How to Plant Organic Vegetables

Overview

Growing vegetables organically is a good way to garden without the risk of soil damage from over fertilization. Organic gardening helps to maintain long term soil health and prevents soil exhaustion in garden spaces used over many years. Additionally, organic gardening helps avoid toxic chemicals in both your food and in the soils around your garden.

Step 1

Prepare your garden and soil as normal. Turn the soil and break up clods with a shovel, rake or hoe. Loosen the soil down to between 18 and 24 inches.

Step 2

Add around 20 percent compost or composted manure. Composted manure is virtually odor free.

Step 3

In the spring after the risk of frost has passed, plant seeds for leafy vegetables as directed on the package. Most leafy vegetable seeds should be planted around 1/4 inch deep. Over plant the seeds to allow culling of weaker plants after the seeds have germinated and begun to grow. Cull to the recommended spacing on the seed packet.

Step 4

Plant young nursery plants for vegetables like tomatoes, beans, peas, cucumbers and peppers. Starting from nursery plants will result in more successful gardens and will give you an earlier harvest than planting from seed.

Step 5

Fertilize your garden regularly with a good, well balanced organic fertilizer. Composted manure applied every month or so is a very good soil augmentation. If you have a compost pile or bin, regularly adding compost will add to both soil and plant health.

Step 6

Treat any insect infestations with predatory insects. For example, if you find an aphid infestation, release ladybugs. Aphids are a ladybug's natural prey. For other insect infestations, consult your county agricultural extension for good predator insects for your area.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Hoe
  • Rake
  • Compost or composted manure
  • Seeds
  • Nursery plants
  • Organic fertilizers
  • Predatory insects (optional)

References

  • Mosaic Newsmagazine: Growing some green
  • The Pendulum: Go Organic!

Who Can Help

  • The University of Washington Botanical Gardens: Information Resources for Vegetable Gardening
  • Utah State University: Food Security With a Community Garden
Keywords: organic gardening, organic vegetables, home gardening

About this Author

Christopher Earle is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colo. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, The Associated Press, the Boeing Company, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, Active Voice, RAHCO International and Umax Data Systems. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota.