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May 2009
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Tips for growing organic food – 1

Organic food has a lot of promises. At the very base level, organic food meets the expectation of people that their food be grown without a fertilizer and chemical cocktail. In organic farming, some of the concepts revolve around food growing practices that rely on crop rotation, green manure, compost, biological pest control, and mechanical cultivation to maintain soil productivity and control pests. Some of the practices that are strictly excluded include limiting the use of synthetic fertilizers and synthetic pesticides, plant growth regulators, livestock feed additives, and genetically modified organisms. Demand for organic food has grown massively.
What are some of the tips that one should follow when attempting to start the process of growing organic food.
1. Be convinced about not using weed killers and pesticides to your garden. If you are not convinced, then there is no point in going organic.
2. When starting out, do not plant in areas close to walls or fences. Such areas could be contaminated by paint, heavy chemicals, metals, etc.
3. Search for areas in your garden that received sun or are in partial shade the year round.
4. Clean the entire area, including removing earlier plants (if starting out organic the first time). Use a shovel if necessary to remove the roots from earlier plants.
5. Get into the habit of using organic compost material (learn how to prepare compost – an excellent growth material for the soil)
6. Prepare the garden by spreading leaves / already prepared compost all over your garden. This ensures that your garden gets its fill of organisms that are beneficial to it.
7. Once you have spread the compost / leaves / other such organic material over the soil of the garden, turn the top soil over, mixing the soil with the organic material so as to make sure that the top layer of the soil is very rich.
8. Water the soil frequently so as to make sure that it remains damp (not a flowing river though); this ensures that organisms get a good environment to propagate in
9. Do not take steps that could harden the soil – this includes stepping on the soil yourself, or moving heavy objects on the soil.
10. Learn about crop rotations for getting different sorts on nutrients in the soil.
This is it for this post. In the next post, there will be more details on how to get a good organic garden up and running.

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