To see our content at its best we recommend upgrading if you wish to continue using IE or using another browser such as Firefox, Safari or Google Chrome. With gardening ranked as the second most popular pastime for Waitrose customers after cooking, the upmarket grocer is looking to capitalise on its customers' green fingers and signficantly up its 6pc share of the horticulture market.
When gardening organically, think of your fruit and vegetables as part of an eco system that starts in the soil and includes the water supply, people, wildlife and even insects. Organic gardeners rely on developing a healthy, fertile soil and growing a mixture of crops.  Genetically modified (GM) crops are constantly in the news as of late and are not allowed under organic standards because they are modified and not original to their variety, they are unsafe and untested.
The merging together of plants and soil allowing the Earth to naturally bear what it was made to do would be considered organic gardening. You might wander how you can garden without herbicides and pesticides and how are you going to control the weeds, bugs, and animals that may threaten a thriving garden? But the thing is, for years gardeners have been growing things just fine without the use of chemicals.
We should be able to use the same ingredients as the early settlers used rather than franken chemicals born in a chemist’s laboratory.
Vegetables and fruit produced using organic method tastes better, have more vitamins and minerals and have none of the cancer causing chemicals in them.
There has been a great rise in the interest of ecology and concern about the environment that has bred new life to this form of gardening.
Taking advantage companion planting and natural predators the home gardener can manage pest control and maintain an organic garden quite easily. Most people who decide to start organic gardening report that the enjoyment they receive is paramount to their decision to go the route of no-chemicals in favor of the all-natural route.  Many people like to watch the tender new growth come to full maturity and, as a bonus, you get to eat it! Naturally grown corn on the cob and newly picked green beans are especially noticeable, but nothing compares to vine ripened organically grown tomato. A phenomenon noted by most people when harvesting their very first vegetables from their very first garden is that everyone eats much more of a given vegetable than they would of a similar commercial variety. For a gardener who still isn’t convinced about the need to garden organically, here are some statistics that may help change your mind. The choice is yours, it’s really not that difficult to go the organic route and the health benefits will be worth the trouble. If you have long been curious about organic gardening, you may now be familiar with how things are being done in this process. Organic Gardening Soil – How To Ensure Soil Fertility For Organic Vegetable Gardening?
Looking for an organic gardening book that you can recommend to learn more about pesticide-free gardening.
Compost can be made from leaves, dead flowers, vegetable scraps, fruit rinds, grass clippings and manure. For the last several years, our family has rented an organic garden plot through our township. Saturday March 2 Larry Scislowicz will be presenting on Organic Gardening at the Samuels Library in Front Royal at 1 pm. If you want to go organic, it is important to plan the design of your vegetable garden for maximum yield. It is necessary to be knowledgeable about your own climate and weather conditions so that you can plant the correct types of vegetables. What’s your biggest concern about surviving life after an EMP attack destroys our grid?
Retired engineer-turned-gardener Mel Bartholomew’s “Square Foot Gardening” consistently tops the list of best-selling gardening books – and there’s a reason.
Square foot gardening differs from most other gardening systems in that you don’t use your native earth.
The classic Square Foot bed is a 4’ x 4’ square constructed of anything from lumber to bricks to cinder blocks.
Another place where square foot gardening shines is in its ability to produce high amounts of veggies in a small space. Unlike some methods, square foot gardening as Bartholomew recommends it is a completely organic system.
David Goodman is a naturalist, author and hard-core gardener who has grown his own food since 1984. David is the author of four books, writes a regular column for The Ag Mag in North Central Florida, is a Mother Earth News blogger and has also written for outlets including Backwoods Home, Survival Blog and Self-Reliance Magazine. David is a Christian, an artist, a husband, a father of seven, a cigar-smoker and an unrepentant economics junkie who now lives somewhere near the equator on a productive cocoa farm.
And for lots more gardening info, click here and subscribe to his often hilarious YouTube channel.


I got rid of the boxes this season and using berms, because otherwise I’d be missing this entire season. This will make us a serious player in what is already a hugely successful category for us." Other retailers have sought to tap into the gardening market, which was valued at around A?4bn in 2010. An organic gardener strives to work in harmony with natural systems and to minimize and continually replenish any resources the garden consumes.
The plants and the soil are one working together to provide food and nourishment not only to humans but to animals and organisms as well. Herbicides and pesticides were considered the gardeners best friend and now you will be expected not to use them? Early settlers of our land did not have any herbicides, pesticides or synthetic fertilizers and they got along just fine. It only makes sense that we should be able to apply the same principles to get the same results as they did today. By using natural materials, such as kitchen and garden scraps a gardener can create compost and fertilize the garden naturally.
Organic gardening goes way beyond lack of chemicals in our vegetables and fruit and the benefits for us and our families.
They found that about half of the essential nutrients on our food had been reduced by as much as 38 percent as compared to the 1950′s.
Many of the immune enhancing compounds that make life wonderful, make our food taste wonderful, and also protect us from cancers and a lot of chronic disease. When you take your first bite of an organically grown tomato it’s something you won’t forget and you will never want a commercially grown tomato again. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers 60 percent of herbicides, 90 percent of fungicides, and 30 percent of insecticides to be carcinogenic.
Studies have found significantly higher levels of nutrients such as vitamin C, iron, magnesium and phosphorus, and significantly less nitrates (a toxin) in organic crops.
A 2003 study in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry concluded that organic foods are better for fighting cancer.
You will be able to recycle your kitchen and garden waste and at the same time help save the environment. You should be in tuned with the local gardeners in your area so that you can talk things out with enthusiasts like you.
And because it is open and you cannot regulate it, certain elements can be accommodated into the pile which may be harmful to your garden.
That’s why you need good quality compost to keep the soil productive for organic vegetable gardening. In particular, you should know the highest and lowest temperatures in your location, the average amount of rain and the weather conditions.
Square foot gardening promises little or no weeding, consistent results, and lots of organic veggies from a tiny space.
Instead, you use a perfect mix (Mel’s Mix) of “soil” created from one part compost, one part vermiculite, and one part peat moss.
Bartholomew also strongly recommends putting a permanent grid over the top dividing the bed into easily manageable 1’ squares. It’s also weed-free, unless you start with homemade compost that wasn’t “cooked” enough in a hot compost pile. If you want to grow beans, cabbages, salad greens, peppers, onions and other smaller plants, square foot beds are very convenient and supportive.
As you pull out spent crops, put in a handful of compost in the holes left behind and then plant again. With a square foot garden, you can drop a garden right over grass or weeds without even pulling stuff up.
If square foot gardening were the end-all system, it would be recommended across the gardening community, right?
It may be perfect for a townhome’s backyard… and gardener that likes watering regularly… but it’s less attractive when you have a lot of land available. I use a combination of methods ranging from row gardening to biointensive beds to water gardening to permaculture, etc. And if it takes a 4’ x 4’ box with good instructions and a smiling mentor; sure, you can start with square foot gardening. Last year, it emerged that Next was considering opening a handful of garden centres after a pilot store proved successful.
Organic gardeners don’t use pesticides, herbicides or synthetic fertilizers on their plants.
And in 2005, scientists found that, compared to rats that ate conventional diets, organically fed rats experienced a variety of health benefits.


If your goal in going organic in terms of gardening is to help nature, then you are on the right track.
So when you are already using that, you still have to check very closely so that you will retain your garden’s health and beauty. This way, you will have an idea as to what to do in cases where a problem struck and you have no one to help you. In line with this, you need to know which vegetables suit your particular climate, especially the temperature conditions as vegetables thrive in either cold temperate or hot temperatures. Bartholomew also has plans for melon and bean trellises so you can grow vertically and get more use from the space.
This means you do not have to bring in anything new after the initial purchases of peat and vermiculite.
Mel Bartholomew is really fun to read – the book is worth buying just to hear what a truly excited and enthusiastic gardener sounds like. Yet writers like Steve Solomon, Ruth Stout, John Jeavons, Toby Hemenway, Carol Deppe, Edward Smith, Dick Raymond and others have different methods that work for them. Though Bartholomew is using the system for international relief efforts by growing with compost alone, rather than his three-part mix, even compost takes work to make, or money, if you buy it. The standard square foot bed also doesn’t allow you to grow much in the way of large root crops or crawlers like melons. You might not have weeds to pull – but you’ll be spending some time watering during the summer. Square foot gardening is in my arsenal – but it doesn’t play a major role in my garden plans. But if you’re anything like me, you’ll eventually outgrow the box and concentrate on building your own soil rather than bringing it in from outside. For sure, nature itself will find ways to help you out and for you to be able see solutions to your problems just around the corner. The first method to go about this is to gather dried leaves, certain animal manure, vegetable peels and the likes on a compost bag. Through time, years even, that pile will be turned into compost materials that you can also use as fertilizers for your garden. In fact, some vegetable gardeners go so far as using natural rain or pond water to water their plants.
This grid can be made of stretched string, PVC, 1 x 2 lumber or whatever you have lying around. For a person just getting started, he takes the overwhelming world of food production and cuts it into nice, neat 12” x 12” pieces that are easy enough for even a complete novice to digest. He’s an organic gardener and a philanthropist, and just seems to be an all-around sharp guy with a good heart.
In fact, I’m now digging beneath my old square foot beds and stacking in wood as water reservoirs in a hugelkultur-inspired fashion… but that’s another story altogether. You have to attend to it periodically to add moisture once in a while and to make sure that you are doing things right.
But you’ve got to be careful to choose only the part that is not infested with pests. I mention these methods of gardening because methods and design go together and need to be planned as such. Having a visual delineation of your plants is definitely helpful, but this part of the Square Foot Garden design is where gardeners often diverge from the plans in Bartholomew’s book.
If you’ve got a limited amount of space, like well-planned systems, and you’ve got some resources, square foot gardening is a great method.
My food forests, seed saving and seed slinging, green manuring, and intercropping were beyond her, but a 4’ x 4’ box of veggies was a good gateway to introduce her to home food production.
Double-digging could create the same space for $0.00, provided you had a little compost or manure lying around. If you wanted to feed your entire family with square foot beds, you’d be out some serious cash. The site will also sell more than 5,000 horticulture products in association with online garden supplier, Crocus. Granted, you’d earn it back in home-grown organic produce over time – which is why I bit the bullet and built beds for my wife – but it’s still a big outlay.



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