**Guest Post by Victoria Lam on organic gardening.
It’s important to take care of your health: get enough sleep, drink more water, work out, and eat healthy. There is nothing better than good old organic food, but it seems like it’s impossible to buy organic fruit and vegetables without going bankrupt. If you gave a green thumb you can use it for something else than growing pretty roses and orchids. Turn your backyard into a small organic heaven and grow your own food with ease.
Know your soil
You might have a pretty good idea what you’d like to grow in your garden, but before you buy seeds and plant them, you should know the condition of your soil. Sandy soil will not be able to hold nutrients for too long, and clay can trap them completely which will leave the roots of your plants ‘hungry’. The best way to make the soil more absorbent and allow your plants to thrive is to add compost to it. In addition, you should know how much sun your plants need and whether the conditions of your garden will work for them.
Make your own compost
The best way to get naturally rich soil without using any artificial fertilizers is by using compost. Organic matter breaks down to produce nutrient-rich soil which allows plant to grow faster, and the best things is – you can make your own compost right in your backyard. If you’re worried that your backyard will look like a mess, you can opt for purpose-built plastic bins or hurdle-style ones. By adding compost to your soil you will fertilize it in a completely natural way and form an excellent growing medium for plants. What is more, you will reduce the amount of waste you make because you will be using pretty much all your organic waste to make compost.
You will have to make sure that your plants are well-watered, and you won’t need to pay bills for that. The best water to use is rainwater because it hasn’t been chemically treated, which means that your plants will stay chem.-free. Get a barrel (or more barrels if you plan on collecting more rainwater) and buy additional supplies at your local hardware store. Make sure you get aluminum window screen to keep insects and leaves out of your water, and if you plan on getting used barrels, pick the ones which weren’t used for keeping oil because these are virtually impossible to clean.
**Check the laws in your state for collecting rainwater. Some states may prevent you from doing so without a permit.
If you don’t want to turn your entire backyard into a food-growing garden, you can make raised beds and grow your herbs, fruit, and vegetables there. If you want them to be more space-efficient you can make raised beds with gently rounded tops which form an arc. If you don’t have a lot of space, these will allow you to use a 6-foot arc and only have 5 feet wide base, and you know how valuable space is when you have a small garden. This is also a great solution for those who would like a more organized garden, because it allows you to minimize the mess and keep a neat lawn next to a ‘vegetable jungle’.
Use the space
Organic garden is a lot of work, so you’ll need high-quality equipment, but that also means that you’ll need a place to store it. Your shed probably isn’t the size of a palace, and you’ll have a lot of things to keep inside, so try to maximize the available storage space. Use durable garden hoses which can be used for a long time and stored in a shed without worrying, use shelves to store heavy objects, and keep your gardening gloves and small tools close at hand.
If you grow your own food, you will be safe because you’ll know that it hasn’t been treated with any kind of pesticides. In addition, you will do a favor to the environment because you’ll reduce the amount of toxic chemicals that are used everywhere. It’s important to know that growing your own food is a lot of work and it takes time, so try to enjoy the process. Have fun while learning about organic gardening and you’ll have so much more in the end – both food and knowledge.