The Basics of Organic Vegetable Gardening

Anyone can learn organic vegetable gardening and soon have their own little farm in their backyard. The food is fresh and you can pick it as you need which is convenient and only a few feet from your kitchen.

It shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to plant vegetables, but to do it in a way which is proven to be effective, you need know the basics of organic gardening.

What is organic vegetable gardening? It is simply a way of growing food in a way that does not use any synthetic products such as fertilizers and pesticides. You work with nature to get what you want.

Soil Preparation

You need to consider your soil and climate when choosing which vegetables to plant. If you live in an area that experiences droughts, do not buy those that require a lot of water.

Make sure the land is clear both of rocks and weeds, and till the land to make it friable, before you plant seeds into your soil.

Check the pH of your soil using either litmus paper or a pH meter, these are available cheaply on eBay. If the pH level of the soil is too high, add lime or sulphur to adjust it.

The plants will require nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. To provide these you need to put in organic fertilizer a month before planting begins. The fertiliser can be one or all of compost, bone meal, rock phosphate, or green sand.  You can make compost from grass clippings, recycled leaves, coffee grounds, eggshells and vegetable kitchen waste .

Planting

Seeds must be spaced by the distance specified on the packet so the roots do not fight for water. In between each of the vegetables, you can plant quick growing salad crops as the tighter the space, the lesser the chances that weeds will grow.

Pest Control

Pests are the biggest threat to your organic garden. To fight them you can use birds, frogs, or other insects. If you don’t have these creatures you have to create an environment to attract them by putting in a bird house or small pond. Once the pest controlling creatures  are in place, they will do the rest by patrolling your garden and eating those who seek to eat your crops.

Putting up barriers is important. Covering rows using cloches will prevent moths and butterflies landing on your vegetables and laying eggs. You can also use sticky traps and foil collars to stop other pests and borers.

There are also some organic pesticides around but some of them will only kill one or two kinds of pests. Make sure you know that they will deal with your problem before you buy them.

Crop Rotation

As the vegetables extract their required nutrients from the soil it will get exhausted if the same crop is planted in the same area each year. Crop rotation is the best way to preserve the fertility of the soil. Each sowing of a class of vegetable must be sown in a different area each year. Have four areas – legumes (peas, beans, etc.), brassicas (cabage, cauliflower, etc.), and root crops. Each year plant this years brassicas in last years legumes plot, legumes where you grew root crops, and root crops in the brassica plot.

Rotating the crops also prevents ground borne diseases and pests building up.

With a little care and effort there is no reason you can’t be enjoying your own vegetables fresh from your own organic vegetable garden all year round.

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