People usually decide to grow an organic garden because they’ve heard from a friend or relative that organically produced vegetables are the healthiest choice to feed to their families. They are also often motivated by knowing that they’ll know where the vegetables they eat came from, and how they were grown. Unfortunately there are many misconceptions about what organic gardening really means. Here are some organic gardening facts that you not have already known about.
Certified Organic Is A Legal Term
When you hear a tomato referred to as being certified organic, it means that the tomato was produced without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. The key word is synthetic. Many people are under the misconception that certified organic means that no pesticides or fertilizers were used, but this is untrue. The rules allow for the use of naturally-derived pesticides and fertilizers, which may not be any healthier for you than their synthetic counterparts are.
Avoiding The Use Of Fertilizer Can Lead To Nitrogen Deficiency
Nitrogen is as necessary for the health of plants, as protein is to animal health. Plants grown in nitrogen depleted conditions will appear paler in color, and their leaves will turn yellow on the lower parts of the plant. If you garden without the use of fertilizer, you run the risk of your garden soil becoming depleted of nitrogen. Use your eyes as your guide, and look for signs your soil is becoming depleted. A good, organic mulch that you produce with household waste and cow or horse manure, is a good fertilizer to use to replenish nitrogen levels in your soil.
Planting Transplants Is Usually Unnecessary
After a visit to a garden center, you may become enticed to head home with a truck load of transplants, but in most cases you’re throwing away your money. Most plants produce quite well through planting their seeds directly into your garden soil. That $3 that you spent for a single cucumber seedling could have gone to buy you a packet of seeds that would produce you much more of a yield.
The best reason to plant transplants is either because you want to give certain crops a head-start on the weather, or because you waited too late to plant them from seed. Another reason to plant transplants might be to give plants, like broccoli, the opportunity to take advantage of temporary windows of cool weather.
Know When To Plant
Garden plants are usually classified in one of two ways, as warm weather or cool weather crops. Knowing which category your plants fall into, can be the difference between raising healthy plants and losing an entire crop. There are two rules to help you determine which category your plants fall into. If they produce edible tubers, roots, leaves, or flower buds, They are cool weather plants. If they produce edible seeds or fruits, they are warm weather. Using this rule of thumb, you can easily surmise that spinach, carrots, and broccoli are cool weather plants, and tomatoes, beans, and peas are warm weather plants.
These relatively unknown organic gardening facts are infinitely valuable for growing a successful garden, yet most people are unaware of them. Taking these facts into account when planning your garden will ensure the highest likelihood of your garden producing the best yields possible.