Organic Gardening Is Simple, Eco Friendly And Healthy — You Interested?
Hey, guys this is Abigail. You guys remember about my Eco home project? Ever since that project, I have had this idea to convert our home into an Eco home. Hence, as a first step I’m going to set up a vegetable garden in our back yard. Since the whole thought is about sustainable living and the environment, I’m gonna do Organic Gardening. Guys, growing our own veggies has many benefits.
- Chemical free and fresh: It’s better not to talk about store bought vegetables and fruits. In most cases, they are not good for your health. So its better to grow your own chemical free, organic veggies and fruits.
- Taste: I’m telling you, organically grown food tastes far better than the commercially grown, store bought veggies and fruits. I don’t know exactly why? Probably it’s the side effect of alteration of its natural traits for large scale production. Anyway, the flavor of store bought veggies and fruits cannot be compared with the homegrown, organic ones.
- Good for the environment: Suppose everyone grows all or some of their food organically at home, imagine how good it is for the environment. In the long run it decreases the demand. Thereby reducing — commercial production, large scale use of chemical fertilizers and saves fossil fuel used for transportation etc.
- Saves Money: Since you are growing, not buying your grocery bill is gonna go down.
- Exercise: Growing food involves lots of physical work. So the benefit is two fold here, you are eating healthy and at the same time getting lots of exercise.
- Reduces Stress: Eating healthy food, plenty of sunshine and fresh air. What else you need to relax yourself?
As I have said Organic Gardening is simple, but in order to be successful you need a perfect plan.
As a matter of fact, the plan is also simple.
To begin with;
- You need to identify your goal.
- Make an assessment of the real estate or in other words know how much space you have.
- Figure out ways to get sustainable sources of organic fertilizers.
- Find out eco-friendly ways to protect your precious plants from weather as well as from pests.
- Figure out practical ways to irrigate plants in a sustainable and not to mention in an eco-friendly manner as well.
Undoubtedly, my goal is to get yearlong harvest. In other words, my plants should be able give me produce throughout the year. With this intention in mind, I have two options;
- Single — Harvest Plants
- Continuous — Harvest Plants
Single — Harvest plants are those plants, as the name suggests, all the fruits or vegetables ripen at the same time and harvested all at once. So to get a year long produce you need to implement succession planting. Which means we plant batches of the same crop at different time intervals rather than all at once. As a result, the plants mature at different intervals and produce a continuous harvest throughout the year.
Continuous — Harvest plants are those crops that gives continuous harvest for a long period of time like, Pole beans, most tomato plants etc.
As far as available space is concerned, we have a small back yard and an open patio. Since, real estate is limited, it’s a good idea to go with Continuous — Harvest plants rather than Single — Harvest plants.
There is no organic gardening without organic fertilizers. There are many ways to acquire organic fertilizers.
- Buy from local and online stores
- If you have animals like cow, goat, chicken etc. Their fecal waste is a good organic manure.
- But the most important source is the compost made from our food and biodegradable waste.
I’m gonna make a simple Pipe Compost set-up to produce organic fertilizer in a sustainable and eco-friendly manner.
Building a pipe compost system is easy. All you need is two or three (depending on your waste output) 6 inch diameter, and about 2 meters long PVC pipes. Dig 30-35 cm deep holes in the ground and fix the PVC pipes as shown in the image below.
Put waste in one pipe until it is full and move to the next. And when you finish the second one the first pipe would have converted all the waste into good compost. You can use the compost for your garden. And repeat the process. Make sure to put some east inside the pipe for accelerating the fermentation process. If available a small amount of cow dung and water mixture can also be used as an accelerant.
Note: Depending on your waste output you might need additional pipes in the system. Remember to cover the top of the pipes using a cap or a plastic cover to keep smell from escaping and to prevent water entering the pipes during rain.
Organic and Natural Pest Control
There are several natural ways to control pests in organic gardening.
1. Companion Planting: Companion planting is the fundamental element of organic gardening. In brief companion planting is the process of identifying and planting certain plants together, which are beneficial to each other, hence the name companion plants. Companion plants help each other by attracting beneficial insects, fixing nitrogen in the soil and much more. I’ll tell you more about companion planting in my next article.
2. Other Eco-friendly pest control tips.
You can watch the video from California Gardening to learn more about organic pest control.
Sustainable and Eco- friendly irrigation.
When you are trying to do organic gardening, wasting precious water is without a doubt the most contrary thing to do. The best way to irrigate plants without water wastage is through drip irrigation techniques.
There are several DIY ways to drip irrigate your garden, but all things considered, here is how I’m gonna do it.
1. Orbit Single Outlet Programmable Hose Faucet Timer
Rain Bird T63-500S Drip Irrigation 1/2″ (.630″ OD) Blank Distribution Tubing, 500′ Roll, Black
Rain Bird T22-250 Drip Irrigation 1/4″ Blank Distribution Tubing, 250′ Roll
Vktech® Adjustable Flow Irrigation Drippers 360 Degree Emitter Drip System
Rain Bird SW20-30PS Drip Irrigation Spot Watering Dripper/Emitter, 2 Gallon Per Hour, 30-Pack
Rain Bird ET/1PK25S Drip Irrigation Emitter Installation and Removal Tool
There are basically three ways we can grow our vegetables.
- In some form of a container
- On the ground
- Raised beds
We choose which path to go depending on the quantity and quality of space available. I have a patio and a small backyard. So I’m gonna go with containers for my patio and raised bed in my backyard. I choose raised bed over planting directly on the ground, because of one reason. On a raised bed, we have total control over the quality of the soil. Moreover, it is less mess and no need for any digging or ploughing.
So that’s it guys, the plan is ready and now let’s do it!
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