Growing your own organic vegetables is a very rewarding experience. Given the price of organic vegetables in the supermarket, learning more about organic vegetable gardening is a financially smart move as well. Assuming you haven’t been dousing your garden with pesticides the soil around your property should be fertile land for growing delicious, high quality and of course absolutely fresh vegetables all year round depending on your climate. According to many studies conducted in recent years, organic vegetables have much higher levels of key health inducing nutrients than greenhouse or other non-organic vegetables that you tend to find in stores. So not only are you saving money by growing your own, but also improving your overall health and that of your family.
When selecting what types of plants you want to grow, consider the soil information you have, as that will recommend the best types of plants. There is a wealth of information online about the suitability of types of vegetables for every condition so spend some time researching what will suit your location and climate the best. For best results, check out this course, Organic Soil Building for the Backyard Organic Gardener. The better your soil, the better your results.
Selecting the Right Location
One of the best places to start is to select the place that will optimize your chances of being successful. Look for a space that offers the maximum amount of sunlight as most vegetables are quite greedy about that. If you can find a space that has a minimum of six hours during the spring, summer and autumn you are off to a good start.
Look for an area that is relatively sheltered from the wind and quite close to where you keep your tools as this will reduce the amount of time you have spend walking back and forth when working on your garden. If you live in an area where wind is a problem, you can look at other solutions such as creating a windbreak to help reduce the harmful effects that wind can have on many vegetable plants such as tomatoes.
Soil Conditions and Drainage
Once you have selected a good spot check it for drainage by comparing the moisture in the soil in the spot you have selected compared to a couple other places in the garden with your hand. If your garden is on a slope, you want to make sure you are not growing vegetable right at the bottom as that is where water can accumulate after a storm.
Before you start planting, you need to find out what kind of quality of soil you have. Most gardening stores these days have ‘at home’ soil tests that you can buy which will allow you to do your own soil testing to see how suitable it is. It is also quite affordable to collect some soil and get it tested professionally. Once you have your analysis, follow the instructions on the kit or from the tester on how to get the best results from the soil you have. Even if you have poor soil, there are plenty of ways that you can improve through using compost and other natural soil supplements.
Building a Raised Garden
If you do not have good soil that does not mean you will be unable to have your own organic vegetable garden as you can easily build a raised garden. Raised gardens also have the added benefit of providing a very fertile growing vessel as the soil tends to get warmer more quickly than soil on the ground, and you have much more control over the quality of the soil contained within it.
In order to build your own raised garden you can go either to a local gardening store and buy a premade one to the size of your needs, or you can build one yourself. When placing a raised bed you want to make sure that it can’t move and has good drainage so place it over a trench to allow water to flow out of the bottom and away to prevent it rotting either the wood or the plants roots. Once you have the finished bed, you need to fill it with a couple inches of mulch or straw and then fill it up with a mixture of compost and fresh garden soil.
For best results you will want to find a good source of organically grown plants and seeds. If you just purchase ones from a regular store, you will probably end up introducing pesticides and chemical fertilizers from them to your nice clean garden. In addition, you might completely spoil the whole idea of what you are trying to achieve. If you cannot find a 100% organic seed provider locally, there are a lot of companies online where you can buy them, and they will ship the seeds to you.
Feeding and Rotating
Despite what soil supplement and artificial growth inducers try to tell you, if you have good rich and fresh soil there should be very little need to fertilize your vegetables. If you do want to give them a little extra boost consider making your own compost heap by keeping all of your vegetable peelings, egg shells and so on in a separate garbage container and storing them in one spot in your garden. Over time they will break down and form a very nutritious and 100% natural source of plant food. For now you can buy some organic fertilizer from any good gardening store.
For the next year and beyond, when doing the planting, try to rotate where you plant each type of vegetable as diseases specific to that plant type can build up in the soil. By giving them a new location within your garden each year it allows them to get the benefits of their new place and help avoid any unhealthy build up of any diseases. In addition, another interesting Udemy course to take is, Aquaponic Gardening: Growing Fish and Vegetables Together. You should also check out, How to Grow a Medicinal Food Forest. Last, but certainly not least, check out this must-read blog, Gardening for Beginners: The “I Kill Everything I Touch” Person’s Guide to Gardening.