Healthy living starts with a green diet. I’m sure we all know that buying organic foods can be on the expensive side but you really don’t have to break the bank in order to eat healthy, organic food. Think about it this way: If you go to the store and buy produce, just one bell pepper can cost you up to two dollars. If you took that two dollars and bought a pouch of seeds, you could grow a plant that could produce dozens of bell peppers in one growing season compared to the one bell pepper that you bought at the supermarket.
Instead of spending tons of money at the supermarket, try spending some time in your garden to produce some organic veggies of your own! It’s really not as difficult as it might seem. Organic gardening really isn’t that different from other forms of gardening except that you will be paying closer attention to how you tend to your plants.
1. Organic Beginnings - Do your best to find organic seeds. This can be difficult because not many seed packages will come right out and say “hey! We’re genetically modified!” Do some research on the seeds that are available in your local nursery to find out if they were genetically modified.
2. Avoid Chemicals - Ditch the “cides”. Insecticides, pesticides, herbicides, these things are all full of synthetic chemicals that are toxic to the environment. Plus they don’t discriminate. Not only will the kill off the intended victim, but they will also harm anything else they come in contact with. Lady bugs and other predatory insects can help you to keep pests at bay. Maintaining healthy soil and fertilizing your plants will increase their resistance to attacks from pests.
Fertilizers can be your organic garden’s best friend but if you’re trying to keep it organic, avoid using those of the synthetic variety. Instead, create your own compost pile to use. Compost is a great fertilizer and if you do it yourself it’s free minus the cost of your leftover decomposable garbage.
3. Mulch - Switch to organic mulch. Mulch is probably one of my favorite gardening subjects simply because it makes such an amazing difference when it comes to weed and pest control. There are tons of organic mulches on the market but I personally prefer to use grass clippings from my lawn. If you do decide to use grass clippings, make sure synthetic fertilizers weren’t used on your lawn to help it grow.
4. Do the Upkeep - Keep up on the weeds in your garden. Weeds are more harmful to gardens than many people tend to think. They have to potential to smother your vegetable plants and steal their food and water supply. Mulch is only going to help your garden if you remove the weeds first and pull the few that infiltrate through the mulch barrier.
5. Watering Basics - It’s weird to think that there are basics when it comes to watering your garden because it seems so basic in and of itself but believe it or not, there are actually correct ways to water. The first thing to consider is when you actually water. You should never water at night. Watering at night increases the likelihood of fungal problems. The best time to water is between 6 and 8 am so that the leaves have a chance to dry off before cooling down.
Another mistake that people make when watering is watering too often. When you water, the idea is to keep the soil moist but not flooded or completely dried out. Like other living things, plants are susceptible to drowning too. Apply water at the base of your plants and let the water run deep. In many cases watering every day is not necessary. That being said, keep a close eye on your garden and pay attention to how your plants look and the moisture level in the soil.