Planning Your Organic Garden!
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Planning Your Organic Garden!

Planning Your Garden ~

Before you even plant your first seed, you will want to think ahead and plan your organic garden layout, design and how it will fit in your yard or property. This is important so that you do not run into trouble later with caring for the garden as well as the rest of your yard or property. There are many organic garden design ideas which can be created. Below, I have included a Step-by-Step listing of ideas on planning your organic garden to assist you with these things.

When you design and are planning your organic garden, you also need to at least think about future possibility of rotation of plant types (whether vegetables or florals) in each section of your garden. I believe that planning garden layout is of primary importance before you plant it so that you can prevent unnecessary errors.

You will want to also make sure you decide early on if your garden will need a fence barrier or not to keep larger animals from snacking on your plants! Planning an organic garden layout is not that much different from planning a traditional garden. The main difference is that an you will want to plan your organic garden so that it allows nature to take the lead. There are several ways you can do this.

Garden Size Matters!

An important decision which needs to be made is how big do you want your garden to be? How is the size of it going to fit in with surrounding buildings or landscape? Now, just because you may not think “looks” of it aren’t important doesn’t mean they are to be ignored! Other things that need to be thought out and planned around are existing paths/walkways, walls, trees, shrubs, easy access, etc. Also, don’t forget about proper sunlight exposure, breezeways, shade, ability to water easily and transfer of compost to the garden. So, this brings up the main question: How much actual time will you have to provide garden maintenance? Think of this, if you don’t have much time to maintain your garden, you might not want to put it near any trees since then mowing will take twice as long!

Choose Location Carefully~

You will want to choose an area that provides adequate amounts of sunshine during the day. For optimal compost soil, start your planning in the Fall. Add organic matter such as straw, grass clippings, leaves, compost or hay to the area you intend to plant in the Spring. By Springtime, the composting materials will have decomposed and enriched the soil with beneficial nutrients. Then, you will want to add a half inch to one inch layer of additional compost in the Spring just before planting and your soil will be optimal.

Don’t Forget to Consider Raised Beds ~

If you mound your compost soil about 8 to 10 inches high and flatten it off, this will help the soil warm and dry out faster so that the ground is ready for your plants when Spring arrives. Since the soil is elevated, the distance you have to reach to access your garden plants is also reduced ~ this can save your back some aches and pains while planting or tending to your garden.

What Do You Want to Plant?

So many people who have not had a garden before tend to choose the garden plants that are the easiest to grow. However, this choice may not benefit you if they are not the plants or veggies that you and your family like. In an herb or vegetable garden, this means that plants can end up going to waste ~ which is not what we want to plant a garden for in the beginning, is it…. So, choose the items that you enjoy most. While they may seem to be slightly more difficult to grow, it will all be worth it in the end when you enjoy your favorites fresh from the garden.

Now, once you have decided on the type of plants you want to grow in your garden, you should either investigate on the internet or visit your local nursery/skilled gardener for some advice on species and growing requirements. Some vegetables can be grown anywhere (the species in each area can vary slightly). You should choose a species that is well-suited to your region or area. This simple choice can reduce frustration later and prevent struggling to provide adequate growing conditions.

Leave Room for Companion Plants ~

See, even plants need companions! These companion plants are the ones that are planted solely for the benefit of those plants around them. There are some plants that naturally repel insects and garden pests, and there are other plants that attract insects which are beneficial to your garden plants. Planting these companion plants in your garden help promote and form a natural protective barrier which reduces the need for pesticides. While organic pesticides are designed to be less harmful, a real true organic garden is self-sufficient. Companion plants also can improve the condition of your compost/soil. For example, legumes (seed, pod, pea or bean family) help increase the nitrogen content in soil. So, sometimes, companion plants are used as a protective device to shelter the more fragile plants in your garden from harsh conditions, such as extreme sun or wind.

Be Patient and Allow Your Garden Time to Grow!

A very common mistake that gardeners tend to make is to pile on fertilizer (organic or not) when their plants do not grow as quickly as they would like. Now, don’t get me wrong, fertilizer does have a place in a healthy garden; however, there is such as thing as too much of a good thing. Keep your fertilizer use in check. If you do have to use it, make sure to take care and choose an organic one. Many organic gardeners make their own compost for this, which I have covered in a previous post. (Here)

* ~ * ~ *

Step-by-Step Plan for Your Organic Garden

Step 1

Measure the area of your garden and then transfer those measurements onto graph paper. Make sure to be accurate and use a ruler. Draw your garden out on paper before planting any plants. This will make sure that you have designed the best possible plan for the garden you want to plant.

Step 2

Plant your vegetable families together. This will help you in the rotating of plants each year. You should rotate your vegetables and fruits from year to year. When you do this, make sure to fertilize/compost the soil before you plant any vegetables or fruits again.

Step 3

Plant all legumes (peas, beans and pods) in one area of the garden. Remember, legume vegetables contain beans/pods/peas.

Step 4

Plant all brassicas (your cabbage, broccoli, collards, kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts) in one area of the garden. Studies have shown that the brassicas plants tend to grow pretty fast.

Step 5

Plant all vine crops (melons, squash and cucumbers) in one area of the garden.

Step 6

Plant any nightshade family vegetables (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant or peppers) in one area of the garden. Most people do not realize that the nightshade family contains a few species of fruit which people tend to think of as vegetables (like tomatoes!).

Step 7

Plant any root vegetables (carrots, beets, turnips, parsnips, radishes, rutabagas, onions, garlic or leeks) in one area of the garden.

Step 8

Plant all leafy greens (lettuce, spinach and chard) in one area of the garden. Make sure to plant your green leafy vegetables near each other as these do not need to be spaced far apart at all.

Step 9

Plant the tallest crops on the North side of the garden. This is so important so that they do not shade over the shorter or smaller plants. If you don’t plant the tallest crops in the back, then you should plant rows which are running North to South in your garden.

Step 10

Plant your vegetables and fruits according to your regional climate in which you live. This is due to certain vegetables and fruits will not grow in certain areas.

* ~ * ~ *

If you have ANY questions, comments or concerns, please contact me at my website (Here).

I will respond to you usually within 24 hours.

Thank you for visiting and remember: Plant and Grow for Life!!!!

Street Talk

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