Having a Successful Summertime Organic Veggie Garden
Growing your own vegetables can be economical and fun. Growing organic vegetables goes one step further by giving you control over what is going into your body. When you buy from supermarkets, you have no idea where the foods are coming from or how long ago they were plucked from the garden. Most commercial growers use loads of pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides. Some of these chemicals have been shown to be carcinogenic and in many cases the run-off from farmlands damages the natural environment due to their strength. Marshes in Louisiana die off every year because of farmland run-off from further north along the Mississippi River. If the natural wildlife in surrounding areas is killed by these chemicals, why would you want to eat them? One easy solution is to grow your own vegetables using organic methods. By doing this, you will know how long ago they were picked and that nothing harmful was used to grow them.
Organic products are not mainstream enough in supermarkets and the prices are usually double that of regular produce so growing your own can be economical. With the rising fuel costs and trend towards monoculture farms, growing organic vegetables year round can ensure a seasonally fresh assortment to eat and can prove to be cost effective. Summertime growing can present a different set of challenges than spring and fall, but here are a few simple ways to ensure a successful summertime organic vegetable garden.
• Choose wisely: One of the basics of having a summertime garden that produces is picking plants that thrive in the summer. Of course, depending on your location, planting times can vary. There are tons of resources that can help you decide when to plant no matter where you live (US- Old Farmer’s Almanac, UK-Gardenate.com, New Zealand-NIWA, Australia-ABM, etc). Bunching Onions, Cucurbits like squashes, melons, and cucumbers, fleshy fruits like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and okra, corn, basil, various types of beans, and roots like potatoes, beets, and carrots are some of the veggies that can be planted in summer. If you want to harvest in the summer, plan ahead and pick veggies that are planted in the spring.
• Use Compost: Using well balanced compost for the soil is a must for organic gardening. Scraps of organic vegetables, eggshells, grass clippings, leaves, straw, hair clippings, and more will provide a good balance of nutrients that plants need to grow. Avoid any grease, fat, animal products as they will attract unwanted animals to your garden. Turning the mixture every week or so will help the process along and remember that you will end up with about a quarter of the amount you started with after the compost breaks down.
• Water thoroughly and Prune: Summertime can be rough for plants especially in hotter climates. Be sure to water plenty in order to encourage a deeper root system and healthier plants. Prune the plants so that they can focus their energy and growth in a hot environment on producing fruits.
Enjoy the fruits of your labors and knowing where they came from!
Bio: Mandi Titus enjoys spreading her interest in living green through writing and guest blogging. She currently works in public relations in Florida and is a freelance writer for newspapers, magazines, and blogs. She also maintains her personal blog @Vermont. You can also follower her on Twitter!