While I have heard many times that the pesticides that we find on our fruits and vegetables that we buy from the local grocery are bad for you, I really never took it seriously. That was until I saw exactly what residue came off some fruit that I rinsed under our water ionizer. This lead me to start my own veggie garden a few years ago. Not only did I end up saving money by growing my own veggies, but I also had the piece of mind of knowing that my family was eating pesticide free food. Here are some steps on growing an organic garden that I used to get started.
Started A Compost Pile
I had never had a compost bin before, so I bought one from our local Costco that reduced my kitchen scraps and lawn clippings into nutrient-rich compost in a matter of weeks. I know that many people opt to make their own compost bin, but I wanted to make sure that my compost was ready for me to use at the beginning of the gardening season so I bought one to speed up the process.
Figured Out My Growing Zone
Unfortunately I don’t live in Texas…I live in a zone 3 area. This means that I do not get to grow watermelons or more delicate fruit that needs a longer growing season. Up North, the ground starts to thaw toward the end of April and we sometimes can get snow fall or frost in September so we only grow hardier types of veggies. I did try out some different types of peppers as well as a watermelon (that is how I know it won’t grow up here) with no success so I just stick to the basics that I know grow in our climate.
Started A Rainwater Collection
I had already started conserving rainwater in a barrel that I bought from the local town office so that I could water my indoor plants and my outside flower planters. The year that I started my veggie garden, I beefed it up and actually added three more barrels so that each drain spout coming off each corner of the house added to my water collection. I was able to water my garden all summer with my water collection which saved me a bit of money as well as being more environmentally friendly.
Used Soilless Mixture In My Veggie Patch
As my soil in the backyard is not that great, I decided to use the Square Foot gardening method. This meant that I used Mel’s Mixture which is a combination of compost, peat moss and vermiculite. Because it doesn’t have any dirt, I ended up with a weed free garden which meant that I had more spare time to do other things other than weeding which is not my favourite part of gardening.
Bought Some Good Bugs To Keep Down Plant Eating Bugs
I knew lady bugs and praying mantis bugs were good for my garden however I didn’t even realize that I could buy them online. As I didn’t want to use pesticides on my garden, I choose to get rid of my bugs with these good for the garden bugs. I ordered my bugs online and spaced out when they were shipped so that I had a healthy supply to keep the pesky bug population down in my garden.
I have found that growing my own produce in my organic garden is very rewarding. I am able to provide healthy, nutritious veggies that I knew are pesticide free while also saving me money on my grocery bill. If you are looking for a way to cut costs or you just want to be healthy, I highly suggest starting your own veggie garden.