An Introduction to Organic Vegetable Gardening

Organic vegetable gardening is the “in thing” these days as people have realized that the use of fertilizers and pesticides can do more harm than good.  It makes the vegetables bigger or enables the farmer to harvest them sooner but the chemicals used could be detrimental to the health of those who eat them.

Vegetables should be part of everyone’s diet. If you don’t want to spend more for those organically grown and sold in the supermarket, you should plant your own in the garden. It is very easy to do and even your kids can join in the fun.

Early farmers never used chemicals and relied only on sunlight and irrigation, and this is the organic concept that is making a comeback.   You can grow organic vegetables at home if you have access to the three basic things soil, water and sunlight.

What kind of organic vegetables can you plant? Well, just about anything  broccoli, cabbage, carrots, onions, potatoes and a lot more. You just have to know what need to be planted during which season of the year.

Getting Started

Proper drainage is important for vegetables. If your soil is waterlogged, you can grow in a raise bed.  You can also use a raised bed, or containers, even if you have a paved yard, or balcony. When growing organic vegetables in containers do not to use soil but rather a propriety planting compost or a mixture of peat, perlite and vermiculite.

First the soil will need preparing by digging over, or the raised bed compost prepared as described in the compost directions.

Planting your seeds is a time of hope.  When you have prepared your ground buy your seeds from the store.  Each variety has its own needs. The seed packets will have detailed instructions on the pack, so read the instructions before planting.

Controlling Pests

The challenging part is making sure nothing happens to your vegetables after they hace been planted until they are harvested.

Your vegetables will be under attack by pests, and if you want your veg to remain organic you do not want to use chemicals to control them.  Small pests such as caterpillars can be controlled by getting birds, toads or other insects to eat them.  For larger animals such as cats, putting up fences or using a border of animal hair, baby powder, deodorant, or soap seems to be a good deterrent.

You will get weeds.  You can pull these one by one from the ground, use a weed extractor tool, or hoe regularly.  Mulch can also prevent weeds. This can be manure, garden compost, leaf mould or chipped bark. It must be applied at 3 to 4 inches or 8 to 10 cm on the ground round the base of the plant in order for it to be effective.

You can also grow some organic vegetables indoors.  Tomatoes can be grown in a container of clay, plastic or wood.  Just give them water and sunlight daily so that they can grow.  If possible place the containers outside during the day.  If the weather is too cold, keep them indoors in the western or southern windows of your home.

Organic vegetable gardening is challenging but it will pay off when you reap what you sow. It is also money saving and may even be a small business if you can sell whatever excess you have.

Leave a Reply