Organic farming involves running a farm without the use of artificial chemicals and unhealthy pesticides. It means not using growth hormones or other substances to raise livestock and trying to do things as naturally as possible. If you run a farm or you’re thinking of starting one in the near future, there are plenty of organic farming tips that could benefit you. But even gardeners or people who have small hobby farms – or just keep a few chickens – can learn from organic farming tips. Take note of the following pieces of advice that you could apply to your farm or to your garden or yard.
Make Your Own Fertilizer
Chemical fertilizers are to be avoided if you want to run an organic farm. However, natural fertilizers are easy to make yourself. You can create your own compost and mulch, and you can use natural fertilizers like animal waste. There are all kinds of natural materials that will provide essential nutrients to your soil and therefore to anything that you decide to grow on your farm. You can also access organic fertilizers from many places too, whether you buy from a specialist bio-fertilizer producer or you turn to somewhere more unusual like stables or a zoo, where they might have a lot of organic waste that they want to dispose of.
Get Your Timing Right
Timing things correctly makes a big difference if you want to carry out organic farming. By choosing the right times to plant things, you give your crops more assistance to grow. The conditions will be optimal, providing better temperatures, humidity and other elements that will encourage your crops to grow. It’s not just planting that should take place at certain times. Soil preparation is important too, and it should also be carried out at the right time before planting. Of course, choosing to harvest your crops at the best time is essential so that you can deliver the best product.
Organic Weed Control Methods
Weeds can take over your crops if you let them. However, without help from chemical weed killers, you might wonder how you’re supposed to keep them under control. Fortunately, there are several methods that you can use to prevent weeds from getting out of hand. Plowing and other mechanical methods of weed control will help to prepare the soil for planting and get rid of emerging weeds. Manual weeding can sometimes work, particularly for smaller crops and smaller weeds. Thermal control, which uses a flame powered by propane, butane or gas, is also a useful method, particularly for crops that are spaced far apart.
Crop rotation is also a good way to control weeds, and it provides a number of other benefits too. Rotating your crops can help to keep away pests without the use of pesticides, and it helps to keep the soil balanced so that it has the right levels of nutrients. You can also plant different crops in between the main crop, which can help to keep the soil rich in nutrients and help to prevent erosion.Pxhere
Plan for Losses
There are always risks in business, and farming is no exception. One of the things you have to plan for when you grow crops is that you’re likely to lose at least some of what you grow. Or perhaps the quality might not be good enough for you to sell. You need to take this into account when you’re working out how much to plant and calculating your profit margins. The same can be said for any livestock you choose to raise. Losing any of your animals can also have a huge impact if you haven’t taken it into account as a possibility. The worst that can happen if you’re too prepared is that you end up with more than you need.
Raise Livestock Naturally
Naturally raising your livestock is another way to take on the challenge of organic farming. If you want to raise livestock in a natural way, you should aim to do so without the use of growth hormones or other artificial aids designed to speed up the growth animals. If you want them to be bigger, healthier and stronger, making sure your livestock gets the right nutrients is essential. By choosing the right animal feed, you can make a big difference to the health, strength and size of your animals. And you will still be raising them naturally, avoiding anything that could make them happy or taint the food you produce.
Companion planting is a good method of pest and weed control that helps you avoid artificial pesticides. Many crops will grow better if they have certain complementary crops growing close to them. The reasons for planting crops together don’t just include beating pests, either. While some things can help to get rid of pests, such as planting garlic to keep aphids away, other techniques can offer different benefits. Planting parsley and asparagus together helps to protect them, and the parsley can also improve the flavor of the asparagus. Planting mint and cabbage together provides protection for the cabbage from the mint. Corn, runner beans and pumpkins are a well-known combination. The corn provides support for the beans to grow, and the beans provide nitrogen. Meanwhile, the pumpkins help to conserve moisture.
Conserve Energy and Water
If you’re going to run an organic farm, you might as well be efficient and sustainable too. Reducing your energy usage and keeping your water use low will help your business to save money and make it more eco-friendly too. There are various methods you can use to stretch your resources and make sure that, for example, the same water can be used for more than one task. Using organic methods can make it easier to do this. For example, planting your crops at the right time of year will mean they need less assistance and interference from you.
If you want to run an organic farm, learn from other organic farmers. There are always people you can ask if you want to know more.
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