:
- Plant according to the season – not everything will flourish all year round so do some investigating to find out when you should plant certain fruits and vegetables
- Make sure you do your homework when it comes to soil preparation – a little bit of planning will yield great results in the long run
- Avoid unnecessary chemicals and pesticides – there are organic ways to grow vegetables without doing the natural eco-system in your garden harm
- Use compost or manure to mulch or fertilize your garden instead of chemicals
- Invite insects to your garden! The right ones will keep damaging pests away
Awesome insects and other creatures that help your organic garden flourish include:
- Preying manti
- Crab spiders
- Birds (make sure they don’t steal your crops, cheeky buggers)
You can lay out the welcome mat for these critters by introducing the following plants into your garden:
Basically, get some variety in your back yard with a herb garden and you’ll be well on your way to attracting vegetable-protecting insects.
Mucking about with compost and manure
Don’t think of it as rotting vegetation and dung, think of it as amazing nutrition for your hungry garden. Anything organic that you introduce onto your property can be composted, except for bones and rotting meat which will attract rats. All your vegetable peels, lawn cuttings, dry leaves and other biodegradable material can be placed inside a large plastic container with a hole at the bottom. The hole allows you to spade out the rich compost as the organic material above decomposes and settles down. Yes, you can add animal dung in moderation, although dog poo is sometimes rather overpowering.
Sit and rotate (your crops)
Allow some variety in your soil and plant different things in different beds year after year. Don’t leach all the nutrients out of the soil by planting the same crops in the same area year after year. Here are some tips:
Year 1: Cabbages and beans
Year 2: Sweet corn and tomatoes
Year 3: Potatoes and peas
Make sure you mix it up every year – your taste buds will also thank you for the variety.
Organic Garden Sprays
Make your own organic garden spray concoctions and say goodbye to pests:
How to get rid of fungus and mildew:
- 4 litres of water
- 3 tablespoons of baking soda
- 1.5 teaspoons dish washing liquid (guys, it’s the green stuff, in a plastic bottle, known as Sunlight)
- 1 tablespoon of common household bleach (Jik)
Mix it all together and spray on foilage (not too much since the bleach can do damage to the leaves)
Say cheers to aphids and red spider mites:
- A small bag of nasturtium leaves
- Boiling water
Let the leaves seep in in the water for about 20 minutes and then dilute the mixture (20 drops for 2 litres of water) to make a spray.
Get rid of cutworms
You will need:
- Garlic (5 cloves)
- Pawpaw leaves (one good handful)
- 1 cup of water
Blend this all together in an electric blender and let it stand for 2 days. Strain and then use 1 cup of the concentrate to 1 litre of water as a spray.
Garlic – enemy of vampires, aphids, moths, mosquitoes and many other garden nasties
Get together the following:
- 4 unpeeled cloves of garlic
- 7 tablespoons of paraffin oil (the medicinal type)
- 1 and a quarter tablespoons of soap, grated
- Half a litre of hot water
Add the garlic and paraffin oil to a blender and pulp it up. Pour into a bowel and let it sit, covered, for 48 hours. Melt the soap in the hot water and add it to the pulpy mess. Hide this in the back of the fridge so it cannot be mistaken for garlic butter. Mix a tablespoon with 1 litre of water to make your Garlic Terminator Death Spray.
OK – now go and grow your own vegetables and add your comments or questions below. Have a healthy and organic 2011!