Going organic comes with many benefits. Organic meat and produce is free from additives and chemicals, making it safer and more nutritious. So when you’ve found your organic beef provider sorted, why not start your own organic vegetable garden? You might find it’s easier than you think.
1. Test the soil
Before you do anything else, you should test your soil to make sure it is nutrient rich and free from contaminants. If you life in the city or by a busy road, you may find there are residual chemicals. In this case, you may find a planter box is the way to go.
2. Create your planter box
Select or build a wooden box that is about 1.5-2 feet deep, 3-4 feet long and 2-3 feet wide. Clean it thoroughly and you will also need to make small holes in the bottom as drainage. Place small pebbles in these small holes or make a small wire mesh to ensure sand or soil doesn’t block them.
If you have clean soil in your garden, this will work just fine, but otherwise you can pick up some potting mix from your local gardening or hardware store. For added nutrients, consider mixing in cow dung or natural compost.
3. Pick your plants
Pick out your favourite vegetables, for instance, carrots, radishes, lettuce and spring onion, and get some seeds or seedlings. A bit of research will let you know which plants are compatible and which will grow well next to each other – for example, corn can be planted next to cucumber, peas and pumpkin but shouldn’t be planted next to tomatoes. You should also choose plants that will flourish in the month and location you are in. Your local farmers’ market is a good place to look and often vendors have great knowledge.
4. Take care of your garden
Make sure your planter box is in an area that will enough sun and rain without being overwhelmed, and be sure to water your garden regularly. When using fertilisers and manure, steer clear of harmful chemicals and make sure they’re natural. Horticultural oils, insecticidal soaps and garlic or hot pepper sprays all work well. Organic mulch can keep the amount of weeds in your garden at a manageable level. If you’re finding they are still coming through, put some burlap around the base of your plants.