How to Plant a Small Organic Vegetable Garden

Overview

Planting a home vegetable garden provides freshly grown, healthy produce nearly year round. Growing plants organically promotes plant health without the use of synthetic fertilizers or chemical plant and insect controls. Organic farming enhances ecological harmony, promotes biological activity in the soil, and prevents practices that erode topsoil and degrade the garden's quality. Changing a garden into an organic garden may take several growing seasons to accomplish. Organic gardening takes a little extra work, but is easy to execute when planned properly.

Step 1

Mark off the area of your garden using stakes and a piece of string. Tie the string around each stake and pull it taut to create straight lines. Remove any vegetation from the gardening area. Prepare soil in the late summer or early fall for planting in the spring.

Step 2

Dig down to a depth of 6- to 8 inches using a spade to expose the subsoil. Till the sub soil to loosen the soil and replace the topsoil. This slightly raises the garden and improves soil quality and management.

Step 3

Add 1- to 2 pounds of compost per square foot to the garden and lightly mix it in using a shovel.

Step 4

Plant cover crops such as rye grass, wheat, oat or clovers on the gardening area in September to October. According to the University of Missouri Extension Office, this will help prevent soil erosion and provide organic material as the plants decay in the spring.

Step 5

Plant seeds in the spring according to the recommended planting date on the seed package. The Iowa State University Extension Office recommends choosing new seeds and avoiding those leftover from the previous year. Choose cultivars that are resistant to disease to reduce the need for pesticides.

Step 6

Add organic fertilizers to the soil such as fish emulsion, bone meal, wood ashes, compost, gypsum or corn gluten to encourage plant growth throughout the season. Organic fertilizer mixes are available at garden centers, or they can be mixed at home.

Things You'll Need

  • Stakes String Tiller Spade Compost

References

  • University of Missouri Extension: Organic Vegetable Gardening
  • University of Illinois: Planting the Garden
  • Iowa State University Extension: Planting a Home Vegetable Garden
Keywords: Organic vegetable garden, Small organic garden, Plant organic garden

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on eHow.com, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.