Starting An Organic
Vegetable Garden

If starting an organic vegetable garden is important to you, you will have to think about many aspects of the soil and how you look after it.

Vegetable Garden Tools And ChickensVegetable Garden Tools And Chickens

Although you will not be able to grow true organic vegetables, it is certainly possible to produce vegetables in an organic environment, so that they are organic even if lacking the label.

Why would your vegetables not be truly organic?

Food that carries the name organic would have to comply with the organic method of farming. This would involve soil testing, certification and compliance assessment, which would not be appropriate to a vegetable garden plot.

Although it would be possible to test the soil to see if it contains any chemicals that would stop the vegetable grown there from being called organic, ongoing assessment wouldn't at all be needed to satisfy you that your veg was organic in nature.

And if you didn't want to go to the expense of soil tests, as long as you are aware of what has been used on the soil in recent years, you may have the confidence to know that it would pass any organic soil tests anyway.

For most people who were interested in starting an organic vegetable garden, it is the process of growing organically to provide naturally grown vegetables for the table, that they would be aspiring to.

Once you had prepared your new vegetable garden plot, before you start to grow veg, you will, at first, need to feed the soil.

Starting An Organic Vegetable Garden Soil

If you were starting an organic vegetable garden then horse manure would be one of the best additives to your soil providing both nutrients and soil structure, but you would need assurances that the horses that produced the waste were fed organically too.

This may be difficult unless you were collecting from grazed fed animals, but even then you would need to be sure that no pesticides or insecticides had been used on the grass.

Compost And Compost WormsCompost And Compost Worms

One way to find organic manure would be to approach organic beef, lamb or milk producers, but as they are faced with the same issues of fertilizing pasture, they are unlikely to offer their animal waste for free.

Leaf mold is a good option, but it does have limitations when it comes to nutrients, so combining leaf mold with an organic pelleted fertilizer would work well.

Garden compost would be ideal, but if you are growing organically you can only use organically composted material, otherwise whatever non-organic items that were used in the compost would contaminate your organic garden.

If you live near the coast then seaweed would be perfect, either as a mulch or dug into the soil.

When starting an organic vegetable garden one of the first and most valuable plants to encourage is comfrey, a herb that draws nutrients from very deep in the soil. Comfrey produces a lot of potassium rich leaves and can be made into a tea or allowed to rot down to a black liquid to dilute with water. This liquid is a fantastic liquid tomato food and can be watered twice weekly to any flowering or fruiting vegetable plant at the first sign of flowers.

Nettles are another superb plant, as a nettle tea is rich in nitrogen, perfect to feed to leaf growing vegetables such as spinach, salads and cabbages.

Of course, starting an organic vegetable garden seeds are essential, and here are some tips on sowing and handling seeds and seedlings, as well as some advice on buying vegetable plants.

Here is some more help and advice on starting a vegetable garden plot.