How to Grow Organic Vegetables at Home
Organic food continues to grow in popularity as people recognise the benefits an organic diet offers. The best thing is, you don’t have to be an experienced gardener or certified farmer to grow organic vegetables at home.
In this guide, we’re going to reveal some great ways to grow your vegetables, save money and reap the many benefits of eating organic.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a garden, because there are still some options you can consider. First, let’s look at the benefits of growing your own vegetables.
Organic Gardening Benefits
There are lots of organic gardening benefits, including:
Do you know what happens to the fruit you buy in supermarkets? This article from The Guardian doesn’t paint the picture of fruit and vegetables being picked and sent immediately to your local Tesco! The fact is, when you grow your own produce, you know what you’re getting and can be sure you’re not consuming any harmful pesticides.
Organic vegetables grown in your garden are fresher because most people use them immediately. It means you consume all of the nutrients and minerals available and let’s face it - fresh veg tastes so much better than the supermarket alternatives.
Ok, when you begin growing your vegetables, there’s an initial investment. You’ll need to spend money on equipment, soil and seeds to grow your produce. But once you’ve spent that money, you can enjoy the convenience of fresh vegetables at your disposal.
Growing your own produce is a cost-effective long-term option, and if you have fresh vegetables at your disposal, you’ll probably end up eating them more often.
Help the Environment
When you grow organic vegetables at home, you have full control about what goes into your soil, which means you can reduce the number of harmful pesticides in the environment. Most supermarket fruit and vegetables travel for an average of 1500 miles before reaching the store, which increases the number of harmful emissions in the air.
You can also contribute towards the global effort to reduce plastic pollution by growing your veg at home. If there is less need for plastic packaging, then there’s a higher chance we can put a stop to the many issues plastic causes for the environment.
How to Start Your Organic Garden
So, you know about the benefits of organic gardening, and you want to try it, but have no idea where to start. Follow these steps to create your organic garden.
Get the Right Tools
Before you even think about buying seeds and soil, you need to make sure you’ve got the right tools for your garden. Most of these products can be purchased either online or in stores such as Homebase. You’ll need:
- Breathable Garden Gloves
- Soil-testing Kit
- Ergonomic Trowel Set
- Top-Tested Clippers
- A Compost Bin
- Watering Can
Prep Your Soil
Just like you need to consume the right vitamins and minerals to grow and be healthy, so do your vegetables. The most critical step of creating your organic garden is to make sure your soil is full of nutrients and minerals. Remember, your food isn’t organic if you add lots of harmful chemicals.
You should make sure your soil has lots of humus (not the Greek kind). Mix in compost, manure, leaf and grass clippings to create the right mix of minerals. It’s best if you purchase manure from your nearest organic farm because the livestock will be treated humanely and fed in adherence to organic certification standards.
Test your soil to make sure it has a healthy PH level. If you can afford it, then send a sample off to a specialist testing facility, but buying a soil testing kit is fine too. If you do decide to send your soil for testing, make sure you tell the facility that you’re going organic.
If necessary, you should also prepare your soil by removing any weeds, existing plants or obstructions. It would help if you also used a hoe to break up the earth, so it’s ready for planting.
Planting Your Vegetables
Some people like to plant directly into the ground, but if you’re using organic soil, it’s best to use raised beds. They’re ideal for improving your gardening plots drainage and can be a godsend to people with back issues.
Another option is to use pots, but if you choose this method of growing, make sure the containers are large enough for your veggies to grow. Cut holes into the bottom of your plant pots to make sure they drain correctly.
When you purchase your seeds, make sure you check their ideal growing conditions. In some cases, you might need a greenhouse, but most producers are happy to offer advice. The package should say that the seeds are organic and double-check with the company you purchase them from about their use of pesticides.
Most companies include growing instructions, and if you buy online, then companies such as Vital Seeds tell you how deep you should dig before placing your seeds into the soil.
Cover your planted seeds with organic soil and mulch, then water them immediately afterwards. You need to make sure the soil is moist, but too much water will prevent the seeds from flourishing.
Water, Wait and Enjoy
Always water your plants in the morning, because it allows the excess water to evaporate throughout the day. You don’t need to water them if it’s rained the night before and the soil is still damp. Maintain their growth with organic fertiliser, and check your garden for weeds weekly.
If you want to control pests, plant flowers such as daisies and sunflowers around your vegetable area. Ladybugs are especially helpful at controlling harmful pests, and they’re attracted to flowers.
Once your vegetables are ready, you can pick them, wash them and enjoy their fresh taste.
Anyone can grow organic vegetables at home, and the benefits are endless. If you want to improve your lifestyle and enjoy fresh vegetables at your disposal, then start your organic garden today and reap the rewards of eating organic.
Want to enjoy an organic diet but don’t have the time? Skim provides fully organic meal delivery in London and the rest of the UK. Check out our range of meals here.