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How to Grow Organic Plants

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How to Grow Organic Plants

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Overview

Organic growing means growing fruits, vegetables and other plants though the most natural and sustainable means possible. When growing organic plants, never use chemicals or other unnatural products in the soil or on the plants. Organic gardeners often focus on feeding their plants by nourishing the soil and supporting the natural ecosystem. Though it may seem like quite a change from more traditional gardening, growing organic plants can be quite simple once you get used to the process.

Step 1

Select an appropriate site for the plants. An organic garden site should get plenty of sunlight and drain fairly quickly when it rains. This will help keep plants healthy without the use of chemicals by preventing mildew, pests and diseases.

Step 2

Test the soil's pH. Many gardening centers and agriculture departments offer this service. Submit a sample of the dirt from the area where the garden will be planted; once the dirt is tested, the testing center will be able to recommend organic supplements such as bone meal and rock phosphates that can adjust the pH to a desirable level.

Step 3

Use the available soil first. Dig up the garden plot with a shovel, then comb through the dirt with a rake to loosen it and remove rocks, roots and other debris. Using the naturally occurring soil means that you won't be introducing foreign entities to the area.

Step 4

Select plants that grow well in your area. Visit a local garden center for expert advice on plants that grow easily in the particular climate and season. These plants are less likely to require chemical intervention.

Step 5

Start a compost pile to make your own fertilizer. Stack grass clippings, leaves, fruit and vegetable scraps, and other biodegradable items in a centralized location at the edge of the property. Turn the pile with a shovel every couple of days until it breaks down into a rich, dark material. Mix the compost in with the plants' soil to enrich it.

Step 6

Weed the area around the plants regularly to keep the bed under control without chemical herbicides. If weeds are sprouting quickly, cover the ground with an inch or two of wood mulch. The mulch blocks the sunlight from the weeds and stunts their growth.

Step 7

Watch for pests. If bugs are eating your plants, find out what their natural predators are and add plants and other natural components to the garden that attract them. This will help balance the ecosystem without damaging the organic plants. Cover the plants with row covers if they are being attacked by larger critters, such as birds.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Gardening rake
  • Mulch
  • Row covers

References

  • Organic Gardening Magazine
Keywords: organic plants, gardening, chemicals

About this Author

Katie Leigh is a freelance writer and editor based in Chicago. A Loyola University New Orleans graduate with a Bachelor's degree in communications, Leigh has worked as a copy editor, page designer and reporter for several daily newspapers and specialty publications since 2005.

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