Friday, December 31, 2010

Five Steps to Grow an Organic Vegetable Garden with Companion Planting

Follow these 5 steps to begin an organic vegetable gardening with companion planting.
1. Observation
The area of the garden must have enough sunshine. An organic vegetable garden needs 7-8 hours of sunlight to grow a successful and high yielding vegetables, herbs and flowers. The morning sun warms the soil for germination. If the garden does not have enough sunlight, try planting seedling instead of seeds into the garden to give the crop a chance to grow.
2. Organic Vegetable Garden Soil
Not all soil is equal. Find out what type of soil you have. Is it Clay, Sandy, Loamy, Gravely? Take the test. What healthy soil texture feels like and how to sustain the nutrition levels in the soil.
3. Importance of Water
Vegetables need a steady supply of water. For good results, the soil must never be allowed to dry out. Keep the organic vegetable garden close to a water source or plan a way to carry water to the site. Consistency is key to watering the seed to germinate which then grows into vegetables that we can eat.
4. What about Seed?
There are many ways to get seed but the key to healthy crop that flourishes is quality seed. Quality seed is an organic seed. If the growing season is short, like in Canada, start the organic vegetable garden with seedlings. It is always good to start tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, green pepper as seedlings.
5. How to integrate companion planting in organic vegetable garden
Implement companion planting by using herbs and flowers to neutralize bugs and pests in your vegetable garden. As an example, herbs can encourage growth when cabbage and thyme are planted together. Thyme will keep the cabbage disease at bay because the bugs become attracted to the thyme instead of the cabbage.

A start up organic vegetable garden with companion planting or an existing garden that implements companion gardening, can exist without pesticide.

More on  companion planting:

Organic Vegetable Garden with Companion Planting

Companion Planting Potato & Lettuce has our first organic vegetable garden using companion planting this season. When companion planting is applied to a vegetable garden, it assists the garden to become organic because no chemicals are needed to control insect and disease. There are natural solutions that do not interfere with the delicate Eco system within the soil and plants enviroment. Companion planting incorporates vegetables, herbs and flowers to assist each other in the success of abundance in the garden. This method needs zero chemicals to get rid of the problem insects and disease.

 A combination of vegetables, herbs and flowers that are grown in harmony with each other, create a healthy environment for both plant and soil. When vegetables, herbs and flowers are placed in certain combination, this formula gets rid of bugs and disease naturally.

I asked Jeannine Davidoff, our Organic Garden Companion Planting Consultant to assist me in creating an organic garden with companion planting. We came up with 5 important steps to start an organic vegetable garden using companion planting to create a healthy and natural garden with vegetables, herbs and flowers. These crops can be harvested straight from the garden to snack, eat fresh or cook healthy meals from the abundant crop of vegetables, herbs and flowers growing in the garden without chemicals.

I began the project by implementing the 5 steps to starting an organic vegetable garden using companion planting. I found the sunniest location, evaluated the soil, adjusted my spacing issues, took into account all the vegetables and herbs I wanted to eat. Lastly, I had to apply the right combination to where I had to plant each crop. Jeannine guided me with the placement of certain herbs and flowers to compliment the vegetables, taking into account the Canadian growing season.

Growing an organic vegetable garden with companion planting will deliver natural food with bounty full amounts of vegetables that could help us stay healthy.

For more on organic vegetable garden with companion planting:

What is Companion Planting?

Companion Planting with Spinach & Lettuce

What does Companion mean? Companion…one who accompanies another, thing that matches or accompanies another; - The Oxford English Dictionary.

Companion planting is the art and science of applying a diverse group of vegetables, herbs and flowers together to create a sustainable ecosystem that will repel insects and neutralize unwanted bacteria naturally. The process of companion planting allows the crops to exchange valuable nutrients from the soil to the plant, providing nutritional benefits to the vegetables that grow through natural pest control. When companion plants are strategically placed together, this method will enhance the yield per crop.

How to combine vegetables, herbs and flowers?
If a garden is small, space is a problem. Companion planting can fill empty spaces by using vegetables or herbs in between each other. Radish can be planted between the lettuce or the spinach. Certain vegetables prefer less sun then others or need less sun to grow. By using the combination of vegetables, herbs and flowers in the garden will mean fresh supply all season long.

Crops that help each other should be grown together to get better results. When basil is planted in between tomatoes, this combination will balance out the eco system between the plants by using companion planting.

Get more info for companion planting

What Does Organic Gardening Mean?

Organic Gardening

What does Organic mean? Organic…of or formed from living things, organic matter; (of food etc.) produced without the use of artificial fertilizers or pesticides; -The Oxford Paperback Dictionary.

The idea of having an organic garden is almost too difficult to even thing about having. Actually, it is quiet the opposite. When we learn how to work with nature, we are able to grow healthy, natural food straight from our own gardens.

Organic gardening is cost effective, simple and delicious. Natural methods can be used to fight insect intrusion and plant disease. The benefits of working with nature and using natural remedies deliver healthy, bountiful crops with a natural eco system with healthy soil that will produce healthy crops without the use of chemicals.

Why does chemical fertilizer cause the soil to become imbalanced? This method kills the natural flora in the air and soil; this instantly creates a soil imbalance that will impact the amount of nutrient that grows in each crop and the volume of each crop produces. It is cost effective not to use chemical fertilizer. 

When chemical fertilizers are used; it increases the need to use even more artificial fertilizer on the crops that cost money.  Also, when using chemicals in the garden, it leaves behind dangerous chemicals on the body or leaf of the crop that is growing to be harvested. By growing an organic garden, no artificial fertilizer needs to be used, making this a cost effective project.