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Organic Vegetable Gardening

Updated on July 5, 2013

Everybody's doing it - growing your own food, that is!

With food and gas prices steadily increasing, incomes uncertain, climate change and peak oil just around the corner... many of us are ramping up our organic vegetable gardening and food growing, adding food to the flowers, or indeed starting a new garden or re-starting an old one.

If you're looking to make a real dent in your grocery bill, or to become more self-reliant, there's more to it than buying a few tomato seedlings at the big box store and plopping them in the ground.

Part of the rationale for many people who want to grow food is to know what they are eating, and to make sure it's as clean and healthy as possible, with as few extra non-food ingredients as we can manage. That means growing naturally and organically, and it's very practical. After all, before the rise of artificial pesticides and fertilizers in the 20th century, everyone gardened that way!

If you like this lens, please use the like buttons to let me know! You can read more about organic vegetable gardening and growing other food at my Organic Food Gardening website.

Preparing a Vegetable Bed for Planting

Get rid of the weeds and give your new veggie plants the best start

What state is the bed in now? Weedy, compacted, mulched since last fall? Let's go over what you need to do to prepare beds in different states.

Weedy Beds

Soft annual weed growth - dig it in with hand or power tools.

Perennial weeds or annuals going to seed - remove the weeds and compost them

Pernicious weeds - ideally mulch or cover crop for a season to discourage them. Never till!

Compacted Beds

Why is the bed compacted? Find the reason and fix it. Then...

Loosen it using hand or power tools

Or, if you have a hard pan, you may need to use deep digging or power plowing with a subsoiler to break it up.

Mulched Beds

Great job mulching at the end of last season! You can dig in the mulch, rake it off and compost it, or pull it apart to plant if you're planting large seeds or transplants.

Once you have a weed free, loosened bed, by whatever method, think about adding soil amendments, then rake and form the bed as much as you need to for what you'll be planting.

For more detailed information about this whole process, and more articles on organic vegetable gardening and food growing, visit Organic Food Gardening.

My favorite reference and inspiration books for organic vegetable gardening

These are the books I own and refer to myself, or recommend to beginner gardeners who need a good place to start.

Set Your Garden up for Success

Start small if you're a beginner, then grow more as you gain experience. Every mouthful that reaches you from your own garden is a win for you and the planet.

Learn to grow vegetables by watching on video

Books are great for ideas, inspiration and information. Videos are wonderful for showing processes and how-to. But gardening is one of those things you have to learn by doing, so.... get out there on your balcony, patio, fire escape, back yard or back forty and get going!

My Organic Vegetable Garden Photos - All photos (c) kevinw1

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Resources

You can read more about organic vegetable gardening and growing other food at my Organic Food Gardening website.

I'm also fond of my friends at Eternal Seed who specialise (yes, that's spelled correctly, I'm Canadian!) in Organic Heirloom Seeds and write an interesting gardening newsletter.

Tell us about your organic vegetable garden!

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    • profile image

      drcarl 4 years ago

      Remember to NOT kill the beneficial micro-organisms, too...I sure am glad I grow food instead of lawn. YUM! Why did it take me so long to awaken? Ya can't eat a lawn. Just be careful with the chlorine (and lead) they aren't good for the soil biology. I have a solution. Check out my first lens. I bet you can find it, and it's appropriate for gardeners who care.

    • GardenIdeasHub LM profile image

      GardenIdeasHub LM 5 years ago

      Your tips about organic vegetable gardening are really great!

    • profile image

      pkdasilva 6 years ago

      Nice garden you have there!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      A beautiful organic garden that looks stunning, hope to grow some of the stuff in my future garden organically.

    • caffimages profile image

      caffimages 6 years ago

      I don't have space for a seperate kitchen garden but still grow, organically, french and runner beans, lettuce, radish, spring onions, garlic, tomatoes, peppers and lots of herbs. All organically, of course!