Organic Vegetable Gardening

Ahhh the thought of planting organic seeds, turning over dirt so we can have some of the best and healthiest organic vegetables in the world. For most of us we are happy to eat organic fruit and vegetables but there are some people that really want to have organic foods and willing to do what they have to so they can have it, and that’s great and its so much more healthier for us. You can buy organic food or if we have the time and the space you can grow your own. Yeah I know it’s a lot more work but hey its good exercise and its less expensive that’s just a few of the benefits. So if you want to lets go back to the roots and I really mean the roots in our back yards or maybe a peace of land we my have. Choose a sunny location where water is readily available to create a garden plot.

Most vegetables do best in full sun, but if the plot does not receive full sun all day, try to find a place that gets at least six hours of sunlight.Once you decide you really want to grow your own organic vegetables get prepared to meet your best friend. He will be a big help to you in making your vegetable organic garden dreams come true. His name is red wiggler he is an earth worm that works very hard for you and only thing he needs is dirt and more dirt and he will start working for you. He will keep your dirt nice and fresh for you so that you can plant the seeds for any organic vegetable garden you want. And guess what he works for free just give him dirt and he will be so happy. These species are commonly found in organic rich soils and especially prefer the special conditions in rotting vegetation, compost and manure piles. Composting worms are available from nursery mail-order suppliers or angling (fishing) shops where they are sold as bait, they can also be collected from compost and manure piles.

They are not the same worms that are found in the ground or on your driveway on a rainy day. Small-scale vermicomposting is well-suited to turn kitchen waste into high-quality soil, where space is limited. Together with bacteria, earthworms are the major catalyst for decomposition in a healthy vermicomposting system, although other soil species also play a contributing role: these include insects, other worms and molds. In my compost chapter I will talk alot more about that. So start working on your very own organic vegetable garden today. For more information on organic gardening go to www.Teegoes.org

Timothy Samuel I live in Wilmington,De enjoy writing on many topics from food to travleing. And you hope my articles be enjoyable and helpfull to all.

Organic Vegetable Gardening for Beginners

To be successful at organic vegetable gardening you must draw up detailed plans. The soil is your first consideration; how to make it rich and fertile, and how to prepare it so harmful pests won’t attack your vegetable garden. The two ways that organic vegetable gardening differs from conventional gardens is the usage of fertilizer and how to keep pests under control. Phosphorous, nitrogen and potassium are the three components essential to your organic garden.

For lush, green foliage you must have nitrogen. For strong roots and stems phosphorus is needed. And for the important protection from disease and brief cold snaps, potassium is a must. Let’s call them the big three. The big three are available in commercial fertilizers however they are synthetic. In organic vegetable gardening the big three are added in a much different way.

The best way of enriching your soil is by compost. Dig some pits in your back yard to start your compost from kitchen refuse. Use things like pine needles, corn stalks, leaves, carrot tops, fruits or vegetables that have spoiled, manure, egg shells and coffee grinds. Some organic gardeners use weeds in their compost but I do not recommend this for obvious reasons. As the compost materials decompose they release bacteria and fungi into the soil that you are preparing. The bacteria and fungi convert nutrients like nitrogen to ammonia and nitrates that will be usable for your vegetables. Use substances such as seaweed, potash salts, tobacco stems and wood ash to help make potassium in your compost. By making your own compost, you are controlling the mixture and balance to achieve the right combination for your organic vegetable garden.

To be absolutely sure that your compost has completely broken down and is now offering up the right balance, start working it into the soil at least two weeks before you plan on planting.

The pH in the soil must be right for healthy plants. Test your soil, if it has a ph of 0 it is very acidic, while a 14 is extreme alkaline. Of course a seven indicates neutral soil. To raise the pH of the soil inexpensively use ground limestone. An additional benefit of the limestone is that it contains magnesium something that most soils lack. If, on the other hand, you have extreme alkaline soil use sulpher to bring the pH down.

Pest control in organic vegetable gardening is also different that conventional gardening. In many conventional beds gardeners wish to eradicate all pests with pesticides. Many in organic gardening only wish to keep the pest population down so to have a balance in the garden. Obviously, whenever possible, plant pest resistant vegetables. In order for harmful organisms to grow, they need bright sunlight so keep thick mulch around the plants to deny the organisms that needed sunlight and to help hold moisture into the ground. If you find you have a heavy infestation here is a natural pest control formula:

In a jar, combine 1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid and 1 cup vegetable oil. Shake vigorously. In an empty spray bottle, combine 2 teaspoons of this mixture and 1 cup water. Use at ten-day intervals (or more often if needed) to rid plants of whiteflies, mites, aphids, scales, and other pests.

Follow this tips and you are on your way to raising a healthy and plentiful organic vegetable garden.

Happy Gardening!

Copyright © Mary Hanna, All Rights Reserved.

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Planting a Vegetable Garden

When planting vegetables, careful planning is the key to success. Before you even determine which seeds you’d like to plant, you must designate a space for your vegetable garden and come up with a detailed plan. Find the sunniest place in your yard and start there. If you don’t have a large enough plot for everything you’d like to grow, you may chose to construct raised planter beds. It is not unusual to grow vegetables in containers on patios, decks, or anywhere else with ample sunlight. A vegetable garden should receive about 6 hours of full sunlight a day. Many vegetables thrive under these conditions as the soil gets warm sooner and stays warm longer, promoting healthy growth. Raised beds also afford better drainage, as the water cannot flood the water logged plants and soil. This is important also when rain storms hit for drainage reasons.

Next, you need to consider the soil that you will grow your vegetables in. The soil should be fertile and provide the plants with plenty of vitamins and nutrients. You should add plenty of organic humus such as well composted manure. If you are re-cultivating in the same space as perhaps last year, there is not much to do but enrich the soil with additional organic materials as last years’ crop probably sucked most of the nutrients out. The soil should be light and airy, allowing the roots to develop in a healthy manner.

Draw out a schema for each and every seed. Take spacing into account as it’s very important. Some vegetables do not need much space to thrive while others need a lot. Some root shallow while some root deep. Take advantage of the knowledge you have of each specific seed and make better use of your space. If you plant a row of deep rooting vegetables, utilize the space between the seeds by planting shallow rooting plants. They will not get in the way of one another. Another thing to take into consideration is the direction your planter is facing. If you are planting a combination of crops, you will need to place them according to height so that the taller plants do not shade the shorter ones. Taller plants should be on the north side of the garden. As a general rule, rows of plants should run east to west. This will prevent those larger crops from shading the shorter ones.

Establish your walkways early so that you are not trekking through your garden, overly compressing the soil which can suffocate roots, or displacing seeds. Mark your beds well, noting what you are planting, when you planted and when you should expect sprouting seedlings.

Once you have developed a clear plan, you can start sowing. Use stakes and a piece of string to ensure straight rows. Place your seeds at the appropriate depth and plant extras. Not all will germinate and the extra seeds will cover the ones that do not. Firmly cover the seeds, creating a cocoon of moisture and water lightly, making sure not to disrupt the seeds or roots. Always keep the seedlings moist to ensure steady growth. When you see them sprout for the first time, be patient. Wait until they have sprouted two or three leaves before you prune. Let the roots develop before you prune which can put a bit of stress upon them.

If you’re planting during sweltering summer months, do it early in the morning or late in the evening, once the temperature has cooled off a bit. The heat can take a lot out of the plants, making the transition more stressful, leading to fewer thriving plants.

Again, planning is the key. A successful, fruitful garden depends on a few things:

1. Designate a sunny, well drained space for your vegetable planter.
2. Aerate and amend your soil with plenty of organic matter.
3. Draw a schema for your seeds, taking into account the height of the plant, the depth of the roots and the space needed around it.
4. Establish walkways so you do not damage root systems or overly compact soil.
5. Sow seeds in straight lines, taller plants on the north side of the planter.
6. Wait for the magic to happen and prune when necessary.
7. Enjoy homegrown vegetables!

When you taste the freshness of home grown sweet corn or vine ripened tomatoes on your family’s dinner table, you will know that all of the hard work was worth it. Home gardening is also a great way to spend time with your children, teaching them that hard work and diligence pays off directly with delicious homegrown vegetables.

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Plant a Vegetable Garden Easily

The first thing you need to know is to identify what vegetables you want to plant. It is recommended to choose vegetables that are easier to grow. Once you have your selected vegetables to plant, look for an appropriate location for planting your vegetable garden. Make sure that there are no trees or other plants around your garden location. This is because when trees or other plants are around, they will suck all the nutrients away from your vegetables. Furthermore, make sure that your location has enough sunshine for your veggies.

After choosing the appropriate location, make sure to examine the quality of the soil. Be sure to test the pH level of the soil. The ideal pH level of a soil is 6.5. This means that the soil can give enough nutrients to your vegetables. If the pH level is low or high, the soil will give insufficient nutrients to your vegetables. The secret of having a good garden is having quality of the soil.  Moreover, if you want to make the soil fertile, there are organic fertilizers such as animal manures are great for providing additional nutrients to the vegetables. These fertilizers maintain moisture to the garden. On top of that, make sure that there is enough water to keep your vegetables rehydrated since vegetables need a constant supply of water. Research shows that morning is the best time to water the plants because they dry off quickly.

Once you planted your vegetables, all you have to do is wait for the harvest season. To get the best harvest and flavor, make sure that vegetables are picked in their peak of maturity.  Do not wait for the vegetables to become overripe. Furthermore, make sure to harvest frequently in order to encourage production.  Once you harvested your vegetables, you can now enjoy your newfound success as a gardener.

Vegetable gardening is simple. We don’t need to acquire a skill in vegetable gardening. Try this best tips for organic vegetables gardening.

How to Add More Leaf Vegetables To Your Diet

Leaf vegetables are one of the healthiest foods on the planet as they are low in calories, but yet high in fiber and other essential nutrients. Leaf vegetables include vegetables such as kale, collards, spinach, dandelion greens, beet greens, bok choy, mustard greens and lettuce.

Vegetables can help you to lose weight as well as help you to fight and prevent many serious diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and arthritis. Here are some practical ways to add more leaf vegetables to your diet.

Salads

Salads are very easy to make, and the good thing is that you can use any kind of greens and salad dressing that you like. However, to make the most out of the salad, you should opt for a lighter dressing such as olive oil and fresh lemon juice.

You can also use them in garden salads with tomatoes, onions, peppers, olives and other ingredients that you like.

Wraps

Some leaf vegetables such as kale, collards and Romaine lettuce have large enough leaves so that you can use the leaves in your wraps instead of tortillas. You can still have all your favorite ingredients in the center, but the outside wrapper will be much healthier.

Smoothies

Smoothies are excellent for helping you to sweeten the bitterness of the leafy greens as you can blend them up with all your favorite sweet fruits along with agave nectar, raw cacao and coconuts.

Fruits and Vegetable Juices

Juicing your fruits and vegetables is a great way to obtain all the nutrients, but without the fiber. Fiber is good for you, but sometimes you just need those extra vitamins in your body to help you function better.

For your first batch of juice make sure to juice more fruits than vegetables, as the green juice can be quite bitter. However, once you become more accustomed to the taste of green juice you can begin to add more leaf vegetables.

Purchasing

When purchasing your vegetables, try to buy organic whenever possible as they do not contain any chemicals. However, it may not always be possible to buy organic and you may have to settle for conventional vegetables. If that is the case, then make sure that you thoroughly wash the leaves before you consume them so that you do not ingest any more chemicals than what you have to. Also look for crisp leaves as they are fresher and will last longer in your fridge.

To find out more about raw and living foods visit http://www.livingfood101.com/. You can also join me at http://hubpages.com/profile/LivingFood.

Weight Loss: http://healthmad.com/weight-loss/lose-weight-with-leaf-vegetables/

Vegetable Gardening Tips for Beginners

Furthermore, the space of the garden and the availability of water play a major role in vegetable gardening. Keep in mind that gardening requires a lot of water so that your vegetables will grow. Anyway, having to grow a vegetable garden and nurture them gives you a sense of fulfillment and planting a healthy vegetable garden provide us so many benefits such as organic food, and minimizing expenses. In this article, we will talk about several tips on starting a vegetable garden.

 

Select the vegetables you want to grow

This is the most important step in starting a vegetable garden. We must identify first what vegetables we want to plant. It is easier on your part to plant vegetables that are easier to grow such as carrots, radishes, tomatoes and squash. You must research these vegetables first on what particular soil they are suitable.

Examine the quality of the soil

Once you identify on what vegetables you want to plant, you must check the soil quality. The soil serves as the lifeline of the garden. You must make sure that the soil and your vegetables have a good match. The pH level that is needed for your soil is 6.5. The pH level of your soil determines how much nutrients your vegetables will be given.

Choose a good spot

Once you know the soil quality, examine the location to ensure that your garden will have enough sunlight. A successful garden requires 8 hours of sunlight and make sure that there is adequate wind since too much wind will damage the crops. Moreover, ensure that there are fences available to protect your garden.

Maintenance of the garden

When everything is in place, all you need to focus on is how you maintain your garden. Water your garden at least once or twice a week. Make sure your plants are rehydrated and maintain their particular moisture.  Once your vegetables are ripe, harvest them. In addition, try to improve harvest more often in order to increase production.

Anyway, once you have your vegetables harvested, you can enjoy your newfound success as a gardener.

Vegetable gardening is simple. We don’t need to acquire a skill in vegetable gardening. Try this best tips for organic vegetables gardening.

Understanding Organic Farming Pesticides

Organic farming has come on in leaps in bounds over the last couple of years. In previous years a whole range of toxins and chemicals were used to get rid of unwanted pests and to preserve the crops and people didn’t know what harm it was causing to them as well as to the environment.

Since organic pesticides have been introduced there has been a vast improvement in all vegetables and fruits. Farmers are happy to go this route even though it is more expensive, but a homemade organic pesticide can also be made and work just as well. There are many advantages besides the health factor. For one, it produces a larger variety of vegetable or fruit. There are more nutrients, preventing people with allergies from reacting as they were with the chemicals that were added before.

When shopping for organic products make sure the USDA label is present on the package. This means that it is 100% organic and only organic pesticides have been used. Shopping for organic vegetables can become quite pricey. This is because of the extra effort and expense incurred by the agricultural industry. One way to get around this is to do your shopping at a farmer’s market. If you are interested in vegetable gardening it may be an idea to start an organic vegetable garden yourself using organic pesticides for vegetables and maybe also companion planting. Some people get together in a community at a local farm. To do this you would buy a few shares and it is also a great experience.

Using organic pesticides

Winter Gardening Now Comes the Fun Part

Unlike many gardeners, I actually love the beginning of winter. Yes, there are some jobs that need to be done in the garden – we can get to those later. But it’s also an opportunity to curl up in front of a warm fire with a perfect excuse to stay indoors (if you happen to live in a part of the world where it’s cold, dark and raining!), consider what worked and what didn’t over the past gardening year, and begin to plan what you’ll try next year.

At the end of autumn my husband usually finds me surrounded by gardening books, seed catalogues and sheets of paper, sketching out my vege garden for the coming year and looking for new varieties to plant which will survive in our very humid summer. This is also when I canvas the kids to see what they’d like to try growing – I find they tend to help out in the garden more when they have some input!

This is the part of the gardening year when you can take your time to work out what to plant, when, and where. You can take your time to work through what companion plants go together, what size your plants will grow to, and how to ensure they have enough, or not too much shade, depending on their requirements. You have the luxury of choosing what you actually want to plant, rather than grabbing whatever is left at the garden centre along with every other spring gardener! Whenever I tend to jump straight into planting my garden without this planning stage I end up with crowded areas and gaps, and am invariably late getting my seeds into the ground as I get caught up in all the other jobs that need doing.

This is also a good time to have a look at your soil. If you’ve grown a couple of crops over summer then it’s likely your soil will be depleted and need a bit of a nutrient top-up. Whip out the remains of your summer plants, which are probably looking fairly yellow and sorry for themselves at this stage. It’s also worth testing your soil’s acidity – this is easily done with a soil testing kit from your garden centre – so see if your soil needs some particular attention. There are some great ways to add organic matter back into your soil without resorting to chemicals. Sowing a green manure crop is one option, but to be honest I tend to find this a bit too much work. You can also dig in well-rotted animal manure – just make sure you leave your soil for 2-3 months before planting. I tend to dig in a good pile of compost from my compost heap and worm farm to feed the soil, making sure you dig deep to integrate the compost and aerate the soil as you go. I then only have to wait 2-3 weeks before I can begin planting my winter crops.

Finally, spend a weekend having a look at your supplies. I tend to give my tools a good clean, empty out and wash my pots and spray bottles, and see what needs replacing. I find winter is a good time to visit the garden centre to replace any of those tools that are past their best – there can be some good sales on and you can find the odd bargain.

And once that’s all done, it’s back in front of the fire with the gardening books, enjoying a well-earned glass of wine.

Fi McMurray is a garden enthusiast and author who has been gardening organically for 10 years. She has been involved with 2 award-winning gardens at the prestigious Ellerslie International Flower Show in Auckland, New Zealand.

Her latest book is “An Introduction to Successful Organic Gardening”, which joins her previous books “Successful Rose Gardening” and “Secrets to a Thriving Herb Garden”. You can find out more about Fi’s books at her website, www.fimcmurray.com

Fi lives north of Auckland, New Zealand, with her husband and two small children.

Starting your Vegetable Garden The Main Vegetable Types ampamp What you Need to Know

If you want an abundant, productive organic vege garden then it’s important to first understand a little about the different vegetable types, and the conditions in which they thrive. Vegetables tend to be grouped into 3 main categories: fruit and seed vegetables; leaf and stem vegetables, and root and bulb vegetables, depending on the part of the plant that is most commonly eaten.

They can also be grouped according to their temperature preferences: cool season vegetables grow best at low temperatures of 50-70 deg F (10-20 deg C); warm vegetables grow best at temperatures of 70 def F (20 deg C) or above, while a third, temperate group prefers temperatures of between 60 -75 deg F (15-25 deg C). If you grow vegetables out of season then, despite your best intentions, you are doomed for disappointment as your vegetables will either fail to germinate and grow, or rapidly bolt to seed.

This article is not designed to act as a comprehensive guide to growing individual vegetables – there are many good books available that will cover these basics and that may be well tailored to your own particular climate. Instead, you will find an overview of each of these groups, and their requirements, in turn. If you do not have a vegetable gardening book then most seed packets give detailed maps or descriptions on the back, explaining the best time to plant in your area.

Fruit and seed vegetables.

This group include beans, peas, eggplants (aubergines), capsicums (bell peppers), tomatoes, sweetcorn and cucurbits (vine crops such as cucumber, zucchini (courgettes), pumpkins and squash).

As a general rule, these are warm or temperate season plants which hate frost. In colder areas they should not be planted out until early summer, but will grow quickly. Do not be tempted to plant them out too soon – you will only be frustrated at their lack of inclination to thrive.

Leaf and stem vegetables.

This group includes vegetables such as cabbages, lettuce, brussel sprouts, rhubarb, chard (silverbeet), spinach and celery. Broccoli and cauliflower are also often included in this group, although strictly we eat the flower buds, not the leaves or stems.

This group includes a range of cool and temperate weather crops which are sown in the cooler winter months or early spring.

Root and bulb vegetables.

This group includes most of the kitchen staples such as onions, shallots, carrots, potatoes, turnips and beets. Again, this group tends to include mainly cool and temperate crops, which may run to seed if planted too late in the season.

Crop rotation

The key to successful crop rotation is to keep it simple. Unless you are a commercial gardener very few people have the time or inclination to prepare complex crop rotation plans year on year.

As I have far too many things on my ‘to do’ list as it is, I keep my planting schedule as simple as possible. My approach is to divide my beds up into blocks, and then plant only one vegetable category, such as bulb vegetables, or leaf vegetables, in each block. Then the next season I move all the plantings one block to the right, so I am now planting a different vegetable category in each block. This seems to have worked well so far!

If you follow this simple guide to vegetables you should have no trouble planning a successful, disease-resistant garden to feed you and your family year round!

Fi McMurray is a garden enthusiast and author who has been gardening organically for 10 years. She has been involved with 2 award-winning gardens at the prestigious Ellerslie International Flower Show in Auckland, New Zealand.

Her latest book is “An Introduction to Successful Organic Gardening”, which joins her previous books “Successful Rose Gardening” and “Secrets to a Thriving Herb Garden”. You can find out more about Fi’s books at her website, www.fimcmurray.com

Fi lives north of Auckland, New Zealand, with her husband and two small children.

Organizing for Emergency Preparedness

Nobody enjoys thinking about what can go wrong, so too often we avoid it.

It’s only in a few contexts that we accept the necessity of planning for bad times. We use seat belts because we don’t want to pay a fine for getting caught without them. We prefer jobs with health insurance, but most people refuse to do buy it on their own. Too many people don’t have a savings account with enough cash to pay bills for three to six months if laid off, as most financial experts advise.

We seem to be so spoiled by affluence and our successes at taming nature that when we hear about people storing food or buying gold in case of financial collapse, we laugh at them for being kooky survivalists.

However, according to a study done for TIME MAGAZINE, 90% of Americans live in an area threatened by terrorism, floods, hurricanes or tornados, fires, and earthquake. And all of us are vulnerable to electrical outages.

Therefore, it’s only prudent to make plans to meet possible emergencies, especially the ones you know are most probable in your area.

You won’t go from typical apathetic Americans to prepared for anything “kooks” overnight.

It’s a good idea to talk it over with your husband or wife or partner (if any), and discuss the possibilities over with them first. Start making priorities. Obviously, if you live in Florida you’ll be more concerned about hurricanes than forest fires.

One of your highest priorities must be food. If you do nothing else, get at least one 72 hour emergency preparedness kit for every member of your family.

You must consider medical needs. That could affect food if anybody in your family is on a special diet. It obviously also includes medicines and medical equipment.

You have to consider your resources. If you live in a big city efficiency you have less room than somebody on a farm. If you do live on a farm, you are already better prepared than most, because farmers traditionally have always had to be ready to go through periods of food shortages.

Of course, most modern farmers shop for their groceries at the supermarket just like everybody else, but at least could have room to plant a large vegetable garden next year. Many of us could put a garden in our backyards. Even people in apartments can grow tomatoes in hanging planters.

This can be a good excuse to methodically clean out your home, including garage, attic, basement, and all closets. Get rid of anything and everything you’re not using. Raise some extra money by selling stuff on eBay, and the remainder in a garage sale.

Whatever you normally buy that can be stored, start buying more of it. Put the extras away in a pantry or closet. Once you’ve put away a lot, start rotating through it, so you’re always eating the oldest cans.

Richard Stooker has a long-time interest in health, diet and fitness subjects, including emergency preparedness and food storage, including freeze dried foods, and having an emergency preparedness plan

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