Of late, farming is going through an evolution where farmers are turning their focus towards the environment-friendly process. And in the wake of this new-found responsibility, organic farming has taken over the farmer’s consciousness on a global level. However, in spite of the relentless debate and endless research, organic farming is still struggling to emerge as a mainstream farming modality. You might have overwhelming desire and curiosity to turn your backyard into an organic farming garden. But you need to understand the basic fundamental structure, ideology and techniques behind it. Before we delve deep into its benefits and nitty-gritty, we must understand the concept clearly. Let’s have a look,
What is organic farming?
Unlike the traditional farming, organic farming works harmoniously with nature and yields more crops without harming the environment and the people who live and work in it. And in this article, we are going to cover tips and tricks that you need to convert your dry backyard into a lush vegetation of edible plants, fruits, and vegetables.
1.Keep the soil healthy:
To yield the healthy crops, you have to maintain the health of the soil, soil life, soil structure and its nutrients. Unlike artificial fertilizer organic farming feeds the soil with organic matters that are important for the soil to nurture the sowed plants.
Besides; the artificial fertilizer will instigating short-term productivity and in the long run they prove to be harmful as they reduce the soil’s water holding capacity. In addition, it kills the friendly living creature those live in the soil and facilitate the growth of the plants by improving the quality of the soil. In fact, the green manure adds organic matters to the soil. Note; excessive use of the organic manure can be as harmful as the man-made fertilizers. Therefore, make sure that you use organic fertilizers at the right time. Hence, ensure that you cultivate the soil properly at the right time.
- Crop Selection:
Each crop has certain needs and demands; a particular crop will behave differently at one place and completely alter its manifestation at another place because factors such as soil type, rainfall, altitude, and temperature govern its growth and life.
If you plant at a place where the environment is not conducive to a particular crop, then you are likely to witness lower production and the plant might fall a victim to diseases and pests. Therefore, you should critically analyze the condition of your soil and plant accordingly.
This is one of the vital aspects of the organic farming; you have to use compost made out of animal and plant residues such as leaves, animal manures, and fruit skins. Let’s look at the benefits of using compost in organic farming. First, it is a cheap and easily available, it will enhance the quality and structure of the soil. It permits air into the soil, increases the drainage ability, and substantially cuts down erosion. It prepares the grounds for better plant growth by adding necessary nutrients to the soil which in turn expedites the plant’s growth process. Most importantly, it can easily eradicate pests from the soil.
It is the process where you have cover the ground with compost, straw, dry leafs and crop residues. Apparently, mulching will assist in plants growth, reduces water loss caused by evaporation, it also prevents the weed growth by preventing sunray reaching the soil. In addition, it increases and facilitates the growth of the microorganism at the top layer of the soil and adds organic matter to the soil.
- Weed control:
In organic farming weed control is a unique affair because this system does not believe in the elimination of weeds, rather it focuses and deploys technologies to control the weed. And it discourages the use of herbicide because herbicides can harm the health of the soil and reduce the growth of the crop. Therefore, farmers must resort to natural weed control procedures such as mulching, manual weeding and a host of other methodologies. To understand the weed control process, you might need to look at other resources because this article does not give scope to elaborate the process completely.
- Natural pest control:
As a matter of fact; everything in the universe is interconnected so are the pests and predators. And you should not eliminate them completely. In fact, you should always try to maintain a fine balance between these two aspects by using natural pest control methodologies rather than the chemical pesticides that are harmful to the humans and environments alike.
- Prioritize your garden:
This is a tricky business as far as resources are concerned. If you have lawn and garden coexisting in your backyard, then you must prioritize your garden over the lawn because lawn has an unquenchable thirst for water. In fact, it can soak more water than the garden. So, if you want your lawn to grow faster, then rethink your organic farming strategy because you are just doing otherwise. If you still want to maintain a fine balance, then set up a proper irrigation unit.
- Accept pests as part of the ecosystem:
Always expect that you are likely to lose some portion of the crop to the wrath of pests. In fact, pests are not the troublemaker the real troublemakers are the weeds. And if you feel that pests are behaving weirdly, then consider applying non-chemical pesticides. Hang on, what we just spoke was about small pests, but what about the big pests such as deer. In this case, you have to fence your property or get a dog that can safeguard your property against the bigger pests and a dog is certainly an organic option.
- Be harmonious with the season:
Do not force your ideas into nature; you just cannot produce tomato in the middle of the winter. Make sure that you grow crops according to the seasonal demand. Work your way around the seasonal cycle. You have to comply with the seasonality of the crop and rotate the crops according to their specific seasonal availability.
- Get organic seeds:
Make sure that you buy organic seeds; well, do not just get into the philosophical affinity of the word “organic” as a matter of fact, organic seeds will adapt to the organic set up quite easily because these seeds have become adaptive to the organic production. Yes, it is a part of evolution. Just stop there, do not just get into the idea of reincarnation. Jokes apart; the organic seed is the best way to produce the organic crop.
- Get A Stirrup Hoe:
Yes, of course, you need a hoe to weed regularly, which is why you need the hoe that can reach the root without hurting your back. Do not say, I can perform with some other tool available at home. In fact, you must have a hoe. Apparently, at the end of the day, you do not want to get exhausted and let the weeds to expand their empire in your little loving Eden.
- Avoid tomato production:
As an organic farmer, your watch list should entail the tomato. Firstly, they will sit around for three months and have low resistance capacity against the pests. Secondly, it is difficult to grow the tomatoes organically.
- Sterilize the compost:
If you decide to use homemade compost, then sterilize it properly. And make sure that you do not induce fungus or other diseases into the soil. Buy a plastic sheet, roll it out, put the compost in it, stake it down and keep it for few weeks and let the sun ray penetrate and eliminate the harmful elements.
- Avoid over usage of compost:
Just because you are farming organically, it does not mean that you apply compost mindlessly, in fact, overdoing of compost will be waste of time and would be insignificant as far as the growth is concerned.
- Water the garden:
Choose an irrigation method from all the available modalities such as drip deep, surface, center pivoted and manual. For drip irrigation, you might need to buy the low-pressure pump. In fact, the selection of the irrigation process depends on the size of the land.
Decide your motive:
This is the most important part because your motive or objective will define your course of action. Hence, make sure that you identify the purpose of the farming whether you want it as a leisurely activity that can bring in some vegetable or you want to go commercial because you might have to get certification for your products before they hit the market.
Lastly, more or less using the above-mentioned tricks and trips, you can start organic farming. But if you want to go big, then care to consult expert professionals who could help you to understand the nitty-gritty of the farming. Apparently, it is not wise to invest money out rightly without learning the trick of the trade. So, make sure that you conduct your research carefully and analyze your idea properly before you set out for organic farming.
The bottom line is; organic farming might witness robust growth in coming years, and you should be ready to capitalize on that opportunity.
Author Bio: Thomas M. Strother is the blogger at spreaders.com which specialize in making spreaders and dump trucks from last 24 years. They provide quality products in agricultural areas like lime and fertilizer spreaders, construction and other needs from tailgate salt spreader to litter spreader. They make sure that customer requirements are full filled.