In this era of global warming of our planet, increased pollution and fast food, many people no longer trust the fresh products on offer, as many try to exercise some control over what they eat.
Similarly, chemicals that have been used for so long in gardens are no longer accepted as the only means of channeling the vicissitudes of nature.
One of the key ways to improve our environment (and our health) is to ‘go organic’. ”
Why organic gardening?
Organic gardening is one that uses only natural materials and does not use artificial fertilizers or chemicals.
Try to work with nature rather than against it.
Organically grown foods taste better than those grown with artificial fertilizers.
Costs – Organic material can be created by returning all waste to the earth, which is a cheap process compared to inorganic ones, which tend to be much more expensive in the long run.
Same with chemical sprays, if you create a vegetable garden where parasites don’t prove a problem, you save a lot on the cost of chemicals.
Another advantage is that by adding organic material to the Earth, it continues to improve, and the chemicals released ultimately impoverish the soil.
The size of the fruits of an organic garden is usually larger and of higher quality.
Tips for planning an organic garden
The first step to take when planning a garden is to make a list of what you want from it, imagine what you can achieve within the space and time available.
Once you’ve determined the priorities, it’s time to locate or organize the available space within that garden.
Some areas will be sunnier, others will have better soil or soil, some areas will be much wetter, and so on.
To grow a good garden you will have to find the best position in relation to the sun and the air.
If weeds grow better in one part than another, this may mean that the soil is better there. Observe areas that have sun all day or only a partial day.
Caring for the Earth
Soil is the most important part of your garden, the composition of the soil varies, so keep an eye out for this variation.
Sandy soils are very light and friable and drain easily.
Clay is made up of fine particles that stick together creating the characteristic stickiness of clay. Clay drains very slowly, so clay soils create a wet and slippery environment that few plants are comfortable in. Dry sticky soil is also very difficult to work with.
Between these two types, clay and sandy soils can be improved simply by adding fertile mulch.
A soil can be acidic or alkaline. The relative acidity / alkalinity of the soil pH is measured on a scale of 0 to 14 where 7 is neutral.
For the best organic garden soil, it should be on the acid side of the neutral point, at 6.5. Below that, the soil is too acidic and will not allow some minerals that plants need.
But clay, sandy, alkaline or acid soils can be modified.
Another consideration of the soil structure is its profile. Usually, in a garden, the top layer of soil contains the best soil. The layer below it is known as groundwater. And below this is the real subsoil.
It is essential to keep these layers in their respective places.
Identification of layers of soil
Surface layer: it is the darkest and richest part of the garden profile. It is where plants mainly grow and also where most worms, bacteria and insects reside, many of them beneficial for plant growth.
Finally we must consider the area of hardness that can occur between the different layers of soil. This is a correctable problem if it is not known in time. If left uncorrected, it can compromise digging depth.
To find out if your garden soil is loamy or sandy, put a sample in a jar of water and then shake it, let the different components settle in layers and any organic material will float up.
For its ability to retain or lose water, dig a hole deep with a shovel and fill it with water. Let drain and fill the hole. If that water disappears quickly, that means that the soil also drains well. On the other hand, if you are still there after a few hours or even days it is clear that it is blocked at the opposite extreme.
If it disappears regularly in about half an hour, then its use and capacity are correct.
There are several natural indicators of acidity or alkalinity in your soil. For example, if there are ferns rowing in your garden or rhododendrons, this means that the soil is acidic.
Improve the land
Once the soil is analyzed, only then will it be possible to see what can be done to improve it.
In light soils, such as sandy, it is better to add decomposed organic material, this will help retain moisture and also provide nutrients to the plants.
Clay soils are more problematic to treat, especially since they are hard and difficult to work with. To improve it, you have to add stones (gravel), because it improves drainage, separates the soil and makes work easier.
You can also add ash-burned weeds, organic material in the form of manure, or poultry manure that also help transform the soil into a lighter medium. The worms will constantly break it up and mix with the soil, the worms will cover most of the new layer so that the original soil becomes fertile and can be used again.
Drainage is an important part of improving your soil. In waterlogged ground you can add gravel, but if it is a serious problem of water stagnation after every downpour, you should install a proper drainage system.
This is done by digging trenches in the form of drainage pipes.
Cover with small stones or just fill in trenches with gravel-covered rubble.
An alternative is to use water to create a pond and then install water drainage pipes.
Gardening isn’t just about planting seeds and then sitting back and waiting for the harvest. Between these two events, weeds attempt to colonize bare soil and insects that eat crops seek out these succulents.
The gardener’s job is to prevent this from happening.
For some, weeding and weeding can be very relaxing and not to mention therapeutic. When weed control or soil balance is lost, gardening becomes a battle.
The secret is “little and often”. If time permits, spend an hour a day.
Another obstacle will be nature, it tends to get in the gardener’s way in occasional bad weather.
You can take steps to minimize its effect:
Create various problems. First, the wind can easily knock down the entire garden bed.
Windbreaker is something to take into account when setting up any garden, although it may not be essential if you live in an urban area where buildings protect it from the wind, but in rural areas it can be vital.
The best windbreaks are those that allow air to filter through. Although a wall or fence will look solid and look best against high winds, they actually cause a lot of turbulence that can be just as devastating as the wind itself.
A row of trees allows the wind to filter in naturally.
A much quicker solution is to build a fence to allow the wind to pass through. It can be made of wood or bamboo.
A modern alternative is to use screens, sold especially for this. This type of windshield must be firmly anchored to the ground and needs to be renewed or replaced from time to time.
A hedge creates a perfect barrier that slows down the wind and causes it to filter through a moderate current.
Cold is not bad during winter. Helps decompose and kill insects that have appeared. But when spring begins and plantings have begun, frost can be a killer or at least a hindrance.
Gaps can be covered with metal or fabric, a fence or hedge placed at an angle across the slope above the frost hole so that cold air is diverted to one side and to the other side. A row of bushes or an uphill V curve also deflects frost from the cold air.
It is always advisable to have a flower garden near a vegetable field. In some cases, it can even be helpful to mix the two.
A preferred alternative by many organic gardeners is to create a series of raised beds, each containing one or more types of vegetables, planted in blocks rather than in rows.
Some plants grow best in containers or trays to plant later.
It is best to plant on cold days, preferably if there is a possibility of light rain. Humidity and cold help the plant to survive.