Growing Organic Vegetables
WHY GROW ORGANIC?
Like generations before us, we are again discovering the joys and benefits of growing healthy, home grown vegetables. In our modern day quest for a return to healthy living, food quality has been proven to be the basis of good health. You are what you eat. Not only does food supply us with essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals to build strong bodies, but other important components such as enzymes, antioxidants, essential fatty acids and fibre, preserve our health. Freshly picked organically grown fruits, vegetables, herbs and nuts are known to contain high levels of these beneficials’, and nothing compares with the flavour of home grown!
Fresh produce grown organically in your own garden is the best assurance that your family’s food is safe and not contaminated by toxic chemicals often used in commercial growing.
WHAT IS ORGANIC GARDENING?
The essence of organic gardening relies on the building up of a healthy compost rich and crumbly soil with a thriving ecosystem. Inputs which damage the environment, pollute, kill soil life, or cause toxicity in food, soil and water sources are strictly forbidden.
A handful of rich soil sustains more living organisms than the human population on earth. This soil life is made up of microscopic beneficial fungi, bacteria, algae and insects which have assigned duties which sustain life on earth, be it plant, animal or human life. The organic gardener uses the following growing methods to preserve ideal conditions for soil quality and life to flourish:
- Mulch is used for moisture retention, to regulate temperatures, preserve fertile top soil and suppress weeds.
- Compost is used to enrich and build soil structure, store water and feed the soil life.
- Fertilizers from natural sources are used for health through nutrition of plants and people.
- Natural pest and disease control and growing strong plants are the organic gardener’s preference to using poisons, which kill the good with the bad. The Organic Gardener uses products that disrupt the pests’ life cycles, feeding habits, repels or creates discomfort.
- Water regularly with good quality water as per the crops requirement, season and climate.
Top 10 Tips For Growing Organic Vegetables:
VEGETABLES ARE SUN LOVERS – Choose a spot that gets full sun all day for best results.
VEGETABLES ARE SEASONAL – Select vegetable varieties according to season and climate of the area you live in. Most seed packets detail prime planting periods per variety.
PLAN STAGED PLANTINGS TO ENSURE VARIETY AND CONTINUIOUS SUPPLY – Plant a few seeds of each variety every week to ensure harvests over the full season.
PREPARE BEDS WELL BEFORE SEEDLINGS ARE PLANT READY – Seedlings lose vigour and vitality if they stay unplanted in germination trays for too long a period.
OLD SEEDS EXPIRE – For successful germination get your fresh seeds each season.
PLANT EDIBLES THAT YOUR FAMILY LIKE TO EAT – There are a lovely variety of novel, tasty, and colourful vegetables to choose from, but select varieties that suit your family taste.
FERTILIZE VEGETABLES BY GROWING TYPE FOR SUCCESS – Group veggies into the following categories for fertilizing requirements (Flowering & Fruiting, Roots & Bulbs, Leafy Green and Seeds, Pods & Legumes). A little SR high nutrient organic fertilizer goes a long way to grow quality crops!
WATER VEGETABLES REGULARLY – In dry, warm weather water at least 3 times per week, preferably in the morning to prepare them for the heat of the day. Adjust watering for cooler autumn and winter conditions.
MULCH VEGETABLE BEDS AFTER SEEDS GERMINATE – To prevent weed growth, retain soil moisture and a constant soil temperature.
DO NOT SPRAY POISONS ON VEGETABLES – Use non-toxic, organic products.