If you want to go organic, it is important to plan the design of your vegetable garden for maximum yield. An organic vegetable garden would utilize only natural substances to grow the vegetables. This includes methods of fertilization and disease and pest control. In fact, some vegetable gardeners go so far as using natural rain or pond water to water their plants. I mention these methods of gardening because methods and design go together and need to be planned as such.
Now let me share some helpful tips on the design of your organic vegetable garden.
It is necessary to be knowledgeable about your own climate and weather conditions so that you can plant the correct types of vegetables. In particular, you should know the highest and lowest temperatures in your location, the average amount of rain and the weather conditions. In line with this, you need to know which vegetables suit your particular climate, especially the temperature conditions as vegetables thrive in either cold temperate or hot temperatures. For example, Brussels sprouts and broccoli need temperatures between 10 to 20â-
Now comes the location of your garden. When considering this, try to change as little of the landscape as possible. As far as you can, do not cut down trees or dig up large chunks of soil. Position your vegetable garden where the plants can get at least 5 hours of direct sunlight a day. At your chosen location, prepare the soil by removing all weeds, stones and rubbish. Try to level the ground as much as possible. Then add some organic fertilizer in the form of either rotted animal manure or compost. This should be done at least four weeks before planting your vegetables to give time for the soil to absorb the nutrients. If you are doing the fertilization in the fall, you can opt to use green manure which is a cover crop grown until they are just about to flower and then tilled under to be incorporated into the soil. Some good green manure crops include wheat, rye, buckwheat, lupine and different types of clover.
Designing your organic vegetable garden also involves which vegetable to plant where. The best thing to do would be to practice companion planting on raised beds. Some good companion planting options include carrots, leeks and onions and cabbages and dwarf (French) beans.
When it comes to insect pest control, organic vegetable gardeners use only natural methods. One of these methods is to spread diatomite over your soil. Diatomite (also known as diatomaceous earth) is a soft chalk-like rock that is made up of fossilized hard-shell algae. It is white in color, very light, slightly abrasive and highly porous. When spread over your soil, it can absorb the waxy substance of insects’ exoskeleton, causing them to dehydrate. Thus it is used as an insecticide by organic vegetable gardeners.
Another form of natural vegetable garden pest control is biological where beneficial insects are allowed access into your garden to destroy insect pests. For example, the ladybird eats aphids. Hence, it is helpful to include some form of habitat for beneficial birds and insects in your vegetable garden design. For example, you can attract beneficial insects to your garden by maintaining a weed patch nearby. Certain types of herbs such as basil and peppermint and flowers like marigold also repel insect pests. This form of pest control is called herb remedy. So when you design your vegetable garden, allot some space to grow these herbs and flower also.
These are the details you should look into as you design your organic vegetable garden.
Francis King is a vegetable garden enthusiast. For more great tips and advice on organic vegetable gardening, visit http://www.veggietips.com.