You want a bountiful vegetable garden but you dread the “yard work.” Using organic techniques saves time, money and helps the environment. A diverse, thriving edible garden is more resistant to pests and diseases, there are fewer weeds (or they are easy to pull) and you save money because healthy soil conserves water.
Diseases and Pests No problem. Follow the Organic Checklist and use Earth-friendly gardening practices so that your plants are healthier and can withstand most pests and diseases.
The Organic Checklist are the guiding principles for a pesticide-free garden.
building healthy soil
putting the right plant in the right place
working with nature
conserve resources and water wisely
learn as you grow
Other organic practices for a problem-free garden are proper pruning and training to improve air circulation and good sanitation (removing and disposing of diseased plant material).
Get to Know Some Bugs Put the spray can away and get out the field guide. A big part of a healthy carefree garden is learning about all the creatures that live there. Most of the bugs you see are beneficial or are food for beneficial creatures. Invite as much wildlife into your garden so they can “sort it out” and keep the balance. Get to know about the habits and habitats of garden critters. Most of them are there to help.
Weeds be Gone! Using organic techniques can save time spent weeding – so you can spend more time eating all the food you are growing. Spacing plants so that less bare soil is exposed to the sun will keep weed seeds from sprouting. Topdressing any bare soil with a 1/2 inch of finished compost will keep weed seeds from sprouting. Spreading out a layer of mulch is an effective way to suppress weeds while enriching the soil. Any weeds that do poke through the mulch are easy to pull.
Good for the Planet A healthy, pesticide-free edible garden is good for everyone. Healthy soil helps absorb, filter and clean storm water. Soils rich in organic matter and compost hold more moisture so you don’t have to water your garden as often – saves time and money. Including a wide variety of plants invites wildlife into your garden so that they can do the work of keeping the garden in balance. Composting recycles organic waste into a nutrient rich soil amendment that plants need to grow.