Sunday, June 7, 2009

How To Start an Organic Garden: Sun, shade, soil and dung!

By Amelia Lathyrus

Congratulations! You have made a great decision; you are going to start an organic garden! But, how to begin?

Plan your garden!

Take a day to look at your garden. During which time of the day are the sun in your garden? Are there places that get more sun than others? Or places that hardly get any sun at all?

Many perennial flowers develop well in the shady parts of the garden, or actually prefer them, whereas most vegetables need lots of sunshine to grow really well and mature properly.

So put your veggies in the sun (but dont hesitate to grow sun craving flowers amongst your veggies, they go well together), and place flowers in the shade.

Prepare your soil

Now it is time to put your shovel in the ground and take a look at your soil. You need to decide whether it is mostly muddy or sandy, and see if different parts of your garden have different kinds of soil.

To prepare a sandy soil in the best manner, you should add organic matter. If you are the lucky owner of a compost pile, you can simply use the degraded material from that. You do know that a compost pile is the backbone of every organic garden, so make sure you have one. However, if by any chance you do not have one at the moment, you have to purchase for example cow-dung or the like, which is very good as it will not only bring organic matter to your soil but also a lot of nutrients. Be careful with peat though, as it may make your soil to acidic.

Your soil will improve over time if you remember to add organic matter every spring.

What if your soil is muddy then? If it's heavy clay, you'll probably do well to add some gravel or coarse sand to make it drain better. Beware of fine sand, as it will turn your muddy soil into concrete. And thats not what we are looking for, is it?

And then, do just the same as with the sandy soil: add lots and lots of organic matter, to make your soil porous and make the earth worms happy.

Dig your soil two shovels deep. Preferably, avoid rototilling as it tears apart the roots of the weeds, spreading them even more, as well as tearing apart the earth worms, ouch!

Rake, sow, water and wait. And remember, take a stroll in your garden every day, pick a weed here, squash a bug there. Get to know your garden!

About the Author:

No comments: