Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned gardener, you may find that you can be more successful in your organic vegetable gardening with these tips. Some of them are very simple points that you may never have considered, and all of them can help you to get the most from your home
First, when you are planning what to grow, don’t forget to take the circumstances of your own garden into account. This includes your soil type and what will grow in it. If you have problem soil, it is possible to alter factors like the acidity over time, but it is usually easier to go with the flow and grow what suits your soil rather than the other way around.
Your climate needs to be considered too. This does not only mean the average temperatures and weather conditions of your local area, but the microclimate in your vegetable garden too. In the hottest, sunniest parts of your garden you may be able to grow plants that will astonish your neighbors. Consider the whole area of land that is available to you when you are thinking about this.
Pest control is one of the top questions from any gardener interested in successful organic vegetable gardening. Non-organic gardeners have the simple solution of buying pesticide sprays, but as organic gardeners, we do not want pesticides all over our homegrown vegetables. So what can you do?
In many cases, you can control pests by encouraging their natural predators in your garden. If you have an aphid problem, buy a ladybug feeder and a stock of ladybugs, or some braconid wasps. If you have a slug problem, try nematode worms.
Some plants are particularly susceptible to disease. One example is tomatoes. To avoid having to spray your tomato plants with antifungals and other chemicals, choose disease-resistant varieties.
Always rotate plants, so that you grow them in different parts of the garden in different years. Sometimes this is difficult because you need certain plants to be in the sunniest areas, as we have already seen. Still, try to move them at least a few yards and have something from a different plant family growing where they last were. This will help protect against disease.
Successful organic vegetable gardening means doing the right things at the right times. Don’t forget to thin out your crop. This is a tip for beginners especially. A lot of new gardeners are reluctant to pull up excess plants but in most cases this will increase both the quantity and the quality of the vegetables and fruit that your garden produces.
Overcrowded plants suffer from inadequate light, insufficient ventilation, easy spread of disease, and general failure to thrive. Do them a favor by thinning them, to make sure that the strongest ones have the best chance to grow.
Companion planting is another important consideration in organic vegetable gardening. This means selecting plants that grow well together and/or protect each other from pests, and locating them together in your garden. Examples are the marigold/basil family and the nightshade family (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, potatoes). Planting basil next to your tomatoes can keep off some pests. They make a great combination in the pan too!
Another example of companion plants is the ‘three sisters’: corn, beans and the pumpkin/squash/cucumber family. If you want more tips about using companion plants in organic vegetable gardening, there are lists online that you can use to extend the possibilities for your garden.