Organic gardening is a labour of love that can yield amazing results for you and your family. The best thing is that you can get started whenever you want. Organic gardening gives you plenty to do year-round, no matter the season.
This is your complete guide to organic gardening brought to you by our garden experts. Read on for the best in modern organic gardening solutions. Visit us in-store for everything you need to get down and dirty, from plants to garden supplies.
What is an organic garden?
As the name suggests, an organic garden is a garden grown in harmony with the natural environment, without the use of chemicals. An organic garden is entirely natural and uses wholly organic means of:
- Bug, disease, and pest control
- Fertilising, mulching, and composting
- Herbicide and weed management
Due to their small scale and reliance on recycling organic material, organic gardens are the perfect project for homes, homesteads, small farms, and community organisations.
Why make an organic garden?
There are many benefits to making an organic garden in your backyard or around your home:
- Prevent the loss of topsoil from your garden
- Remove toxic runoff, water pollution, and soil contamination
- Support the lives of insects, birds, and other garden organisms
- Save on organic supermarket food and inorganic garden materials
- Grow healthier food for you and your family to enjoy
- Cut down on organic waste by reconstituting it as compost
- Put vacant space in your yard to practical use
One of the most incredible benefits of growing an organic garden is teaching yourself new skills. After creating your first organic garden from scratch, you and your family will be invested in a new project that will yield beautiful food and vegetables.
How do you grow an organic garden?
First things first, to grow an organic garden, you'll need several tools to get the job done:
- Garden secateurs to cut and shape plants
- Set of ergonomic trowels and forks for clearing earth
- Breathable and easy-to-manoeuvre garden gloves
- Lightweight and durable watering can
- Large compost bin (see below)
- A highly-rated soil test kit
If your organic garden is particularly large, you might consider investing in a wheelbarrow and shovel. This will help you move soil and mulch with ease.
How to build an organic garden
Now that you have all the materials let's get down to the business of building your organic garden.
Step 1: Soil preparation
Start by preparing the soil. Soil is how plants get their nutrition. Test the soil with the soil testing kit in the autumn and apply your organic nutrients in the winter.
Step 2: Compost preparation
Known in green circles as 'black gold', compost is free organic material. You can create a compost bin or pile in your yard by alternating brown material (like leaves and garden trimmings) and green material (kitchen scraps and manure) with some soil in between.
Is cardboard safe for an organic garden?
Yes! Raw cardboard (unwaxed) can effectively decompose in your compost heap. It counts as dry carbon material, so be sure to balance it with the same amount of green material.
Your compost heap or bin should be largely free from odour. In two months, you should have perfect compost ready for planting.
Step 3: Plant selection
Gardens have different variables like sunlight, drainage, and soil quality. So it's important to pick plants to grow in your organic garden that suits these conditions. If you're ready to select some plants to go into your organic garden, get in touch with All Green. Our team can help you choose the right fruits and vegetables for your space.
Step 4: Watering
Watering your garden is essential, especially in the harsh Australian climate. Water the roots of your plants in the morning to avoid them getting damaged. In total, including rain, your plants should receive about 2 inches of water every week.
Step 5: Weeding
Weeds are a fact of life, and your garden will choke if you do not tend to them. You can reduce the number of weeds in your organic garden by applying a mulch of woodchips, straw, or bamboo.
Tips for growing an organic garden
With a bit of ingenuity and some knowledge of what is available, you can harness the power of nature to get the most out of your organic garden. Here are some examples of tips you can use to ensure strong growth all year round.
- Chillies and capsicums emit capsaicin. When planted close to edible greens, this chemical can deter beetles and other bugs.
- Potato bugs hate marigold flowers. Planting some of them around your potato patch will stop them from making inroads.
- Predators can be your friend. Grow plants with tiny blossoms like dill to attract predatory insects (like ladybugs) to keep your garden well defended.
- Bees are an essential part of the ecosystem. Encourage them to frequent your garden and pollinate with useful flower plants like lavender.
- Introduce some new friends. Add additional Bacillus thuringiensis to your soil to disrupt the digestion of leaf-eating insects like caterpillars.
For more tips and tricks relevant to what you want to grow, visit us in-store at All Green. Our horticulturists can give you tried and tested information on how to get the best out of your organic garden.
What can I do throughout the year to help my organic garden?
Maintaining an organic garden requires attention all year to ensure that it thrives. Here are some tips to keep in mind as the months roll on.
- Prepare your plants for winter by mulching around them for protection
- Trim flowering organic plants in the wintertime to ensure strong growth in spring
- Increase watering in the warmer months
- Be wary of when to harvest the fruits and vegetables to ensure they do not rot