Grow Organic Produce on the Cheap
Contributor
Written by
Rosemary White
October 2015
Contributor
Written by
Rosemary White
October 2015

If you’ve got access to a patch of ground you can learn to grow organic foods unexpensively. The basic definition of organic gardening is “gardening without synthetic fertilizers and pesticides”. You need to know how to provide the nutrients the plants need to survive and to be able to sustain and nourish them. Here are a few tips to get started:

1. The first step is to make sure that there are no pesticides or weed killers applied to your garden area. Don’t worry if the soil doesn’t appear to be in very good condition as you can easily add compost to improve it. Prepare your compost area by building a bin with posts and planks incorporating a detachable side so you can get the compost out. Put twigs and straw in the bottom to allow for drainage.

2. Start collecting waste for homemade compost; include all food remnants from your kitchen such as vegetable peelings and tea bags. The addition of layers of manure or soil will heat it up effectively. Also add shredded paper, weeds, old bedding plants, hedge clippings and lawn mowings. Dead leaves are easy to find and add ongoing.

3. When the layers are completed cover with a sheet or carpet and leave it for about three months to rot down completely. After this time remove the compost from the bin and put it all back in again, this will add air and force faster breakdown. The compost will be ready to use on your garden after another three months. Organic fertilizers will need to be added to the soil to make sure that all the necessary nutrients are supplied. You may also want to consider adding an agricultural lime to promote healthy plant growth.

4. Reuse any items that you’d normally throw away such as egg cartons and yoghurt pots. These can be used to start seed growth. Plastic milk jugs make great cloches to protect young plants form bad weather and empty clear plastic bottles can serve as mini green houses. The whole idea of organic gardening is to support the health of the system by cultivating an ecosystem that sustains and nourishes. Get into the organic mind set and consider old buckets as containers and old cutlery as garden tools.

5. Pest control can be managed by encouraging spiders, birds, frogs and lizards to live in your garden. Log piles will attract hedgehogs and piles of fallen leaves in shady areas will make sure you get plenty of wildlife such as toads, newts and centipedes. Ponds are a useful way to water birds but make sure the edges are shallow to let frogs and toads have an easy access. Keeping the pond clean is essential and you must get rid of dead leaves and infected plants to suppress pest populations.

6. Don’t worry too much about planting borders and having neat beds and edges, simply mound the soil and plant vegetables among the flowers. Parsley and basil are ideal for this type of gardening and provide loads of leaves for making pesto, and as you won’t be using any chemicals all your plants will be safe to eat. Remember to save even more money you’ll need to choose plants that yield an abundance of fruit such as tomato plants. All home grown greens like lettuce will save you money throughout the summer months.

If you’re struggling with the concept of your garden design for growing your organic produce why not ask the professionals for some advice? A reputable garden service will send a technician to assess all your needs and provide you with a free, no-obligation quote then you can get started with confidence!

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