Soil Preparation Before going for organic farming, go for soil testing where you check your soil for various parameters including pH, nutrient levels, humus, and moisture retention. These factors build a friendly home for important soil organisms and also effectively enhance plant growth. You can add optimum organic nutrients to the soil and treated manure to improve the soil quality, texture and pH.
Making good compost Compost serves as food for your plants and it helps retain the water. Make sure your compost has optimum levels of carbon and nitrogen-rich waste mixed thoroughly in soil, water and air. How to make your own compost? a) Take a plough and dig out a little soil in your garden. b) Add layers of carbon and nitrogen material (leaves, kitchen wastes, leftover foods) separated by thin layers of soil in between. c) Cover the compost pile with soil and add water to trigger microbe growth. d) Within a month or two, your compost will be ready for sowing. e) If your compost smells bad, add more layers of dry carbon wastes (leaves, straws, etc) and mix the layers often.
Selecting seeds Organic farming is possible when you choose the plants that adjust to your geographical location and climatic conditions. Look for plants that easily adjust to varying temperatures, soil, moisture and drainage. When buying seeds, go for seeds that grow independent of chemicals. If you are unaware of which seeds to select, look for native plant seeds and seed varieties that can grow efficiently at your location. How to plant the seeds? Maintain sufficient space between two sowings to promote proper aeration, avoid weeding and fungal attacks.
Watering Your plants need only one to two water applications per week to grow strong and deep. The best time to water your plants is daybreak when the roots absorb all the water in. It is recommended to avoid watering during the evening as it leaves your crop damp overnight making a home for harmful fungi and bacteria. Always sprinkle water on the base of the plant, on the roots and never the leaves. This is because your plant leaves are tender and more susceptible to damage. Apply water at room temperature or alternatively, you can use rainwater.
Weeding and harvesting If your garden is invaded by pests and weeds, you have a big job to do! The easiest way to handle weeds is to grow diverse plant varieties in your garden. You can let natural predators like frogs, birds and lizards take care of the pests or insects. If not, you can use nets, covers and hot pepper sprays to keep your plants safe. Collect your vegetables and fruits during the harvest season. Herbs used for flavours can be collected freshly. Seasoning spices that need storage and drying can be harvested just prior to flowering to retain the maximum flavours.
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