Georgia Magazine - April 2010 - (Page 40)

Eat organically at home Seven steps to an organic vegetable garden STORY AND PHOTOS BY CHRIS E. MARSH H ave you ever wondered what “organic” means, especially when it comes to food? How is organic food different from the food you have eaten for most of your life? Here’s a brief outline of organic gardening and how you can start your own organic garden. A simple organic vegetable plan Below, you will find seven simple steps to have your own organic vegetable garden. This will be a raised-bed system, which has several advantages. First, it can be as large or small as you want. Second, it can be placed almost anywhere. Finally, you can work in a raised-bed garden even with a physical handicap. (Just make the sides higher.) Step 1: Pick where you want to put your garden. Do you have lots of room, or is your space limited? Many people with small spaces put their garden near the kitchen door. They don’t have to go far to get produce. Others, with more room, may place their garden near a water source or in an out-of-the-way area so as not to interfere with lawn upkeep. Step 2: Put down several layers of plain newspaper on top of your grass. This accomplishes two things: One, you do not have to worry about weeds or A raised bed made of old poles or crossties about 8-by-8 grass coming up in the feet square makes a suitable backyard garden space. garden if the soil mixture you use doesn’t have weed or grass post. You may want to add other seeds. Second, you do not have to amendments for a more fertile soil kill your grass. The newsprint does it mixture. Mix this up well. You can for you. use a shovel and hoe, a rototiller or Step 3: Then you will need to some other means of mixing everyuse crossties or 2-by-4-foot or larger thing up. After you get it mixed, use boards for sides. There are garden whatever type fertilizer or other catalogs that have “ready-made” amendments you decide you might raised beds. If you need to have the need and mix very well in the top 6entire garden close by, make it 3 or 4 8 inches of the vegetable bed. feet wide. If the width does not matStep 5: Now is the time to plant ter, and you plan to walk in the gar- either seeds or young plants. If you den, make it wider. Then you can truly want an organic garden, you make it almost any length you want. will need to use organic seed (see Or, you may decide to make two sidebar) or find organic vegetable beds and grow different plants or plants. (Finding these plants already even place them in separate areas of started is not easy.) What you plant is the yard. Attach the boards together, strictly up to you. The key is to make and lay down the crossties so they it a fun, learning experience for you touch. (Solid ties are much better and the family. than cheaper, semi-rotted crossties.) Step 6: After planting, you will Step 4: Your soil mixture will need to begin looking for insect or make or break your garden. Use weed treatments that have an OMRI good topsoil, some humus and com- (Organic Materials Review Institute) Newspaper kills grass and weeds without spraying. After you fill the bed with topsoil, humus and compost, cover it with the paper. 40 A soaker hose in a raised bed conserves water; the straw mulch helps keep weeds down and moisture from evaporating. A curly leaf parsley plant grows in a January garden. GEORGIA MAGAZINE

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - April 2010

Georgia Magazine - April 2010
Picture This?
Georgia News
Special Energy Report
Major League Fun at the "Minors"
Remarkable Rivers
Southern Graces
Around Georgia
My Georgia
Georgia Gardens
Georgia Cooks
Cookbook of the Month

Georgia Magazine - April 2010