Organic food has become a symbol of a healthy lifestyle. More people are looking for vegetables and fruits that do not contain any artificial additives, with the entire cultivation process based on ecological methods. With this in mind, a large group of hobby gardeners are trying to grow crops under cover. The polytunnel, as a tool supporting plant growth, enables such a production. Such a structure makes it easier to achieve the intended result.
Bio, eco and organic food, however, have different requirements. When comparing ordinary vegetables to those with a certified bio sticker, the “healthier” ones prove to be more expensive. However, this is not the only reason backing the creation of your own vegetable patch. The greenhouse is an environment in which it is easy to create the optimal microclimate, in which plants will avail of adapted conditions for each specific stage of growth. For a gardener, this translates into rich and fertile harvests.
This time, in this Krosagro guide, we will talk about organic vegetables and fruits in a greenhouse.
Growing organic under cover
Good food has more and more supporters, as well as people who undermine its positive effects. One of the strong argument dissuading people from incorporating it in their diet is the price mentioned above. Understandably, any producer of bio plants grown under cover in a professional foil tunnel, will try to obtain one of the certificates. Adaptation of an industrial farm to these new standards requires many changes, and a significant part of them is costly. This contributes largely to the high prices noticed on healthy food.
A lot of products are actually being grown in accordance with EU guidelines. Unfortunately, there are also scams that imitate healthy food. Therefore, before purchasing such goods, remember to choose from well-known producers, preferably local ones.
If you have a garden plot, you can transform it into an organic and modern vegetable garden. The process uses organic materials from plant and animal origin at every stage of maturation. Mineral fertilizers, chemical pesticides and growth hormones are completely banned. However, the soil may still contain sand, perlite, clay, etc.
Organic cultivation of vegetables and fruits in a polytunnel
Here is an example of what organic cultivation is . Hobby gardeners wanting to obtain a high yield, prepare the land before the whole cultivation process. The substrate is mixed together with compost. Sometimes, the smell around the composter is a bit overwhelming. There are many airtight containers on the market accelerating the decomposition process. Compost is a beneficial element for plants. It is a natural fertilizer that becomes food for vegetables and fruits in the ground and from which they draw macro- and micro-nutrients.
When emergence occurs, crops enter the next stages of growth. For better results, it is necessary to provide the appropriate nutrients. As a feed support, animal fertilizer mixed with hay is used, coordinated cultivation is implemented, natural sprays (eg from nettles) or commercial ones are used. In the case of the latter, it is worth remembering that they must be marked as preparations intended for organic farming. The same applies to the protection or elimination of diseases and pests. Mechanical traps and biological substances (bought or prepared by yourself) can help in this matter.
Advantages of a limited yield
The advantage of this type of cultivation is that it is more environmentally friendly. It does not incorporate elements damaging for nature and soil . Substrate and microorganisms, groundwater – all these will remain intact, with positive effects for our health on the long term too. Often, this seems like a small contribution compared to the general environmental pollution. However, it represents one of the real possibilities to limit the damage caused by human activity. Although it is difficult to prove it, healthy food from your own garden is tastier than the one from the store shelves. Perhaps the main role is played by the placebo effect, as controlling the growing process, cultivating the plants, knowing that each of them is the result of your hard work results in better harvests.
How to start organic farming?
If you already know what organic farming is and what the benefits are, it is worth going further. The previous information was not comprehensive, but we will add more practical knowledge. If you want to run this type of plantation, you should take care of:
– at the beginning, knowing the soil in which the crop will grow is essential. An analyzer or a ground sample sent to a laboratory can help. If the land is rich in macro- and micronutrients, then you are in luck. Unfortunately, it is very rare to have an optimal substrate for an organic plantation. There are several solutions. One of them is associated with a long waiting time and the other with costs. In the first case, by means of different practices, the soil inside the foil tunnel can reach the expected parameters. It is quite a tedious process, using the natural methods of soil supplementation, in which the processes that shape the optimal PH level, humus and content of elements take place. The second solution is to replace the soil entirely. Then buy a high quality one that is suitable for cultivation right away.
– the best manure will certainly be horse manure. But if you do not have access to it, you can use bovine and chicken. Often with cultivation under cover, people decide to install small henhouses. These are becoming an increasingly common feature in domestic gardens. Either way, natural fertilizers can be bought directly from farmers or growers.
– many people drink herbal teas or infusions that have pro-health effects, many of them can be used in the garden. They can act as a protective measure against diseases, a probiotic for vegetables and fruits, and a natural pesticide. Garlic extract, nettle, dandelion and many other plants could be mentioned. However, before application, check whether the product actually has such action, whether it can be added to the cultivated plant species, how to prepare it and apply.
– a type of fertilizer that is obtained from plants that are rapidly maturing and rich in nitrogen. They are planted as fore crop and after crop. In both situations, as soon as they reach the right height, they enrich the ground and improve its texture. Then they turn into a component that creates humus, as natural processes occur in the soil.
Organic foil tunnel
In fact, organic cultivation is similar to the conventional method, with the exception that only natural means are used . You need to monitor, cultivate and care for the crop at every stage of growth. Only then you can expect a large harvest. The more commitment, the greater the effects. The polytunnel, on the other hand, will optimize many processes during vegetable and fruit development. It will significantly simplify the cultivation of organic plants.