If you live in a temperate climate them you will likely think of spring as the main planting season – and indeed it is. But there are other vegetables that can be sown in the autumn. If you want to grow and eat your own food all year round then it can be helpful to consider introducing some undercover or protected growing areas, so you can overwinter annual plant crops in your garden. An unheated polytunnel, or even a large cloche or row cover, will allow you to grow a wider range of plants, even in the depths of winter. Here are a few vegetables to sow in autumn in a cool climate:
Growing tomatoes in a temperate climate often seems like a race against time. If you are battling a shorter outside growing season then you may often find that you have green tomatoes left on the vine as the first frost rapidly approaches. While tomatoes will ripen off the vine, those that mature on the plants will usually have the best flavour. Here are some tips to help you mature as many tomatoes on the vine as possible before time runs out:
As winter approaches in an organic garden, the main harvesting season may almost be over, but there is still plenty to do. As the days get shorter, we may be less inclined to spend a lot of time outdoors, but it is possible to grow and eat from your own garden all year round, even in cooler climates, and to do so, it is important to keep on top of all the garden jobs at this time of the year. Here are some of the preparations that you should consider:
One of the key jobs for an organic gardener is taking care of the soil. Without the delicate soil ecosystem, plants would not be able to grow, and we would not be able to feed ourselves from our gardens. Crop rotation is one of the gardening practices which allows us to take care of the soil and keep our growing areas healthy and productive in a sustainable way.
One of the problems with mainstream farming is that large blocks of one type of plant are placed. Mono-cultures are a bad idea. Where mono-cultures are planted, herbicides, fungicides and pesticides are often required to keep weeds, pests and disease in check. Soils are damaged and depleted. Organic farms and gardens eschew these methods. Rather than planting mono-cultures, organic growers aim for as much biodiversity as possible. Companion planting is one important element of organic growing systems.
Though we don't always see them, most organic gardeners know that there are a range of living creatures in our gardens which help us in our efforts to grow our own food. Though we cannot see whether these creatures are thriving, what we can do is monitor the effects that they have. In a healthy organic garden, these hidden helpers in your garden will be contributing to the yield that you achieve. The more efforts we make to protect and enhance the environment for the bacteria and fungi in garden soil, the better the harvest of edible produce we will be able to achieve from our growing areas.
Apple trees are a wonderful addition to many gardens. They can be an abundant source of food for those who live nearby. In fact, if you have a mature apple tree in your garden, you may find yourself with more fruit than you know what to do with! Organic gardeners should always attempt to make full use of the harvests they get from their gardens – waste is an anathema in sustainable, eco-friendly living. Here are some ideas to help you make the most of an apple tree harvest in your organic garden:
A wildlife pond is a wonderful addition to almost any organic garden. If you are interested in gardening organically, then you will likely already know how important it is to attract a range of beneficial wildlife to your garden. A pond is a great way to do just that. The following information should help you to create a wildlife friendly pond for your garden:
One of the easiest ways to create an edible garden is to work to emulate one of nature's most successful ecosystems – the forest. By creating a 'food forest' you will be able to feed yourself and those with whom you share your space with far less effort than annual vegetable gardening. Forest gardening is a great solution for busy professionals in the modern world, and for anyone who cares about the environment. By learning lessons from the way a forest works in a self-sustaining way almost anywhere on the planet, people are able to grow food in far more sensible and sustainable ways.
Caring for the soil is one of the most important things in organic gardening. Without the complex web of life and nutrients below the surface of the ground in the topsoil, we would not be able to grow food. Understanding why the soil is so important, and taking measures to protect and enhance the topsoil is a crucial part of sustainable food production, whether we are talking about larger scale agriculture, or the home garden. So, how do organic gardeners go about caring for the soil in an organic garden? Let's take a look at some of the main organic gardening ideas surrounding this issue: