If you’ve decided that you want to serve your family as much organic produce as possible, why not consider growing some of it yourself?
It’s not that hard, especially if you already have a small vegetable plot at home. Even if you’ve never grown vegetables before, we promise: you can do this! You’ll also help save your family some money: organic produce/fruits can be more expensive in the grocery store.
Take a look at some home organic farming tips below.
- Start small.
If you’ve never grown a vegetable garden before, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. If this is the case, we recommend that you start with just one or two plants. Tomatoes, carrots, beets, cucumbers, sugar snap peas, radishes, basil, and even lettuce all are fairly easily to plant, tend and harvest.
- No synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.
You also can buy these products so you don’t have to make/mix them yourself.
- Start from seeds.
You can start them indoors and then move then outside when they get larger. This provides one big benefit: they will be ready for harvest four to six weeks earlier than seeds started in the ground.
Transplant when the outdoor temps are consistently at least 45 degrees F. Place the plants outside for a few hours at a time so that they don’t go into shock. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight during this transition time and try to transplant them in the late afternoon, when it’s cooler.
- Preparing your soil.
The first thing you should do is either get your soil tested (or test it yourself) to determine its pH and nutrient levels. You can purchase a soil testing kit but, if available, send a sample of your soil to your area’s local agriculture extension office. You’ll pay a small fee, but you’ll get a report on your pH and nutrient levels as well as treatment recommendations (make sure you tell the extension office you plan to grow organically).
It’s best to test soil in the fall and apply organic nutrients before winter, but since it’s already spring, do your best and at least apply humus, which is composed of compost and leaf/grass clippings. Compost manure unless you’re not going to plant or harvest anything for two months after applying. Don’t use manure from animals that eat meat and try to get it from animals that have been raised organically themselves.
For more tips and strategies on growing vegetables organically, check out this post at GoodHouskeeping.com.
Understand that you probably will make mistakes and may not see a large harvest from your efforts. That’s OK. You will learn fast and your confidence will grow quickly and next year’s harvest is sure to bountiful.