Growing healthy fruits and vegetables without using chemicals in a natural approach protects both the consumer and the environment.
This is not difficult to achieve on a small scale, where individual plants can receive much attention. However, some systems enable large-scale gardening and farming to use natural methods.
In our guide, you can learn about problems you could face using these new methods of gardening. From growing tomatoes and avoiding blossom end rot to leaf curl on pepper plants.
Some mistakes are common gardening issues, while some are specific to growing organically. By the end, you’ll know more about growing new plants and understand the issues you’ll face and what to do to fix them.
What Is The Biggest Problem For Organic Gardeners?
When you begin organic gardening, you’ll face five fundamental problems that meet you at the start of your journey.
Here, you can find the five most significant issues you’ll come across:
1. Choosing a Suitable Garden Site
If you want to start an organic garden, the first step is to choose a site. The garden should be situated in a sunny, well-drained spot.
Don’t be concerned about the soil’s condition. With some natural ingredients and little effort, you can improve this.
Next, find a composting location near the garden. Composting is a fantastic way to obtain free, nutrient-dense nutrients into the soil.
2. Garden Soil Amendment
It’s time to develop a productive environment for plants once the site has been selected. This entails turning the soil over and introducing nutrients. There is no such thing as too much compost.
However, exercise caution. Although there are many sources of composted manure, it is sometimes not adequately aged, leaving chemicals that will “burn” young plants.
You can make a new garden bed with raked leaves from trees and grass clippings. The soil can be tested by sending off samples or using a DIY soil test kit.
The exams cost more yet can help identify specific soil amendment requirements in your garden.
There are a few simple methods for determining soil composition.
A mason jar, a cup of soil, and some water can conduct a more exact experiment.
- In a quart jar, put one cup of soil.
- Add Dishwashing liquid (one tablespoon).
- Fill the jar halfway with water and screw the lid on firmly.
- Shake the jar until the soil and water are dispersed.
- Place your jar on a flat surface and leave overnight.
- The sand will be in the bottom in the morning, the silt in the middle, and the clay on top, forming a top layer with some hazy, polluted water.
You can use this information to estimate the composition of your soil. For example, you should aim for a ratio of 40 percent silt, 40 percent sand, and 20 percent clay.
The pH of the soil can also make the outcome. pH testing kits are inexpensive, but the agricultural extension can also conduct it.
A slightly acidic pH is ideal (6.6 – 6.8). The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with lower numbers suggesting acidic soil and higher ones showing alkaline soil. Seven is a neutral PH.
Add lime to the soil to boost the pH. Ashes might also be helpful. Aluminum sulfate and sulfur will increase the acidity of the soil. These chemicals may be used on organic farms and market gardens because they are natural to the soil.
3. Planting Organic Seeds and Plants
Plant seeds that have been genetically changed should not be used in an organic garden. Instead, the seeds should have been grown using organic methods.
Heirloom seeds and organic seeds are both readily available, and heirloom produces plants that produce consistent, high-quality results.
If non-heirloom hybrid plants are employed, their offspring will yield unpredictable results. Inquire about organic starters while purchasing seedlings.
To begin, simply follow the planting instructions for the specific plant. Carrots, tomatoes, leeks, and other garden plants have different needs.
Planting instructions are always included with seed packets. Determine the optimum planting methods and timeframes with the plant starts and seedlings vendor.
The USDA has prepared a plant hardiness zone chart to determine what can be planted where and when. (Click on the image to explore your region.)
4. Organic Fertilizer
With organic gardening, fertilizing and composting is typically sufficient. Mulching can help perennials, and fast-growing plants keep moisture during dry periods while slowly leaching nutrients into the soil when the plant requires them.
Making compost tea is one way to swiftly provide nutrients to the plant through the foliage and the ground. This compost has been diluted with water and brewed to kill some microorganisms.
Then you can spray it on plants directly. Organic fertilizers, such as groundfish and kelp, are available from gardening stores besides what you can make at home.
Water is, of course, an essential aspect of any garden. Keep the soil damp but not soggy for most plants. The plants will express their gratitude by providing an abundance of fruits and vegetables.
5. Organic Pest Control
Controlling garden pests is probably the most challenging component of organic gardening.
The gardener’s first line of defense is to pick pests from plants’ fruits or leaves and deposit them in a salt or alcohol solution.
This is simple for pests like Tomato Hornworm, although it will be more difficult for subsurface grubs and small aphids.
Being proactive is one way to combat pests. Before they become an issue, repel them. Inter-planting your garden with pest-resistant plants is one way to do this.
Basil, cilantro, garlic, and marigolds are some common insect repellent plants.
Sprays produced from the ground or crushed leaves of these plants can be sprayed directly onto afflicted plants.
Beneficial insects can be attracted or released to eliminate pests quickly.
To destroy insects or bacteria, spray soaps and oils on plants. However, this kind of defense may kill both helpful and target insects.
Crop rotation prevents pests from accumulating in certain places. Plant tomatoes and celery in different spots each year.
Keeping plants warm with cold-frames or cloches can lengthen the growing season.
Organic gardening is enjoyable. A little plot can produce tremendous harvests, save money, and be healthy.
Is Organic Gardening A Problem?
Wondering about organic gardening without the problems? Here are common ways your organic garden can be affected and what you can do to avoid mistakes.
1# Spraying Synthetic Chemical Pesticides
Organic gardening’s worst mistake is using synthetic chemicals. Spraying your home garden with chemicals designed to introduce life introduces chemicals that destroy garden life. In addition, using chemicals in your garden is a definite way to contaminate your food.
Using chemicals is a costly mistake for your family, pets and all the beneficial insects that help around your garden. be sure to clean out your garden shed of any suspect pesticides before you make any common organic gardening mistakes.
2# Using Synthetic Chemical Fertilizers
Using synthetic chemical fertilizers is a mistake made by most organic gardeners.
Chemical fertilizers are created of synthetic versions of common plant minerals.
These fertilizers are sold at most garden centers and big box stores and are labeled with an N-P-K ratio.
Organic gardens cannot use chemical fertilizers, and blue crystals in fertilizer are not natural.
Synthetic fertilizers distribute minerals faster than organic fertilizers or soil conditioners, yet getting fertilizer wrong, you can have pepper plant leaves curling where you think it is from overwatering.
Atmospheric nitrogen is fixed with hydrogen from natural gas at high temperatures and can form ammonia gas, NH3.
Making your compost or worm castings is a far better option for the environment. You can also find pre-packaged organic plant fertilizer at garden centers or online.
3# Avoid Conventional Potting Soil
It’s a common organic gardening mistake. In addition, chemical fertilizers might be used unknowingly as you can add them to potting soil if you’re not careful.
Verify your new potting soil hasn’t been “enhanced” with unspecified “additives” to help assist plants growing.
Potting soil should comprise a bulk medium like peat or coconut coir, an air-trapping medium like perlite or vermiculite, and pH-balancing lime: compost, composted manure, or worm castings.
Use potting soil made from natural ingredients: peat moss and perlite are good options . You can easily add worm castings to your starting mix and spread homemade compost over your garden soil.
4# Avoid or Fix Contaminated Ground
You could contaminate your organic garden soil without chemicals. In an organic garden, it’s a mistake to ignore the soil’s history.
Maybe your garden was near a highway or a gas station, or there is an old oil tank somewhere in your garden?
Old roadways can be contaminated with lead from paints and petroleum pollutants.
If you’re worried about contamination, test your soil. If tests come back positive, you can easily combat this with raised beds and new soil to grow vegetables in.
A raised bed organic garden is superior to reusing existing soil.
5# Using the Wrong Manure
While some well-composted manure is safe for organic gardening, some are not. Well-composted manure from animals like rabbits are safe for organic gardening.
Manure that is not composted or comes from meat-eating animals shouldn’t be used in organic gardening. These types of manures are not considered a safe addition to your organic garden.
Manure from pets like cats and dogs can be problematic, and you’ll need to keep this animal waste away from your garden.
You should always wash food from the garden before eating, especially root crops.
What Are The Disadvantages In Gardening?
Organic products are readily available in most supermarket stores because of high consumer demand. However, growing your organic food is superior.
The top organic gardening downsides:
Rural families have more access to organic foods than inner-city families. However, the cost of bringing organic produce into the city and growing it can make it too expensive.
Organic food is more expensive because of strict certification requirements. In addition, no chemicals can be used, which can delay growth and cause pest and weed problems.
Controlling pests and weeds is essential to organic gardening. Many herbicides and insecticides are safe for commercial horticulture. If applied properly, they’re practical and leave little soil residue or food residue.
To avoid toxicity, many consumers choose organics. However, perennial weeds are challenging to eradicate organically, and organic pest solutions often fail. In addition, changes in weather and population make pest management a problem in organic gardening.
The amount of organic additives for proper food nutrition is many times that of synthetic fertilizer used in traditional growing.
Maintaining nutritional levels is difficult. In addition, compost used to improve soil might transmit illness and increase weeds.
Pathogens and weed seeds can survive composting and infect the next crop.
Animal manure is a joint soil supplement, but it’s challenging to get in urban gardens, making commercial fertilizers easier.
Problems Faced by Organic Gardeners and How to Fix Them
Whether a beginner or not, every gardener and farmer will face problems.
Though gardening challenges never seem to end, the venture can be a rewarding hobby that’s enjoyable, relaxing, healthy, and lovely to look at.
Here are some common vegetable garden problems and solutions to them.
Pests Destroying Plants
Garden pests are the most common gardening issues affecting vegetables and other crops. Use methods that will not harm your or your vegetables’ health.
Try organic methods such as soapy water, baking soda spray, diatomaceous earth, and neem oil.
Planting on poor soil has proven to be a severe challenge. If your vegetable garden crops are wilting or growing slowly, you may have soil problems.
Plants need healthy soil rich in nutrients and organic matter to thrive.
Mulch, organic compost, and vermiculture can be added to the soil surface and tilled to improve the soil. Test the soil pH level and missing nutrients.
Gardeners regularly experience powdery mildew and bacterial canker.
- Examine your plants for diseases before planting them.
- Morning watering helps keep plants healthy.
- Water the soil, not the foliage.
- Before planting, let the soil warm up.
- Space crops for growing properly.
- Boost plant immunity using organic fertilizers.
Blossom End Rot
This is a condition in tomato plants and is caused by calcium deficiency.
To fix blossom end rot, ensure your soil doesn’t dry by using lots of organic mulch around roots.
Give your plants added calcium by adding crushed eggshells to the soil.
White Spots on Leaves
Spider mites in your garden cause this, and while a pest, they are easy to treat. Use a gallon of lukewarm water and add one teaspoon of mild organic liquid soap. Also, you can purchase an organic pesticide to help.
Plants Are Weak
When plants look weak, you may have over-watered, or they lack enough light.
Ensure crops get 6-8 hours of sunlight during the day.
Plants Are Wilting
If plants wilt, it’s too little or too much water. Feel the soil and if it’s soggy, stop watering. If the soil feels dry, water more, but ensure you’re watering deeply.
Plants Grow Slow
Nothing is more frustrating than plants not growing correctly. Of course, this is improper soil preparation, yet there are many ways to improve the preparation.
Dig up your plants, and make sure the soil is tilled, so plants spread roots. Also, remove any red clay and add compost to improve the soil.