Published: 03/02/2010 - Updated: 01/15/2014
Facing increased information and promotion of organic products, there has been a growing interest in how to produce organic fruit and vegetables at home. In this regard, the City of Castellón, in collaboration with the company Azahar Gardening promotes the establishment of ecological gardens in flats and houses through a free local workshop.
The plan encompassed lectures attended by fifty people, who learned to grow a small organic garden at home, using fertilizers and products that are not harmful to the environment and avoid processes that may adulterate the vegetables.
Gonzalo Romero, Councilman of Sustainability, opened the workshop that had two units: firstly, it was explained to attendees the basics of organic farming, how to do it in family, both in housing with terrace (and available to flower crops) and in houses. The second part, on the other hand, was based on natural and sustainable control of pests that attack crops, with products that do not threaten the environment or ecosystem that is built into the garden.
The technicians who conducted the workshop addressed several practical issues such as land preparation or tillage, the installation of drip irrigation for garden mulch with straw to keep soil moisture or making compost at home with waste materials bodies that have not been cooked to fertilize plants.
Tips for creating an organic garden at home:
With a minimal plot about 30 or 40 square meters, you can obtain a high yield of vegetables and more vegetables used in the daily diet.
When you have a parcel of land, ideally try terraced type distribution deep. The length dimensions can be varied, but as for the width should be between 120 and 150 cm, which allows access through the hallways, up the sides of the patch, without ever stepping on the ground, and reduce the biological activity.
When you only have a balcony or a terrace, it provided for large pots and a certain depth, enough for roots to grow without problems. The planters were filled with fertile land with high proportions of compost (we use organic compost household).
Light and guidance
The terrace should be facing south, or at least that receives several hours of sunlight per day, since plants need radiation to successfully complete the photosynthesis, which depends on their development and content of nutrients and vitamins they use, to consume.
If the field do not receive direct sun terrace but there is a nearby wall that reflects radiation, may be sufficient, you should paint the walls white to get the most benefit. There are plants that require lots of light and heat, as the Solanaceae (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant) and cucurbits (melons, cucumbers, zucchini, etc..), While others, such as endive, chard, kale or spinach grow well with less light and heat.
Irrigation worries many growers who see their crops grow poorly and suffer from excess or lack of irrigation water. The excess creates problems of rot and fungus parasites and water shortages pose a decline in plant development and plant becomes hard and prone to spikes or riding in bloom.
The experience leads us to suggest a drip irrigation system (drip tubes interspersed with droppers every 30 to 40 cm or hoses exudation) and a simple irrigation programmer (sold in garden stores) that allows us to connect the system to a tap and that plants are watered daily in stages. This system has the additional advantage that allows us to be away for long periods without thereby succumbing our crops due to lack of irrigation.
Crop plants, seeds and seedlings
The great diversity of plants that can host an organic vegetable garden (albeit in reduced size) implies the availability of appropriate seed or seedlings. While you can always begin by standard commercial seed, interestingly enough seeds to obtain certification of organic production, which, thankfully, are beginning to be available in our country. We may also use contact with organic farmers and seed exchanges that promote certain associations or groups of farming.
We can make domestic seed in small containers-cans of recycled yogurt, reusable packaging boxes, etc, and keep them in the windowsill of a room that gives the sun and be warm.
The transplant is a delicate operation but easy to perform, in which the most important thing is to damage the roots as little as possible and we will not run the risk to its new roots in the organic garden or planter.
In organic farming is more emphasis on nurturing the land to feed the growing plants. Therefore we regularly incorporate previously decomposed organic matter (compost, manure, organic waste, etc.). Although we can get compost and organic fertilizers on the market, its development is very interesting from the organic waste from household; for this we can make simple fertilizer or acquire any of those sold for such purposes.
The person needs vary from one plant to another and we have plants such as potatoes, tomatoes and artichokes, which require large amounts of decomposing organic matter in the medium, and in the other extreme, carrots and beans, which only tolerate highly decomposed organic matter-compost highly fermented. With a good rotation of crops on the terraces or planters able to make the maximum organic matter provided, since, for example, after the tomato crop, which we paid with lots of compost (4 to 10 kg per m2 ), we can grow lettuce without adding compost and at harvest the lettuce, we can sow carrots or peas (all legumes), which maximized the remnants of organic matter. When we harvest, we can add new compost and start the cycle again with other demanding plants: squash, peppers, eggplant, etc.
Sources: Ecoalimenta / Mariano Bueno
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