Fruit and Vegetables

Grow organic vegetable garden

Grow organic vegetable garden

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Grow organic vegetable garden

In general, the garden will be fertilized only with products such as peat, manure and compost. It will be good to make a periodic rotation of the vegetables, trying to cultivate the greatest number of varieties. In this way the probability that the plants will not be affected by diseases and parasites will decrease; for this purpose it is also advisable to opt for rather resistant species. Cultivating a vegetable garden according to biological principles also means fighting plant diseases with non-invasive and even less chemical methods; for this reason we will use the introduction of some antagonist insect pests, so as to eliminate them naturally. As regards the eradication of weeds, we will proceed with a simple sickle and never with chemical herbicides. In normal gardens, a routine operation consists in eliminating the parasitic insects with specific products; in an organic vegetable garden the problem can be solved by using vegetable compounds of pulp and sulfur to remove them or to think of grafting shrubs such as hedges capable of naturally producing insectivores. Another important recommendation to cultivate in this way is knowing how to choose the suitable area in which to place the garden. It will certainly have to be positioned in a sunny area, preferably in the south. If the dimensions allow it, it would be good to obtain a small slice of land to be reserved for greenhouse crops, within which it will also be possible to make organic fertilizer. With simple but precise rules, it will thus be possible to obtain products that are entirely natural and not contaminated by any chemical agent, so as to benefit both their own health and that of the environment.

How to sow

Before proceeding with the actual sowing, the seeds must be planted, preferably in spring or summer. To do everything correctly, you will have to take a shovel and with it trace the perimeter of the first furrow of the desired length. Subsequently, you will dig across its entire length going to touch a depth of about thirty centimeters, inside which you will add fresh fertilizer. At the same time it is good to remove all weeds and pebbles. The second furrow will be dug parallel to the previous one, and it will continue in this way until working the whole area used for the vegetable garden. To make the earth breathe sufficiently, it will be necessary to wait at least three weeks before sowing. After this time, using the help of a fork, the overlying soil will be remixed and another small amount of mature manure will be added. The next step will be to abundantly irrigate the area for two or three days, removing any grown weeds. Only after this preparatory phase can an optimal soil quality be achieved, in which the various vegetables will be sown. There are different techniques for sowing; the most known and easy is that in rows and consists in arranging the seeds at regular intervals between them. It is mainly used for vegetables with long roots and salads. Sowing under shelter is instead a suitable technique to obtain a fast growth of vegetables and seedlings such as peppers and tomatoes; it must be performed in a greenhouse or in special containers. Sowing with holes provides for more seeds to be inserted in the same groove and is especially suitable for legumes. Finally, sowing in the open ground, which is suitable for any type of vegetable, should be done by uniformly throwing the seeds on the ground, but only when the climate is neither too hot nor too cold.

In order to get the best results from the products that are grown, it is essential to know the exact moment in which these must be sown. It will then be necessary to keep in harmony with nature and consequently also follow the different phases of the moon that inevitably influence it. Each month has a crescent and a declining moon phase. The pruning and all the operations that favor the growth of the roots and the shoots will have to be carried out with the crescent moon, while the waning moon helps the decantations, the transplants, the sowing and the collection of the products. In the growing phase, the growth of the first fruits is also favored, and this is precisely the reason why it is good to sow in this period. Given that some types of vegetables prefer the crescent moon and others the waning because they fear an early flowering, it is a good idea to keep a lunar calendar at hand, to be consulted daily. Furthermore, if the garden soil is well drained and moist, it is preferable to sow with a waning moon; gravelly or sandy and therefore less fertile lands will instead yield better fruits if sown with a crescent moon.Fertilization and rotation of organic crops

Every type of vegetable, especially if organic, needs suitable fertilization. The manure, especially the mature one, is certainly the best choice, also because it allows the main nutrients to be brought to the soil and consequently also to its products in an absolutely natural and healthy way. To it, especially if the earth is not particularly fertile, it will be possible to add ashes, pine needles or dried blood from slaughterhouse waste. The fertilizing operation must be carried out regularly once a month in the winter and autumn seasons, while in spring and summer one session will be sufficient every two months, taking care to mix the manure with an abundant dose of non-calcareous water. In order to have products really rich in vitamins and with healthy and luxuriant growth, crop rotation should be performed. The technique consists in drawing up a detailed plan with the types of plants and their specific cultivation period, so as to offer them the best development conditions. Once the first products have been harvested, the soil must be left to rest for six months, to allow it to breathe and regenerate, avoiding its excessive exploitation which in the long term would surely prove harmful.

Another important issue is irrigation. In general, this should be done in the early hours of the morning and after sunset, as the evaporation of the water will be avoided and sudden changes in the temperature of the soil will not occur, damaging to the vegetables. To protect the plants, the direct jet of water must always be avoided on leaves and stems, and instead the method of drip irrigation is preferred, both with special plants, and by applying to the watering can an onion device that allows a better and uniform water distribution. For rather large gardens, it is also advisable to irrigate by lateral infiltration, through which the water reaches the crops through small tunnels parallel to them. The suitable water is certainly not the drinking water because it is too rich in chlorine and limestone, and therefore it is preferable to come from wells or streams adjacent to the ground. Regarding the diseases of the vegetables to which more attention must be paid, it can be said that the greatest dangers are constituted by the attacks of cochineals, red spiders and aphids, parasites that love buds and early fruits, or by the excessive humidity that favors the mildew, disease that is recognized by the presence of mold on leaves and fruits. Since we have chosen to grow organically, as already mentioned in the introduction, we will have to avoid pesticides and chemical sprays and we will fight these pitfalls by introducing antagonist insects or with sulfur compounds and rubble to be distributed on the diseased areas of the vegetable.
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