Grow Your Own Organic Garden
Continuing on from our introduction to Organic September led by the Soil Association, we thought you might like to know a few handy tips for turning your garden or home into an organic haven!
‘Growing your own’, whether that’s fruit and veg for munching on or herbs and flowers for using in homemade beauty products, is one sure-fire way to make sure you know what’s going into your body: 100% organic, loved and cared for with zero air miles, meaning more nutrients for you and your family and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. And guess what? You don’t even need a huge amount of space to work with. If you’ve got a garden or allotment of your very own, that’s fantastic! There is no end to the wonderful produce you can harvest. Only got a small area to work with or even a windowsill? You would be surprised at how little space you need to create a lovely organic garden, even if it is a mini one.
Building an organic garden doesn’t have to be put off until spring – there are still plenty of options for planting during the autumn and winter seasons, some of which will be ready this year and some which will start to bloom for spring/summer next year! Autumn is actually a great time of year to plant fruit beds and trees. If you’re ready to get started outside, here’s some produce you might want to look at beginning with: onions, chard, garlic, spinach, broad beans, peas, asparagus, carrots, raspberries & strawberries
Growing organic produce inside is a great idea too. If you’ve got a greenhouse, invest in some grow bags for planting succulent lettuce, potatoes, peppers and brussel sprouts over winter. Use an airing cupboard for setting up an organic garden for mushrooms or why not turn to the beauty side of things and spend the colder months growing some organic herbs and flowers inside your home? Lavender, although big and very fragrant, is a great choice for working with indoors. Once fully grown, replant outside during the warmer months, if you have the space, to help attract bees (you want bees in your organic garden, they will help your plants thrive!). Use the flowers to make your body scrubs, oils, soothing salves or even to add a twist to shortbread biscuits and jam!
It is incredibly satisfying to create your own organic garden, inside or out, and when done right you’ll never have tasted, smelled or used better produce. Here’s a few pointers to help you on your way to successful planting, growing and harvesting:
Prepare The Soil
For a healthy organic garden, you need healthy organic soil; and when you’re forgoing the chemical pesticides and soil treatments, this does require a little more love and attention than usual – but it will be worth it in the end! Get your soil PH balance tested for optimum growth (you can buy a home kit) or just make sure that your soil is rich with nutrients, by giving it lots of lovely compost.
Give Your Produce Space
Allowing your seedlings the room to grow is hugely important for getting your organic garden to grow to it’s full potential. If you’re lacking in space, make sure you go for the right plants. Pole beans, swiss chard and certain tomatoes do better with limited growing space or if you’ve got other things in mind, try using raised beds.
Protect Your Plants
Going for an organic garden doesn’t mean that you have to fall victim to the many pests and bacteria. Using natural horticultural oils or designing a garden that is inviting to natural predators in the insect world works really well. Ladybirds, toads, and birds all do a good job of looking after plants so leave a small source of water for them and grow dill and to attract the right kind of insects.