Intrigued by all the benefits of growing a backyard organic garden and looking for a little guidance on starting your own? It’s easier than you might guess! Just think of organic gardening in two equally important parts: grow and protect.
How to Grow Your Backyard Organic Garden
Overall, the goal is create a sustainable, earth-friendly ecosystem that plays host to rich soil, a diverse mix of plants, and loads of both pollinators and “good” predators. Follow these steps for planting success:
Choose a site with good light. To grow to its full potential (literally!), your backyard organic vegetable garden needs at least 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day. Short on space? No big deal. Simply find a sunny spot for a container or two on your doorstep or deck.
Use stellar soil. It saves a lot of headaches and backaches to garden in soil that looks and feels like brownie mix instead of bricks. For just the right balance of texture and nutrients, use premium-quality Miracle-Gro® Organics Garden Mix for Vegetables and Herbs (for in-ground growing), Miracle-Gro® Organics Potting Mix for Vegetables & Herbs (for potted plants), or Miracle-Gro® Organics Garden Mix for Vegetables and Herbs (for raised beds) —both enriched with aged compost—or a 50-50 mixture of the two for raised beds. Best of all, growing in either of these mediums will give you up to twice the harvest vs. unfed plants!
Plant wisely. Set your garden well along the way to maturity by starting with strong, vibrant young plants. Or, if you’d rather sprout your own seeds. Either way, choose plants that grow well together, including a mix of hybrid and heirloom varieties that have some inherent disease-resistant characteristics (check the labels). Also, if you’ve grown a garden before, switch up where you plant different plant types (a practice called crop rotation) to help thwart pests and diseases.
Water well. Since moisture is essential for good growth, be sure to plan for watering from the very start, since most organic gardens require at least an inch of water per week (and even more when it’s hot outside). Easy access to spigots and rain barrels is key to avoid lugging heavy watering cans and dragging hoses around.
Serve nutritious “meals.” Plants constantly pull nutrients from the soil, so it’s your job to replenish them throughout the growing season so your organic garden doesn’t go hungry and start to produce less than its best. To that end, a month after planting, start giving your garden regular helpings of Miracle-Gro® Organics Plant Food Granules for Vegetables & Herbs (check the label to find out how much and how often to feed). Then, follow up with Miracle-Gro® Organics Water Soluble Plant Food for Vegetables & Herbs every 7 days.