Organic Vegetable Gardening
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Great online resources for organic vegetable gardening
- Square Foot gardening
Mel Bartholomew's Square Foot Gardening (see book link above) method has its own website with pictures, videos and community forums.
- Organic Gardening Magazine
OG magazine is the source for organic gardening information for those growing vegetables, orther food, or flowers. Get a free trial issue when you sign up from the web site!
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!