Growing Vegetables & Herbs Organically

Overview

When it comes to organic gardening, herbs are generally less susceptible to diseases and pests than vegetables. However, apart from differing fertilizer needs, herbs and vegetables can be grown in an entirely organic way with relative ease. The amount of time spent tending an organic garden will not be much greater than that spent gardening conventionally. Additionally, organically growing herbs and vegetables is healthier for family, pets, the environment and your wallet.

Step 1

Test the soil to find out its composition, pH and nutrient levels.

Step 2

Amend the soil as the test results direct, digging in only organic soil amendments. Add greensand to improve the texture and mineral content of heavy clay soils. Apply lime and sulfur to raise and lower the pH, respectively. Amend the soil with compost to improve the texture and organic content of any soil in any condition.

Step 3

Plant organic seeds or transplants according to variety instructions. Some plants, such as tomatoes and peppers, fare better when first started indoors and moved outside in warmer weather.

Step 4

Apply organic fertilizers that are specifically meant for vegetables and herbs as the package directs. Apply these at least a few times in a season.

Step 5

Apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of organic mulch to vegetable and herb beds after the plants have begun to put out strong, vigorous growth. Weed thoroughly before applying mulch, and the mulch will act as a natural weed suppressant.

Step 6

Apply insecticidal soap with a sprayer as needed to deter pests. Remove by hand any harmful insects, such as aphids and slugs. Drown them in a small container filled with insecticidal soap.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil test
  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Organic fertilizer
  • Mulch
  • Organic soil amendments (lime, sulfur, greensand, coir)
  • Insecticidal soap
  • Small container

References

  • "The Frugal Gardener"; Catriona Tudor Erler; 2001

Who Can Help

  • Baltimore Sun: Rotenone and Pyrethrum
  • International Carnivorous Plant Society: Spaghnum and Peat Controversy
Keywords: organic veggie gardening, organic herb gardening, organic garden tips

About this Author

Amrita Chuasiriporn is a professional cook, baker, and writer. In addition to cooking and baking for a living, Chuasiriporn has written for several online publications. These include Chef's Blade, CraftyCrafty, and others. Additionally, Chuasiriporn is a regular contributor to online automotive enthusiast publication CarEnvy.ca. Chuasiriporn holds an A.A.S. in culinary arts, as well as a B.A. in Spanish language and literature.