Gardening is one of the nation’s favourite pastimes, and many of us enjoy planting and pruning during spring and summer. In recent years, there’s been a recognisable shift to organic practices. Not only is organic gardening more sustainable, but it’s also ideal for planting herbs and vegetables.
The best thing is, with a few minor changes, you can enjoy an eco-friendly lifestyle. So, if you’re wondering how to convert to an organic garden, read on to find out everything you need to know.
Focus on Your Soil
You might have lots of plans about the vegetables you’ll grow and how incredible your organic garden will be, but the change will take time. The most important aspect of a successful organic garden is your soil.
Most people use a range of chemicals and pesticides in their soil, so you’ll need to test the quality to make the necessary changes. Most people send a small sample off to a specialist, but you can also use a home testing kit.
If you’re able to test in the autumn, you’ll have time to give your soil the nutrients it needs, so when it comes to planting, everything will be ready.
People often head off to their local garden centre to purchase compost, but you can make it at home with green and brown materials. Add brown materials such as leaves, and trimmings then combine them with green materials, including vegetable peels and manure.
Alternate green and brown materials in layers, and make sure you use a compost bin to keep everything secure. You should turn the compost as you add new layers and top the mixture with some soil.
If you begin to notice a smell, add more leaves or try sawdust and straw to neutralise it.
Garden According to Conditions
We live in a country with variable weather conditions, but the good thing about the UK is that there are distinct seasons, making it easier to choose the right plants. Instead of changing your garden to fit your preferred plants, select ones that will flourish naturally.
There are plenty to choose from, and our climate also allows for a broad selection of vegetables to enjoy fresh, instead of shop-bought produce.
Growing vegetables can be a daunting process, but there are plenty of cost-effective solutions for creating edible gardens.
If you plan on planting vegetables, it’s advisable to group them. That way, you can save water and have a specific area of your garden where children and pets can’t get to the plants.
Some fantastic options include:
Pole Beans – They’re ideal for colder gardens because they’ll grow until the frost begins.
Tomatoes – Probably one of the easiest vegetables for beginners to grow.
Zucchini – Not only is zucchini easy to grow, but it’s also an excellent addition to your diet.
Sugar Snaps – A British favourite, sugar snaps are packed with nutrients, and they taste delicious.
As you become more comfortable with organic gardening, you can grow diverse produce and enjoy sampling more exotic herbs and vegetables.
The key to your success is learning about soil and how the position of your garden will impact future growth.
Organic gardening is about taking a sustainable approach to growing plants and vegetables, so it’s essential to think about how much water you’ll use and ways in which you can reduce it.
Mornings are the best time to water because they’re typically less windy and will hold more water. It would help if you also aimed to water the roots and avoid the leaves.
Many people think the leaves are important, but as long as the roots get an adequate amount of nourishment, the plants will continue to grow.
If you love gardening and like to keep in shape, then the organic approach is ideal. Manually removing weeds from your plants reduces the need for chemicals. You can incorporate weeding into your exercise regime – it’s more fun than lifting weights.
You can also add mulch to the soil, which will reduce the number of weeds.
Encourage Good Wildlife
Some insects and wildlife can benefit your garden and turn it into a serene place to be. Insects such as ladybirds can be a great addition, as can birds, frogs, toads and lizards. You can encourage wildlife into your garden by creating a water source and introducing bird feeders.
Plants that blossom will also attract friendly bugs, which reduces your need for pesticide and gives animals a place to live.
Use Your Vegetables
Harvesting your vegetables means you can enjoy them, so make sure you use the harvesting season to collect a fantastic array of nutritious foods. Don’t forget that with herbs, you can dry them to use throughout the year.
When you think about how much you spend on a weekly grocery shop, growing vegetables in your garden makes sense. Not only do you know you’re feeding your family fresh food, but you’ll also reduce your carbon footprint by lowering the need for produce transportation.
Remember, minor changes might not seem like much, but every little thing you do contributes to the global effort to save our planet.
Maintain Your Garden
You can put all of the steps we mentioned into practice, but there will always be occasions where your plants won’t flourish. It’s important to accept that some problems can’t be fixed and pull sick plants out of the soil.
Ultimately, you want to remove the plants so you can maintain the health of your soil. Diseased plants can cause long-term issues, so taking a proactive approach will reduce the need to alter your soil in the future.
The Bottom Line
Now you know how to convert to an organic garden. It’s time to put everything into practice and enjoy the benefits of sustainable living. Not only does going organic offer plenty of lifestyle benefits, but it also encourages a healthier diet that you and your family can enjoy for years to come.
If you’d like to know which herbs are best for your garden, then please feel free to check out our post on 10 easy to grow herbs here.