With six in 10 Aussies buying organics in any given year, the popularity of organically grown food isn’t slowing down. Nor are plant-based diets with Roy Morgan Research revealing 2.25 million Australian vegetarians are aged 18 and over. These trends are mirrored by gardening brand Yates, who have seen an increase in enquiries to their team of qualified Horticulturalists about growing organically at home.
“More people are asking our team of Horticulturalists about how to grow their own organic fruit and veggies but aren’t sure where to start,” says Angie Thomas, Horticulture Consultant to Yates.
To simplify things, Angie has put together her ultimate guide to creating an organic garden:
1. Improve the quality of your soil
Set yourself up for success by adding a rich source of organic matter, such as Yates Dynamic Lifter, to your soil. By doing this, you’ll encourage beneficial earthworms and soil micro-organisms. Yates Dynamic Lifter also helps improve water and nutrient holding capacity in the soil to support strong plant growth that is more resistant to pests and diseases.
2. Create your own compost
Composting helps reduce the amount of organic material being sent to landfill and will really benefit your home-grown organic produce. Research a compost system that’s right for you - or purchase a compost bin from your local hardware store. Keep aside kitchen scraps, garden prunings and lawn clippings for your compost bin and then dig the compost into garden beds.
3. Plant a variety of things
Growing a diverse range of veggies, fruit, herbs and flowers will not only give you a wider range of organic produce to enjoy, it’ll encourage beneficial insects and animals into the garden which will help reduce the number of pest insects. Avoid planting veggies from the same plant family in the same spot each year as this can increase the risk of pests and diseases.
4. Manage pests
Regularly check your plants for signs of insect or disease attack, so you can squish the odd aphid, pick off a caterpillar or two or remove a diseased leaf before the infestation worsens. For larger insect or disease problems, choose a spray that has been certified for use in organic gardening such as Yates Nature’s Way Vegie & Herb Spray.
5. Use organic plant foods
To help keep your garden healthy and strong try using a good soil improver like Yates Dynamic Lifter. It is a great source of slow release organic nutrients, certified by ACO so you are guaranteed to have a truly organic garden.