It’s Time to Get Started
Always wanted to start growing your own produce to either sustain yourself or use it as a tool for investment; But know nothing about farming and probably fall at the bottom of the list when it comes to being a green thumb? Well, fret not for organic vegetable farming is actually not as hard as it seems, though it takes a lot of patience to research the right conditions, necessary tools, and suitable produce to kickstart your farm and a whole lot of effort to sustain your farm. If you are a beginner and are extremely new to the whole farming scene, rest assured as this article will provide you with all the information you need to start your own organic vegetable farm.
Some of the components required in the soil for organic vegetable farming are Manures, Biofertilizers, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Sulfur, Boron, Magnesium Sulfate, Iron Sulfate and many more. In order to ensure that your soil has sufficient nutrients to home your vegetables, non-chemical vegetable farmers typically rely on compost or natural fertilizer.
Compost is effective in locking in all the required nutrients and organic matter in the soil for your crops to grow. It not only helps to absorb nitrogen from the atmosphere, but it also plays a part in preventing soil erosion. Green manure helps in the prevention of diseases and insects, and the potash in compost also serves as a source of potassium, ensuring that the soil is of an idyllic condition for the crops to flourish. On the other hand, even though natural fertilizers are great for growing your crops, it can also be harmful to them as it provides a suitable condition for weeds and other unwanted plants to thrive and destroy your produce.
Soil Mangement Techniques
Making sure that your soil is managed properly in the right conditions for your plants to thrive is extremely important. It not only guarantees the fertility of the soil, but it also maximizes the yield potential and prevents the issue of soil erosion.
One of the most effective techniques for soil management is Raised Bed planting. Not only is it cost-efficient, but it is also a quick and hassle-free method to increase the fertility of the soil. Firstly, farmers should set aside space and create your soil bed in any shape or size that you prefer. Next, dig the soil to about 8 to 10 inches deep, and then raise the bed to 4 to 6 inches up. This gives sufficient space of about 12 to 16 inches in depth to allow the roots to grow. However, the depth of the soil bed should be adjusted according to the product that you are planning to grow, as different types of vegetables require different depths. Lastly, add compost fertilizer into the soil with a minimum ratio of 1:1 to ensure fertility.
Choosing suitable varieties
Selecting the type of produce you want to grow that suits the climate of your hometown is crucial in maximizing your yield. Choosing the wrong produce may result in months of wasted effort, time and money as your crops will not be able to thrive well. Different climates and the presence of certain types of pests are factors to consider when you choose your crops. Contacting your local government agriculture office is recommended to determine which types of vegetables thrive the best in your farm during the different seasons. Some types of produce that typically grow well with any organic or natural non-chemical agriculture method include corn, tomatoes, radishes, watermelons, carrots, turnips, potatoes; these crops are generally profitable in the market as well.
Organic Planting Methods
Farmers can opt for either organic seeds or seedlings, and each has its own set of pros and cons.
For organic seed planting, they are relatively affordable and are available in a range of varieties. However, a downside to seed planting is that it is necessary to grow them indoors for a few weeks first, before planting them outdoors, apart from some exceptions like beans, carrots peas, and spinach that can be directly grown in the soil.
On the other hand, organic seedling planting can be planted into the ground immediately, and are more effective in producing non-chemical healthy vegetables, as compared to seed planting. This method is also much easier to maintain especially for beginner farmers who do not have much experience when it comes to farming. Farmers should always ensure that transplantable crops are purchased and collected at organically certified nurseries, to ensure that the plants are healthy and in good condition.
When farming, farmers should look out for the growth of weeds as they are harmful to crops as it is prone to cultivating diseases and serves as a shelter for pests to breed. In order to ensure that your crops are growing well, you should always look out for weeds and remove them regularly from your farm. There are many methods that farmers can use to remove weeds in their gardens, including the mechanical, biological, cultural and thermal schemes. Though they are all effective, some methods are more expensive and require more effort. It is important to choose the right technique that suits your needs to improve its effectiveness.
Importance of Organic Vegetable Farming
Not only does organic vegetable farming help you to save costs as you can consume your own produce and earn some extra cash, there are a host of other benefits that it brings about as well. Some of these benefits include:
- Absence of chemicals and pesticides makes it safer for consumers and prevents the onset of health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and certain types of cancer
- Contain much more nutrients and vitamins than locally manufactured produce; up to 50% more
- Form of investment as the demand for organic vegetables continue to rise
- Soil management techniques help to keep pests away from your home environment
- Crop rotation helps to keep your soil healthy and fertile
In a nutshell, starting your own organic vegetable farm is relatively simple, and you do not need to be good with plants in order to ensure its success. With sufficient effort put in when you do your research and understanding the conditions of your soil, as well as the patience to allow your crops to thrive in its own time, you will be able to reap the benefits of your yield in no time.