As a first time grower, working with a top quality soil, can be the best option and most practical. Organically grown fruits and vegetables are highly sought after amongst healthy minded people, compared to other kinds of cultivation methods. In this article, we break down all you need to know about growing plants organically, the benefits associated, the best times to water soil, how to organically control pests and much more.

Organic gardening is a great way to enjoy fresh vegetables all year round.
Organic gardening is a great way to enjoy fresh vegetables all year round.

What is soil?

If you are new to growing fruits, vegetables, succulents, or just household plants, using a top quality soil will provide plenty of food and nutrients over a long period of time. Soil is in a state of decomposition and is made up of organic matter and minerals. When you take a soil sample and examine it closely, you will be amazed to know there are millions of beneficial microorganisms living inside.

 

As organic matter breaks down in carbon, beneficial aerobic bacteria and mycorrhizal fungi use this as a food source, and in return supply the plant’s roots with a highway of ready to use nutrients and trace elements. This is known as a symbiotic relationship, allowing the roots of your favorite plant to benefit from nature’s little helpers and never be short of food.

 

The benefits of growing plants organically

● Plants grown in soil will produce the best tasting crop.
● Organic pesticides are an excellent form of pest control.
● You can use organic nutrients or make organic teas.
● People prefer natural organic grown fruits and vegetables.
● Producing your own organically grown food is highly rewarding.
● Only using water with soil is easy and will produce excellent results.

 

What food and nutrients do organically grown plants require?

All plants require the primary nutrients which are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, whilst secondary nutrients class as calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. There is a list of trace elements which cover boron, copper, manganese, iron, zinc, and molybdenum. All the above needs to be found in the soil, allowing the plants to have a fresh supply of primary and trace nutrients on demand.

5 Signs of a healthy growing garden


1. When checking the soil and the bottom of your plant pots, you will notice the roots are white, hairy, and well established. Healthy roots are a sign that the plant is in the best shape possible and pathogen free.


2. Your foliage will have a vibrant, bright green and waxy characteristic whilst growing. This means your plants are better suited for photosynthesis and better protected from insect damage.

White root, lush green leaves is what you need to look for.
White root, lush green leaves is what you need to look for.

3. The color of your fruits and vegetables will have a bold and bright appearance. Your plants whilst flowering will have a head turning effect on anyone who enters your garden and is licking their lips in anticipation of the crop harvest.

Photo submitted by an Atami user satisfied with his harvest.
Photo submitted by an Atami user satisfied with his harvest.

4. When taking a handful of the soil from your garden, the consistency should be airy, soft, and light. The aroma when smelling should be fresh with an earthy sweetness. Finding earthworms crawling around is always a good sign the soil is teaming full of life.

 

5. There is nothing more exciting than harvesting your fruits and vegetables. The proof is in the pudding, and one way to determine if you have a healthy garden is the quality and quantity of the crop. Well-grown organically produced vegetables and fruits will taste out of this world and be packed full of flavonoids and terpenes.


How and when will be the best time to water soil?

If your primary source of water for your fruits and vegetables comes from a hose pipe or tap, knowing when the right to water can is help reduce your water usage. Soil can hold onto large volumes of water, meaning that you only really need to feed a small volume.

 

A good rule of thumb is to provide 10% of the size of the pot, so for example if you are using a 20 liter pot with soil, simply water from above using 2 liters of water or nutrient solution. Only water once you notice the soil is closer to the dry side, and a safe way to determine this is to lift the pot to see how heavy or light the soil currently is.

 

During the hotter summer months, it is a good idea to water your fruits and vegetables during the early morning as the sun is rising, and again in the evening as the sun is setting. Avoid over watering your soil and remember less is more!

 

How to maintain plant health and take care of your organic garden over the year

There is an old school expression that comes with growing plants organically using soil, and that is “Do not panic…it’s organic.” Soil is one of the easiest and most practical ways to produce a great crop, and when it comes to maintenance, all you really need to do is supercharge the medium with carbon sources such as black strap molasses, compost, fresh worm castings, twigs, wood bark, leaves, and any other garden waste.

 

If the soil food web has an opportunity to fully function and do what mother nature does best, then you do not need to do much more. We recommend adding soil improvers time to time, like worm manure or Upgrade. Also, creating compost piles and to dispose of lawn clippings, brown leaves, and old twigs in an area where they can decompose over time before adding directly to your soil.

Helpers to keep your garden soil in perfect condition for the best harvests. Add an extra layer of compost and soil improvers: Worm Delight and Upgrade.
Helpers to keep your garden soil in perfect condition for the best harvests. Add an extra layer of compost and soil improvers: Worm Delight and Upgrade.

How to avoid pests organically

One of the safest methods you can use is companion planting. We have a whole blog talking in depth about it which you can check out here. But the main point here is to embrace diversity, as nature does! Planting diverse types of plants along with herbs, flowers, etc., will help you avoid and repel pests.

 

Biodiversity means more life, more natural predators, pollinators and all the good things that come with them.

 

There are also some non-invasive home remedies that can help such as neem oil, nettle purine, garlic preparations or diatomaceous earth.

A diverse and colourful garden is a healthy garden.
A diverse and colourful garden is a healthy garden.

Our Conclusion

Growing fruits and vegetables using organic methods is one of the most rewarding things a grower can do. Not only will can be very cost-effective or even free, but the plant health will also be optimal, enhancing their ability to fight off pests and disease. Using predators to get rid of crop eating pests is a safe and careful way of eliminating chemical based solutions. We recommend everyone starts growing in soil and learning how to maintain the quality to keep those beneficial microorganisms and fungi happy and the soil food web thriving.

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