Organic gardening is a way of gardening without the use of chemical fertilizers or synthetic products, making use of natural resources to enrich soil and produce healthy chemical-free produce. The process of organic gardening starts with incorporating organic matter into the soil to enrich it prior to seeding and ends with harvesting mature chemical-free vegetables. Rising health issues are prompting more and more people to consume organic produce. Growing organic vegetables is a cost-saving alternative to paying a premium price for them at supermarkets and specialty stores.
How to Grow Organic Vegetables
In a corner of your yard, create a compost pile using yard waste and kitchen scraps, including coffee filters, shredded brown paper bags, wood ash, tree debris, grass and leaf clippings, and produce waste. Homemade compost is an excellent soil additive for an organic garden. A small patch about 2 feet by 2 feet will suffice for a compost pile. Moisten it and stir it frequently so the contents mix and decompose.
Select and measure out a sunny patch with well-drained soil for your organic vegetable garden. An area 8 to 10 feet long and 10 feet wide will provide sufficient space for growing several varieties of vegetables.
Strip the sod and remove any stones, twigs or debris from the site. Use a shovel to remove two inches of soil, and collect it in a wheelbarrow to dispose of later. Add your compost, if it is ready, or a layer of composted animal manure. Use a garden hose to moisten the soil and a rake to make it level.
Purchase seeds of the vegetable varieties you want to grow. Organic seeds are available from some suppliers. Depending on the size of the patch, you can grow three or four different types of vegetables.
Follow label instructions for sowing vegetable seeds. Mulch the area using organic material such as grass clippings, leaves, straw or bark to help retain moisture and prevent weeds from growing. Water the vegetables frequently at soil level. Wetting the leaves can lead to mold and fungal problems.
If pests become a problem, remove them with tweezers or spray a solution of insecticidal soap on your vegetables. You can also use horticultural oils, garlic or hot pepper sprays. The use of floating row covers is another method of keeping unwanted pests from damaging your vegetables.