Gardening is not very complicated. Most of us have planted a seed in a cup of dirt at least once – probably during our childhood years, cared for it, and watched it bloom. But cultivating a garden that produces fresh flowers and food all season, especially one grown without using chemicals, is a whole new challenge – even for go green enthusiasts.

Cultivating an organic garden may seem like a fantasy- but it shouldn’t be. There are tips and tricks to help you get started in growing an organic garden in your own backyard. You just have to be patient and willing to care for it. Here are a few tips that can help beginners like you.

Organic Gardening - organic foods

Organic Gardening – Planting Seeds

To start planting the seeds that will make your organic garden, you will need a few essential tools:

  • Hand-weeding tool
  • Fork
  • Spade
  • Trowel
  • Hoe
  • Pruners

Make Your Bed: You should check the soil three weeks before you start planting the seeds. It should be dry and it must not clump when you try to get a fistful of it. Once it is dry enough, sink a fork into the earth. Loosen it about 12 inches, and then add a half-inch layer of compost. Remember to get rid of weeds in your garden, as well as any clumps or big stone. As a tip, you should rake the surface of your garden. In doing so, you will bring out weed seeds from the soil.

Dig Shallow Furrows: You should also dig shallow furrow or holes where you plan to plant the seeds. You can set up a shallow trench using your hand trowel or hoe if you want to plant in rows. You can also plant seeds in grids- planting at the four corners of each square. Or you can choose not to follow any pattern for planting your seeds.

Moisten The Soil: As a tip, you should water the soil lightly, just enough to moisten it and not soak it. Watering before planting the seeds will help protect them from getting washed up.

Sow The Seeds: Plant the seeds through the trench you have prepared. Check the packet of the seeds to know how far apart you should place them.

Cover The Soil: Bury the seeds as deep as a diameter. This means that once you planted the seeds, sprinkle soil on top of them then press gently.

Keep The Soil Moist: Lastly, you should sprinkle just enough water on the seedbed. This is especially important if the soil is dry. Continue to do this until the seeds have sprouted.

Controlling Pests

Not all insects and bugs are harmful to your plants. In fact, there are certain beneficial insects that can help your plants grow and keep bad bugs away. To this end, the best way to control pests in your garden without using chemicals is to encourage beneficial insects. There are safe, organic methods to keep pests out.

Companion Plants: There are companion plants that can help neighboring plants grow. These types of flowers enrich the soil and repel pests; thus, you are able to avoid using fertilizers and pesticides. Here are a few companion plants you can consider:

  • Legume, such as beans and peas
  • Chives, basil, mint
  • Onions
  • Marigolds

Flowers That Attract Beneficial Insects: Another way to attract beneficial insects is to plant the right kinds of flowers. Nectar-rich flowers are best for your organic garden since they attract ladybugs, lacewings, ground beetles, and so on.

  • Chives
  • Lavender
  • Parsley and Dill
  • Lemon Balm
  • Basket of gold
  • Basil

Build Barriers: You can create a row cover, which is a woven fabric. This barrier allows light, water, and air to reach your plants, and it can effectively keep pests and other wildlife away from your organic garden. You can look for it in your local garden shops, catalogs, or online.

These are just a few tips to help you get started on your organic garden. As a tip, you should layer a compost of well-rotted manure on the ground after pulling out your plants. This will help keep the soil healthy while it goes through cycles of freeze and thaw during the cold months. Once the spring season comes, your organic garden will be ready for another season.

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Kris Lim is an organic gardener and blogger who offers tips and tricks to help her readers get started in organic gardening. She recommends using organic techniques to keep pests out of the garden; however, for severe infestation, she suggests calling professionals, such as Rove Pest Control.

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