DIY Organic: A Guide to Growing Healthy Food At Home

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Gardening is both a hobby and a positive lifestyle choice. It has unique win-win benefits including food fresher than anything found at a grocery store, healthy physical exercise and respect for the environment. Organic gardeners put in a little extra work to raise and protect their crops, but reap the rewards with every meal.

What to plant

What kind of garden should you plan? The answer depends on many factors including climate, soil type, available space and what you like to eat. If space is available consider vines such as cucumbers and the squash family. If not, a better use of space would be plants with smaller footprints such as tomatoes, peppers or beans. Deep topsoil, which can be developed with proper soil care, favors root crops like carrots, radishes or beets. A shorter growing season favors cold-weather plants like cabbage, broccoli or Swiss chard.

Plant early

Get a head start by starting seedlings indoors. A nice selection of favorite seeds is for sale in the months before growing season. Seedling trays filled with soil mix are ideal for planting indoors about six weeks before plants get transplanted outside. For example, for an expected last frost date of May 15, start planting indoors about April 1. Well insulated vinyl sided sheds in NY or other cold places could house your sprout trays until the expected last frost date has passed. These trays are easy to keep moist and mulched. After sprouting, exposure to natural light is best but custom artificial lighting can also be effective.

Supplies

Proper tools are essential for best results. In addition to garden vinyl sheds to sprout seedlings you’ll need the right equipment to get the job done. Every tool has a role to play during the season, from simple hand tools to complex machines like a rototiller. Gardeners lucky enough to have a shed can keep these tools organized and protected, ready for use when needed.

Nutrition

Fertilizer, mulch and compost from eco-friendly sources solve several problems at once. Active gardeners can make their own compost with leaves, clippings and their own kitchen scraps. Animal manure mixed into the soil is a most excellent fertilizer. Straw and paper mulch can be used as available to resist weeds and retain moisture.

Most of us have ancestors who were farmers and used this knowledge every day. More recently, the “victory gardens” of World War II put gardening skills back into the hands of city dwellers and fostered an appreciation of nature. Fortunately, gardening is not dead in the supercharged 21st century. Any home gardening space that would otherwise be covered with grass or weeds makes effective use of the land, reduces the load on commercial agriculture and provides a satisfying, creative outlet for the gardener.

About Our Founder

Cascia Talbert is a busy blogger,  and mother of five children, living in Spokane, WA. With a B.A. in history and law and a passion for writing and staying healthy, she started The Healthy Moms Magazine in 2007. The Healthy Moms Magazine is currently ranked the top health blog for moms. Ms. Talbert believes that if mothers are well educated on health issues and how to stay healthy, they can pass that information down to their children and reverse the childhood obesity statistics in the U.S.


Ms. Talbert  runs the Healthy Moms Social Network on Ning, is the founder of Healthy Moms Media, and also blogs at talbertzoo.com. You can follow her on facebook.com/TheHealthyMomsMag, and twitter.com/cltalbert.


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DIY Organic: A Guide to Growing Healthy Food At Home
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