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Organic produce is better than regular produce in many ways. Still, buying organic fruits and vegetables from the grocery store can quickly add up in bills. So, we are here to tell you how to plant and grow your own vegetables and fruits at home, and get double the benefit from it. Gardening will feed your soul, and the produce will feed your stomach!
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Importance of Organic Planting
1. Access to Fresh Organic Food
2. Better Taste
3. Better for Health
5. Water Conservation
6. Less Costly
- Access to Fresh Organic Food – Plucking your own fruits and vegetables and consuming them fresh is an incomparable pleasure. Growing your own food also helps you know what went into the produce and how safe and healthy it is for you.
- Better Taste – Growing your own Organic plants is not only healthier and safer, but these fruits and vegetables taste much better than the alternative. The plants can also grow bigger, as practicing organic growing techniques keeps the soil full of nutrients, which allows the produce to taste and look better.
- Better for Health – Organic produce is free of synthetic chemical fertilizer, pesticides, insecticides, etc. Moreover, it has been proven that organically grown produce contains more antioxidants, making them even healthier for you to consume.
- Eco-friendly – Organic growing techniques involve the use of reusable, recycable items, such as using compost and manure as fertilizer, planting insect catching plants nearby, or using organic-approved sprays instead of sprays pesticides and insecticides, etc. This not only has a direct effect on the plants, but also an indirect effect on the environment. Fewer production of synthetic chemicals for fertilizer, pesticides, etc, decreases the amount of toxic chemicals in the soil, air, as well as in water. Similarly, using compost and manure as fertilizers decreases the amount of waste material in the surroundings, and will go a long way to reduce the pressure on landfills.
- Water Conservation – The soil used for organic gardening is richer and better able to hold water in it, thereby deccreasing the usage of water. Also, the organic mulch sprinkled on top of soil to reduce the growth of weeds can not only reduce the rate of evaporation but also increase humidity inside the plant.
- Less Costly – Organic produce can be quite costly to buy in supermarkets and stores. This is money you can save if you grow your own organic produce. Similarly, you will not need to buy chemical fertilizer, and synthetic pesticides or insecticides.
How to Plant Organic Vegetables and Fruits at Home
6. Disease Prevention
7. Beneficial Insects
Growing Organic vegetables and fruits is not very difficult, if you know where to start. Therefore, we have listed the basic steps you need to perform to plant your very own, healthy and flourishing Organic garden.
- Soil – For healthy plants, you need healthy soil. For organic plants, choose organic soil, which is rich in organic matter. Organic matter is mainly manure, compost, peat moss, etc, as it is rich in microorganisms, which can be helpful in providing the growing plants the nutrition they need.
- Sun – For healthy growth, plants need at least 8 hours of full sun every day. Keep this in mind while designing your garden to ensure proper growth.
- Water – Water is another thing that plants need for proper growth. Invest in a water-saving soaker that delivers water to the roots of the plant for optimum usage. Watering from overhead can also cause mildew to form on the leaves, especially if the leaves are wet in the evening.
- Fertilizer – Fertilizer helps to boost the growth of the plant, providing it nutrition to yeild bigger crops. The best organic fertilizer can be well-rotted manure from plant-eating animals, packaged organic fertilizer, etc. If your soil is already rich and nutrient-packed, skip the fertilizer.
- Weeds – To prevent and reduce the growth of weeds in your soil, spread a thick layer of mulch on the soil. This layer will create a barrier between the weeds and direct sunlight, while also preventing them from germinating. For Organic mulch you can use cocoa hulls, newspaper, weed-free straw, etc., as these things will add nutrients to the soil while decomposing.
- Disease Prevention – Plants from the same family, or even those closely related can be affected by the same kind of diseases. Rotating crops to different areas of the garden can help prevent and limit disease development in the plants. It can also deplete the soil from nutrients as different plants leech different nutrients from the soil. Similarly, weeds can also attract pests that can transfer diseases between plants. Therefore, you need to regularly clean the soil to prevent weeds from forming and get rid of them before any damage is done. Moreover, fallen foliage from a diseased plant can spread the disease around as we. So pick up shed foliage weekly and throw it in the trash instead of your compost pile.
- Beneficial Insects – To ensure your plants are healthy, you can plant a complimentary plant in each bed row that attracts beneficial insects. These insects include lady beetles, praying mantis, etc to eat smaller, harmful insects, as well as bumblee bees for pollination. The plants that attract these insects can be Daisies, Marigolds, Sunflowers, etc.
- Placement – When preparing your organic garden beds, design small plots for the plants so you don’t have to step on any plant to reach the next row. Elevated pots are a popular style as it is easy to water them and care for them. If you have a small garden area, employ the techniques of vertical gardening to make full use of the space. Similarly, consider the instructions on the seed packages and give plants ample space between each other so fresh air can pass through. This fresh air flow can be extremely beneficial in preventing fungal diseases.
Which Plants are Best Suited for Organic Home Gardening
1. Root Vegetables
3. Squash Family
Choosing which fruits and vegetables to plant at home requires careful consideration. It depends on how much space you have, what items you consume in day to day life, how much of it you consume, where you will buy seeds, what type of seeds you want e.g., organic, heirloom, or hybrid, how long your desired plant takes to grow and which season is best for it, etc. However, we have listed down some suggestions that are easy to grow at home, and are most beneficial when grown organically.
- Root Vegetables – Root vegetables are possibly the easiest to grow and plant. These include tomatoes, scallions, horseradish, beetroot, carrots, etc.
- Herbs – Herbs such as Coriandor, mint, basil, etc., can be easily grown at home, both in a bed and a pot or container.
- Squash Family – Squash family includes cucumbers, squash, melons, gourd, and pumpkins. They grow very fast as well.
- Lettuce – Lettuce of any kind, as well as Spinach can be easily grown at home, though they are cold water plants.
- Peppers – These include bell peppers, chilli peppers, as well as capsicum.
- Lemons – Lemons are a very common household plant. Although it requires one to two years for a lemon tree to mature and start giving fruit.
- Tomatoes – Tomatoes are the easiest to grow as you can just plant a slice of tomato, seeds and all, in the soil and it will grow by itself.
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