Having an organic vegetable garden means that everything grown in it is free of synthetic insecticides and pesticides. Gardeners have grown organically for hundreds of years and it wasn’t until recently that non-organic ways were brought into mainstream farming and backyard gardening. Learn how to grow an organic vegetable garden easily and have the best tasting vegetables around.
SEEDS. An organic vegetable garden starts with selecting certified organic seeds or transplants in the nursery that have been grown from organic seeds. The best seeds are those that are both organic and heirloom as that means that they are also non-GMO or have not been genetically modified. These seeds will produce vegetables that will not be uniform in size but will have the most amazing flavor. When looking at seed packets, make sure the variety does not have any letters after the name as that signals that it is a GMO seed.
GARDEN BEDS. Many people choose to use raised beds for their organic gardens until the can amend the regular garden soil enough to eradicate any leftover pesticides. When making the raised bed, buy pesticide-free untreated wood or the chemicals in the treated wood will leach into your garden. Old railroad ties are often made with chemically treated wood so don’t use those when building your organic garden. Bricks and concrete blocks also make great walls for a raised bed garden.
FERTILIZERS.*ned Organic fertilizers are a vegetable plants best friend! One of the best benefits of using organic fertilizers is that a plant can only uptake the nutrients it needs at that moment. With synthetic fertilizers, if you accidentally apply too much to the plant it can burn the plant’s roots or leaves. If the fertilizer bags says anything like 10-10-10 or 10-15-10 then you know it is synthetic. Natural fertilizers won’t come in perfect combinations of nutrients, but look closer to 4-12-0 or 13-1-0. These three numbers represent the amount of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) or NPK in the bag. Nitrogen benefits the plant’s leaves, Phosphorus helps the plant’s roots to grow and promotes flower and fruit production, and Potassium helps the plant to withstand environmental conditions like cold, heat, or drought.
PESTICIDES. Instead of using pesticides in the garden, use plants that deter pests or use homemade insecticide soap. The best plants to have in the garden to naturally deter unwanted insects or critters are marigolds, onion, garlic, and gopher purge. If you are growing any vegetable from the squash family such as cucumbers or pumpkins, plant Nasturtiums around so that they will attract the bad pests to their leaves and peppery flowers. A healthy organic garden has both good and bad insects and giving them an area that they can eat helps to nurture that symbiotic relationship needed in your garden. If the bugs are on the Nasturtiums then they are not on your squash plants!
WATERING. Doing rainwater harvesting is the last step in having a truly organic vegetable garden. Rainwater has essential vitamins and minerals that are not found in tap water. Harvesting rainwater and then using it to water your veggie garden is the perfect way to get those micronutrients to your vegetables.
These are simple tips anyone can follow and know that you are on your way to having your very own organic vegetable garden.