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  • How to Grow your Own Organic Garden at Home

    Why buy when you can grow it? We give you tips on how to get you started on your own organic vegetables garden.
    by Martine De Luna .
To read this story in Tagalog, click here.
  • One of the best ways to encourage your kids to love eating vegetables is by growing them in your own garden. You can take this healthy practice even further by growing your vegetables organically. Aside from decreasing the amount of pesticides you and your family consume, having an organic garden means you grow your produce using earth-friendly practices. 

    Here are a few tips on how you can start your own organic garden at home, no matter how much space you have.

    For homes with a yard: Create a garden patch

    • Start a small garden first. If you can allot at least 50 square feet of garden space per person in your household, you can make a basic garden. Remember to start small, as you can already grow a lot of food in just 100 square feet, as long as you plant densely. You can start by planting 1 or 2 small tomato plants, for example. As long as you treat them well and allow them up to stalk up, you can get dozens of tomatoes from just one plant that's healthy and happy. As you gain more experience, you can add more plants such as lettuces and other leaves, which are trickier to maintain.
    • Use toxin-free soil for your organic vegetable patch. Your regular garden soil won't do, in this case. The best way to find out if your soil is toxin-free is by contacting local organic farmers and inquiring about their sources for soil. For a modest fee, these growers can also put you in touch with agricultural experts who can test your soil and give you a complete breakdown of its pH and nutrient levels. At home, supplement this good soil by making some of your own. Start by using quality compost, followed by a 2-4 inch layer of straw or leaf mulch, and adequate water. With this, you can keep on making good soil for your crops.
    • When you're ready to plant, buy easy-to-grow plants. If you're just starting out with vegetable gardening, buy your plants from an organic farmer. They can help you start off your garden with the right plants, those that are easy to grow. Some plants that are easy to start off with are green beans, alugbati (beets; the leaves can be eaten, too), carrots, cucumbers, and herbs such as basil and oregano.
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