Organic vegetable farming made easy
One of the backbones of organic farming is organic vegetable farming to produce your own healthy and delicious veggies. There is no substitute for home-grown organic vegetables. Their taste, colour and texture are truly superior to their store bought counterparts and it is wonderfully satisfying to enjoy the fruit (and vegetables) of your own labour.
But how do you start? Well, first you need to understand some of the fundamentals behind organic gardening:
1. Crop Rotation refers to grouping the plants with similar soil requirement together and planting them in a different place each season. In this way you will make much better use of your soil and allow it to replenish lost minerals after each season. Crop rotation also helps guard against attacks from pests and diseases by developing healthier plants.
It is a good idea to divide the vegetable you want to plant into groups with each group containing vegetables that need a similar soil type, and then rotate these groups each season so they are sown in a different spot each year.
Here is an example of 4 vegetable groups for crop rotation:
• Group 1: cabbages, cauliflowers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, onions, leeks and celery. (All these veggies grow well in soils with lots of manure or compost and generally enjoy cool growing conditions.)
• Group 2: carrots, beetroot, parsnips, turnips and sweet potatoes. (These root crops enjoy cool growing conditions and not as much manure to be added.)
• Group 3: tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, egg plants, lettuce and spinach. (These crops enjoy good amounts of manure and compost added to the soil.)
• Group 4: Peas and beans. (Legumes improve the soil quality if dug into the soil, and they do not require very good quality soil in order to grow well.)
2. Ensuring a continuous supply of vegetables can be very tricky and you don’t want to have to eat tons of one vegetable all at ones and then not again for a whole year, so it is best to plant a few plants of each vegetable and to space out your plantings so at any one time you have a few plants producing vegetables, some still maturing and others just seedlings still. Plant a row or two of each vegetable about 2 weeks to a month apart for the duration of their planting time in order to get continuous supply in manageable amounts. But if you do happen to harvest a ton of one veggie at one time it is important to know what you can do with it, so take a look at our recipe pages to see how to cook up your fine produce and store it for the winter months.
For specific instructions on how to grow each crop refer to the growing guides for:
Fruit bearing vegetables
There is also information on
and a FREE
Vegetables planting schedule
to tell you what to plant when.
Each section does not include detailed guides as to how much and when to water the plants and assumes that you will water your vegetables regularly. In addition, all vegetables do well with additional liquid fertilizing – in the form of diluted manure or worm wee on a regular basis, especially when forming their fruits, so make sure you feed your plants regularly too.