Do you have a passion for the outdoors, growing an organic garden, or would love to learn how to garden in a small space?
Then this post is for you.
Gardening not only allows you to spend time in nature –which is the cheapest anti-depressant, but it also exposes you to the sun (Vitamin D), fresh air and most importantly you know where your food comes from.
As you can see below, this year we are growing Non-GMO organic calabacita Latin squash courtesy of an awesome friend who is an avid gardener– Thank you Joe B. 🙂 Also, we purchased tomatoes and red kale at a local farm, and scallions from scrap. I also grow celery and potatoes from scraps.
Natural Weed Control and Moisture Retention
We like to use a black breathable garden cover to reduce weed growth while retaining moisture on the roots. Additionally, by creating rows you can save space (great for those of us sharing a community garden or have very limited space).
What I use to Grow an Organic Garden :
- Use mulch to further stop weeds from growing. Preferably organic because the colored ones leach chemicals onto your veggies.
- Plant nasturtium and marigolds as natural pest repellents. Most garden pests hate nasturtium (bonus: nasturtium is edible)
- Cover seedlings at night with a plastic cup (make some small holes on top for it to breath) to protect them from pests eating them.
- Use a fake ornament (owls work great) or other big bird to deter bunnies, squirrels etc… without harming them. Remember they are part of the Eco-system and that helps your garden.
A little Video of Our Organic Garden in July
Don’t have enough space? Try the reenStalk 5 Tier Vertical Garden Planter with Patented Internal Watering System. It’s Great for Growing a Variety of Strawberries, Vegetables, Herbs & Flowers on a Balcony or Deck.
Early September- Last Harvest
Top Row~ Red onions, some red peppers, and tomatoes.
Middle Row~ Tomatoes, basil, oregano, hot peppers, string beans, cucumbers, banana peppers, climbing spinach.
Bottom Row ~ Russet Organic non-GMO potatoes, first super sweet carrots, red onion, and my neighbor’s sunflowers ha! (thanks Edith)
Summer is pretty much over… Booo! I adore summer–who doesn’t? The nice weather and summer nights, BBQ’s, hiking, walks in the park, the pool, beach, and of course for us gardeners– harvesting the fruits of our hard labor at the end.
Ok, fall’s here everyone:
….and there are lots of things to do outdoors. I am still growing my kale and whatever is left that does well in cool weather.
I am gearing up to store my tomatoes, red onions and drum roll please… two pounds of all organic potatoes –that were harvested all from a small potato tower. Woohoo! I am so proud of myself for this great accomplishment as potatoes are hard to grow.
Wait what on earth is a potato tower?
A potato tower saves space by getting the crop to grow up rather than sprawling out in the ground.
Here’s how it works: The plant grows and its stem lengthens, as do the underground stolons from which the tubers grow. Give the stem more height to grow and it will, increasing the space for stolons and thus tubers. If you want to learn how to make your own potato tower here is how I learned. Click here to read Johanna Silver’s article at Sunset.
Now, I am going to share some of the secrets I’ve come up with to grow healthy and delicious potatoes.
- Since I already had the potato tower, all I do is dig a hole after the last harvest in the fall, and add all of my frozen scraps (from juicing, veggies, egg shells etc..). The tower serves two purposes: compost pile during the winter and potato tower during the summer. Ain’t that cool? Cover it with leaves and dead plants and let it be.
- If you don’t have a potato tower: When you are ready to make one simply make it and then place it over a compost pile and repeat the steps above.
- In early spring when the soil is almost ready to be worked up we add a bit of organic soil over the compost. Let it sit there until it gets warm enough to plant (here in the NE around May). Then plant your potato seedlings and you are good to go.
- This year I planted my nasturtium aka organic and natural pest repellent right next to the potato tower– that kept the lovely potato bugs elsewhere. 🙂
Note: Potatoes take about four months to grow so make sure you plant them early enough. At harvest, leave them in a cool dry place in order for the skin to mature or harden for about a week or so. Then clean up some of the dirt gently. Leave them out for few more days and store!
Now your turn. Do you have a garden?
What are the challenges you have encountered when it comes to growing your own vegetables/fruits? You can leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your experiences.