Organic, or natural gardening is a throwback to simpler times. Without the use of chemicals, pesticides, antibiotics the reward is a healthy, productive garden with pest-resistant plants, all done naturally. Gardeners in Hendersonville will be surprised to learn that this is one town that has taken organic gardening to heart. From grocery stores and organic supply shops, to farmers markets and even a delightful country inn just 5 minutes from downtown Hendersonville, organic gardens and their produce are to be found everywhere.
Getting started in organic gardening is not hard to do, nor does it require a huge portion of your time. If you are a beginner, then here are a few pointers that should help you to get started on the way to a productive and healthy garden:
Choosing the Right Place for the Garden
Sunlight is essential to good plant growth, and the amount of sunlight is dependent on the type of plant being grown. Keep this in mind when planning the location of the garden. A minimum of six hours of sunlight is needed. Try to face the garden southward. The sun’s path will be from the southeast to the southwest. This takes advantage of the best sunlight.
Soil and Fertilizer Requirements
A healthy, productive garden is dependent on good soil with little or no weeds. This sounds like a lot to be concerned over, but it is easier to handle than you may at first think. Most organic gardeners will tell you that raised beds are the best way to go. One gardener used 8-inch untreated boards as sides and built 10-foot long by 2-feet wide beds with a path between the beds. The beds were then filled with weedless soil, bought at a garden shop.
If you decide on fertilizing, use natural products, like rotted animal manure from plant eating animals, such as chickens or cattle. Mix this into the soil well and you will be ready to plant. If you have very rich soil already, additional fertilizer won’t be needed.
When to Plant and What to Plant
In the Hendersonville area, the last spring frost date is April 15. It is best to plant spring crops on February 15, and summer crops on April 15. The first frost date in the fall is usually around November 15. Knowing this, it is fairly safe to plant fall crops by August 15, and winter crops by September 15.
What you decide to plant will be up to you. Just remember that the size of your garden is also a determining factor, so don’t waste any space with something that will not be eaten. Take advantage of seasonal crops so that you are reaping fresh vegetables all through the growing season. Make use of natural pest-resistant plants when possible. One flower, the marigold, is very good at keeping pests away. Enjoy the rewards of your labors.