Grow Your Own Organic Garden

tomatoes2If you’ve ever dreamed of having your own garden, now is the perfect time to start! More and more people are seeking out organic fruits, vegetables, and other foods. They are trying to avoid high amounts of pesticides, chemicals, and toxins. People want to know what’s in their food, where it’s coming from, how it was grown and produced. What better to know all the answers than by having you own garden? Being able to walk outside every day to harvest the most nutritious and freshest fruits and vegetables you can possibly get your hands on.

Fall is a great time to start growing cool weather vegetables right into the ground. That means onions, leeks, lettuces, collards, spinach, kale, carrots, peas, beets, radishes, and turnips. They are easy to grow, save you money, and trips to the grocery store. Growing organic can seem a little overwhelming and sometimes can be a lot of work, but the benefits and rewards are well worth it.

You don’t need a huge plot of land or a farm to grow your own food. A small area in your yard with plenty of sunlight at least 8-10 hours is perfect for any home garden. Don’t have a yard; grow your favorite vegetables in containers on your front porch. Growing a pot of tomatoes, potatoes in burlap sack, and an array of fresh herbs will make a huge difference in your food, health, environment, and even your wallet.

Items You’ll Need to Start Your Garden

  • Pencil and paper to diagram and plot your garden
  • Raised beds or Containers (make sure to drill holes in the bottom)
  • Compost and Organic Garden Soil
  • Seeds or Organic Seedlings
  • A hose or watering can for water
  • Natural Fertilizers
  • Garden tools, spade, hand rake, hoe, gloves

If you don’t have a lot of room, some vegetables grow well with each other and some refuse to grow side by side. Save room and frustration by learning to “companion gardening.”  Here are a few that love to grow together and to keep in mind when plotting your personal garden.

Compatible Companion Plants

  • Tomatoes grow well with basil, asparagus, celery, carrots, and parsley.
  • Eggplants like beans, potatoes, and spinach.
  • Carrots love pole beans, lettuce, onions, radishes, peas, and tomatoes.
  • Cucumbers grow well with beans, celery, lettuce, peas, and radish.
  • Onions love broccoli, strawberries, cabbage, and tomatoes.
  • Melons like corn.

To avoid added toxins, chemicals, and fertilizers, learn to use some basic items straight from your home to add to your soil, repel pests, or boost a deficiency in your plants. Things that you throw in the trash on a daily basis can work wonders for your garden without contaminating your food source or harming your pets or family. And you can get the whole family involved with helping conserve used products and even get their hands dirty. (Kids are perfect for this!)

Natural Fertilizers

  • Banana Peels- They are a mild fertilizer, so they won’t burn plants. They are a great source of Potassium and can be used for tomatoes. Use two peels per plant and place them one inch under the soil, about 6 inches from the stalk of the plant.
  • Coffee Grounds– Also a mild fertilizer, high in nitrogen. They also help produce large yields.
  • Epsom Salts– They are a fast acting source of magnesium and sulfur. Also a great fertilizer. Add a teaspoon into the ground before you plant your seedling.
  • Seaweed– Used as a supplement, it helps keep plants green, stimulates root growth, and acts as a chelating agent.
  • Beer– Kills snails and slugs. Fill an old pie container or plastic with beer and three drops of vinegar. Place near affected plants overnight, you’re guaranteed to find these slimy suckers in the container first thing in the morning.
  • Egg Shells– Great source of calcium. They help produce large yields. Make sure to boil the shells to prevent Salmonella, then grind or crush them into a powder and sprinkle into the soil.

So whether you have lots of room for beautiful raised beds or just a sunny porch perfect for tomatoes and green beans. There’s nothing better than watching all your hard work pay off and know that what you’re growing is good for you and your family. There’s nothing better than walking out to your garden and plucking off a vine ripened tomato, still warm from the day’s sun. Slicing it open as its sweet juices pour out and then tossing it with some fresh mozzarella, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper for summer’s perfect dish! I’m drooling just thinking about it! Hope this spring inspires you to get out and start your own! Happy Gardening!!!

 

 

 

 

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About Farm, Foodie and Fitness

Kelly Roberts is a Healthy Living Advocate. She is the owner and CEO of Beach Pilates and Wellness and Farm Foodie Fitness. She is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and received her training from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York City. Fueled by passion, she founded her holistic health practice, Farm Foodie Fitness. She educates and teaches her clients and the community the life changing benefits of nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle. Her practice consists of corporate and private clients from all across the country. Kelly is also the owner of Pilates on the Beach in Ocean City, Maryland and Bethany Beach, Delaware. She offers classes out on the beach for locals and visitors from May to September. She is a Certified Pilates instructor by world renowned Body Arts and Science International. BASI Pilates ®. For the past ten years, she has specialized in Pre and Post-Natal, athletes, rehabilitation, and clients with chronic illness. Kelly also offers private one-on-one sessions, as well as semi-private sessions. Kelly first discovered Pilates twelve years ago after a serious car accident left her with debilitating back and neck pain. She incorporates the Pilates method into her teaching and daily practice to maintain movement, a healthy lifestyle, and to live pain free. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Salisbury University with a concentration in Mass Media. Her passion for nutrition and food lead her to Alissa Cohen, where she studied to become a Certified Raw Chef. She enjoys incorporating raw foods into her diet and sharing her knowledge with her clients, friends, and family. She offers private and group cooking classes, food demos, and has also been a private chef to a number of families. Also a Certified Master Gardener, she understands the importance of fresh, local foods, and knowing where your food comes from. Kelly offers gardening knowledge, advice, and hands on training through community gardens. She also teaches elementary children the benefits of nutrition and how growing your own food through edible school yards. Kelly is also a published author; her fiction novel, "The Road to Chianti" and her summer and winter cookbooks, "Farm Foodie Fitness Homegrown.” She has been featured in Mind Body Green, Charleston Home Magazine, and many other publications. Kelly recently released her first fitness DVD "Beach Pilates and Wellness, Pilates Mat Workout." She also has a successful health, nutrition, fitness, and organic gardening blog. Make sure to check it out! www.farmfoodieandfitness.com. When Kelly is not running businesses she's chasing her two little ones. Contact Kelly to book seminars, demonstrations, book signings, or speaking engagements.

2 thoughts on “Grow Your Own Organic Garden

    • HI! See if this helps!
      Make a can trap. Place shallow tin cans (like cat food cans) in your yard. Fill them with 1/2″ (1.25 cm) of vegetable oil. This will attract the earwigs, they’ll crawl in and drown. Dump and refill the cans as needed.
      or
      Make a shoebox trap. Poke some entry holes in the outer sides of a shoebox near the base. Place a thin layer of oatmeal or bran in the box and put the lid on it. Leave it on the porch or other entrance area around or in your home to trap the earwigs. Hope this helps! Yeah they’re pretty gross!!

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