Do you like the idea of organic gardening but don’t quite know where to start? This list will help you get the ball rolling!
1. Plan your garden – How large will your garden be? How much space do you have? How much time? The larger the plot, the more time you’ll need to manage it. Does your spot drain well? Does it have access to water? Is it sunny or shady? Know what you’re getting into before you plant the first seed. Vegetables need full sun. Flowers span the range of full sun to full shade; check the seed packet or plant catalog for guidance.
2. Clear out the weeds – You’ll probably need to dig them out, to be sure they’re gone.
3. Add compost and other organic matter – It helps to test the soil first (send it to your county extension office). When you get the results back, you’ll know how much nitrogen, phosphorus and/or potassium to add. You may need to add an inch of sharp sand if your soil is clay.
4. Rake your soil into beds or rows – Mulch it with shredded pine bark or other organic material. Leave the plot alone for about a month before you plant it.
5. Meanwhile, start a compost pile – Use leaves, grass clippings, other yard debris, and kitchen waste.
6. Choose your seeds and plants – Consider plants that grow well in your climate, especially native plants. Choose disease-resistant species for vegetables as well as ornamental plants.
7. Plant, watch and weed. Just follow the directions on the seed packet. It’s that simple. Keep a hoe handy to scratch out weeds before they take over. Watch for insects and diseases so you can control them before they become a problem.
8. Water. Water deeply but less frequently to stimulate strong and healthy root growth. Set up drip irrigation to get water directly to plants. Many gardeners use rain barrels to harvest water off roofs, but rain water tanks are becoming increasingly popular, especially in countries that often suffer from drought, like Australia. You can get useful information about how Australians do this at http://www.
9. Get help – If problems do arise, check in with your local garden club or county extension agent.
10. Enjoy your garden! – Stroll through your garden every day. Position a chair, stool or bench close by so you can sit peacefully and watch the butterflies and bees enjoy the fruits of your labor!
Want more info?
Learn to compost here.
For organic and heirloom seeds, visit:
Need a hoe, rake, organic fertilizer or other supplies?