Organic backyard gardening is making a comeback! It is wonderful to see so many people embracing the organic principles and ideas. How does one get started? I highly recommend starting out with finding a place for starting your garden. You can do this in your own backyard if you have a yard, or you may rent out garden plots that are available sometimes in communities. Both are good for organic gardening. Once you have your spot you need to take a look at your soil.
Most soils are acceptable for growing produce, however if you do not amend the soil it may not produce as much as you would like. Soil amendments are very important in organic gardening due to the fact that the plant has to grow and survive by thriving in the soil you have planted it in. Often local extension offices will let you send soil in for testing and they will let you know what to add to your soil to achieve wonderful results from your garden. However, most of the time you can add a few key things and get results right away. The things I recommend are:
Compost from plant: This is decayed matter. From kitchen vegetable scraps, yard leaves, wood chips. etc.
Composted Cow Manure: This is a great one, as long as it is composted! I highly recommend adding this to any soil. When I first started gardening I thought it was gross. Now however I am very excited to get this in my garden. It is available at big box stores, or you may also be able to find a farmer nearby who has composted manure available for free!
Peat Moss: This is good for all soil types as it usually will help the garden dirt retain some level of moisture. In the case of clay, it will lighten up the clay so it is not so dense.
With Organic gardening it is important to keep enhancing the garden soil. This is the backbone of the garden. Healthy soil equals healthy plants, which in turn produce high quality and abundant produce! (Which we all want, right!?)
Once the soil is enhanced, you will plant your vegetable seeds, or transplants. I highly recommend using a mulch in the garden to make the garden less work. I am all about saving time in the garden! If you use a mulch the time you spend picking weeds in the garden will actually be very few.
When organic gardening, the mulch is an important decision. I tend to use straw as it is a cheap mulch, but there are other options. Wood chips; newspaper covered with grass clippings, straw. Lay one of these mulches down over the dirt areas between the vegetables and you will also save on water! This is a great benefit to those of us who do not have a lot of time to spend in our garden. Mulches will conserve on water, making our watering task much easier.