Gardening has come a long way since I was a kid. I recall seeing people try their hand at putting in a backyard the size of Alabama. This was a time when everybody thought bigger was better. Huge gardens were planted with the hopes of getting fresh vegetables for the table. This was a excellent way to bring healthy fresh produce into the family table in a cost efficient price. The only problem was that by planting the back 40 acres with veggies, the final product was overwhelming. And of course trying to maintain this oversize garden was a job in itself. A enormous backyard would take hours upon hours to weed, until, and decide on the growing produce.
Once the produce began to come in there was an overabundance of veggies. The entire neighborhood was living from your garden. This did save money for the operator but in addition, it helped the entire community while the gardener did all of the work.
Today a backyard garden can be a terrific way to save on your growing food bill. In the years I have been gardening, I have discovered that creating a tiny efficient space with numerous vegetables can be quite rewarding and quite a savings into a growing family. To do this is becoming more important than ever. It’s estimated that annually in North America alone that 136 million pounds of pesticides are used on gardens and lawns. In actuality, the happy homeowner uses roughly 3 times the quantity of pesticides as the farmer. This is not great for people and definitely not great for the environment. If there’s a way to make healthy and vitamin rich veggies in this era, then it’s important that most of us try to assist Mother Earth cure. This is exactly what organic gardening is all about.
To begin your garden, select a sunny location. This is a space in your yard that gets the most sun daily. If it’s shaded by trees and scrubs, then these can be trimmed back to allow the sunlight during the daylight hours. Summer has more days of sun, so we would like to utilize as much as possible to have the garden produce as much as you can. Ultimately too much color will slow down the developing process and lessen your overall end product. Once the place is selected, then we have to turn over the soil either by hand or by means of a tiller. This aerates the soil by turning under any weeds or grass back in the soil. Once this is done then we can plan the garden place.
Planning is important because we wish to use the space we’ve so diligently prepared efficiently and get the most for the little space we’ll be using. Remember the direction of sunlight and plan your garden with the taller vegetables towards the back and the shorter ones to the front. This may use the sun more beneficially. Another component of the preparation stage of your backyard is the design of the rows. I’ve discovered in the past that using tighter rows can cut down on having to weed or mulch larger paths. Once the planning and design is done, we can proceed to planting the garden with plants or seeds. Seeds will need time to germinate emerge as young sprouts. Mature plants like tomato plants can be bought from a local source in your area and can cut down of having to await germination. Some vegetables will still have to be started from seed but use whatever plantings you may get to shorten the time before production of fruit.
The backyard will be taking shape particularly once the rows become visible with the tiny shoots poking through the ground. As the plants grow and increase in size, it’s necessary to pull up the soil around the base of the plants. This promotes root growth and discourage weed growth. With tomatoes it’s desirable to generate a mountain that affirms the plant although tomato baskets or other racks will be essential to help support the plant as it develops. At this time we can begin covering the soil with an organic mulch or straw to further discourage the growth of weeds. This is another reason it’s a good idea to keep the width of the rows narrow. The straw will keep the moisture from the soil during dry periods and keep the weeds at bay. Once this step is completed, there’s not much left to do other than wait for the backyard to begin producing vegetables.
Watch your garden carefully for any invaders such as insects that will destroy everything that you have done up to now. You will find beneficial insects such as ladybugs that are attracted to your garden and will prey on harmful insects or their larvae. Ladybugs consume aphids, mites, white flies and scale. Additionally, there are homemade mixes that are inexpensive to create with the extra point of knowing what it is you’re putting on your backyard. These combinations are made from peppermint, peppermint, stinging nettles or horsetail and diluted in water. An example of a single homemade recipe for murdering soft bodied insects (mites, aphids and mealybugs) includes a single tablespoon of canola oil (oil smothers the insect) and a couple of drops of Ivory liquid soap mixed in a quart of water. Shake well and pour into a spray bottle. Spray the contaminated plant from bottom to top being sure to get the underside of the leaves of this plant. The perfect time to spray is in the morning as the sun will help dry the mixture onto the plant and help kill off the damaging insect. Also bear in mind that if it rains, further spraying may be necessary so as to rid your garden of it is pests.
Well, this is the fundamentals but should get you started in your own little corner of paradise. There are other facets of organic gardening like composting which will be addressed in another report. Good Luck and happy gardening.