Here at OMI we believe not only in sleeping organic, but also eating organic! For most of us here in the office it is a busy time of year because we spend a lot of time outside of work planting our Summer gardens. There just is nothing better then vine-ripe tomatoes or fresh cucumbers.
Having the priviledge of a family centered around a organic upbringing, the importance of growing the vegetables organically is a no-brainer for me. But not everyone is as lucky. For those of you who are trying to "organic-fy" your life, here are some tips and facts to help and encourage you towards a healthier lifestyle.
For the healthiest plants, make sure you have good growing conditions. For most vegetables, that means full sun (at least 6 hours of direct sun a day). If you have poor soil, amend it with lots of organic matter, like compost.
Decide what you want to grow. Determine how much space you have, and then take a sheet of paper and draw a small scale model of your garden plot, and decide where the vegetables will go. Without added chemical fertilizers(like Miracle Grow, which basically gives plants a "steroid" boost when growing) the plants need enough spacing to stretch their roots. Overcrowding gives you less of a chance for the plant to grow large enough to support the vegetables.
Look for natural and organic alternatives to chemical fertilizers, such as the use of compost. The use of inorganic fertilizer causes toxic buildup of chemicals in our soil and drinking water.
Some plants, such as tomatoes, are naturally more susceptible to pest and disease problems than others. To reduce problems, look for disease-resistant varieties of plants. (Disease resistance is usually mentioned in catalog listings, seed packets, and plant tags.)
After planting your seeds and/or starts water everything thoroughly and keep the seed areas moist until they germinate and start growing. Once that happens you can then start allowing them to dry out a bit between waterings as you usually would do with growing plants.
For more tips and info on growing your organic vegetable garden visit my favorite nursery's website, Peaceful Valley, HERE where they post weekly demonstration videos and helpful information.