How To Start Organic Gardening In Three Simple Steps

Most people forget that all gardening was organic before the introduction of weed killers and pesticides. Simple remedies such as compost heaps and old manure were used to add nutrients to the soil and boost production. Weed killers weren’t necessary because you covered simply covered the garden with a thick blanket of organic, decomposable material such as grass clippings or leaves to prevent weeds from getting a foothold. However, as you learn how to start organic gardening you have to be careful about what you introduce into the garden to avoid contamination.

First Step: Choose Your Garden Area And Test Your Soil

You want to make sure that the soil is healthy before you start planting. There are tests for toxic levels of dangerous metals available for your soil. You also want to find out if there are is a sufficient amount of nutrient-rich material as you learn how to start organic gardening.

Most tests for contaminants measure high levels of metals in the soil. If you have an older home and choose to locate it near the house, you may have too much lead in the soil. If mining or manufacturing was done historically in your area with toxic materials, you should certainly do a soil test. Some people choose to omit this test if they don’t fall into any of these categories.

Vegetable gardens require a very rich soil and any area that hasn’t been worked in the past will likely have very low concentrations of essential elements such as phosphorus and potassium. Once you know the composition of your soil, you can start adding to it. Different crops require different soil composition so it’s important to note that one size does not fit all.

Second Step: Create A Garden Plan

The heart of learning how to start organic gardening is discovering what makes your plants flourish as the seasons pass. As you decide which vegetables or flowers you want to grow, investigate which plants they are ‘happiest’ growing near. Over time, the natural world has worked out schemes to protect itself and plants in close proximity can ward of predatory insects and other varmints. For example, the modest marigold, basil, and rosemary work together to protect your tomato plants.

Make a simple plan for the first year and be prepared to learn. Try different combinations and regularly inspect your plants to see how healthy they are year after year as you try out new methods. It is very exciting when you are able to find combinations that work well together!

Third Step: Select Your Plants

Most organic gardeners love to grow heirloom plants. There are many, many different varieties that are tasty and delicious that have been developed in many gardens over many years. The seeds are not genetically modified in a science lab but carefully selected by gardeners who saved seeds.

Try a few different varieties of each type of plant if you can to find the ones that your family loves the most. Each year, you can spend your winters pouring over seed catalogs and imagining a new layout. You will find new ways to keep weeds out and protect your garden from pests without using dangerous chemicals.