How to Start an Organic Vegetable Garden

A garden will give back as much as you put into it. image by Margaret Telsch-Williams

Overview

Organic gardening is a wonderful way to give back to the planet by making conscious choices about what products to buy and use on our plants and soil. Organic vegetable gardens have a double benefit of producing healthy, nutritious vegetables free of chemicals or harmful fertilizers. To start an organic vegetable garden is relatively easy; just be sure to purchase organic items when necessary and try natural ways to resolve most of you garden's problems.

Step 1

Plan the layout using graph paper based on the measurements of your garden. This is a good time to explore companion planting that helps you learn which plants do well or poorly next to others.

Step 2

Dig or till the soil until the garden area is loose and fluffy. Spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of compost or the labeled amount of organic fertilizer over the entire area, then dig once more to work it into the soil.

Step 3

Purchase organic seed packets or seedlings and plant according to the label. Be sure to give the plants the spacing they require to help combat diseases that occur when air flow is blocked between plants.

Step 4

Water thoroughly for the first couple of weeks so the seeds can grow and seedlings can become established. Stick to a routine of watering to keep plants healthy and growing.

Step 5

Apply organic pesticides like Organocide whenever necessary if the are being preyed upon. There are several natural predators of garden pests. For example, lady bugs will eat aphids, so buying lady bugs could be an option before spraying growing plants.

Step 6

Use organic fungicides, such as Garden Safe, as needed as soon as a problem is discovered. If the plant is too badly diseased, sometimes it is best to pull it out and save the rest of the garden.

Step 7

Weed the garden frequently, weekly or more often, to keep the plants thriving and give space for the roots to grow. While it's not always possible, regular weeding may make unnecessary the need for organic weed preventers like Preen.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Graph paper and pencil
  • Shovel or tiller
  • Compost or organic labeled fertilizer
  • Organic seeds or seedlings
  • Water
  • Organic pesticides, fungicides and herbicides (optional)

References

  • Vegetable Gardening: Your ultimate guide; Robert J. Dolezal; 2000

Who Can Help

  • Information on companion planting
Keywords: organic vegetable gardening, organic vegetable garden, starting an organic vegetable garden

About this Author

Writing from Virginia, Margaret Telsch-Williams specializes in personal finance, money management, gardening, crafts and sewing, cooking, DIY projects and travel. When not writing instructional articles online, she works for the website Widescreen Warrior as a contributor and podcast co-host discussing all things film and entertainment. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology and a master's degree in writing.

Photo by: Margaret Telsch-Williams