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Organic Vegetable Gardening

Organic Vegetable Gardening basically means growing vegetables without the addition of chemicals, specifically unnatural chemicals and pesticides. It is a return to the same form of growing fruit and vegetables which was used for thousands of years by our forebearers and has only comparatively recently been usurped by non-organic farming and cultivation methods.

The main aim of non-organic cultivation, ie the use of pesticides, fungicides and chemically altered nutrients is quite simple: as the world population has increased, so also has the need to make the most out of the limited land and crops we can grow. Whereas previously a fairly large portion of crops might succumb to a fungal infection or be eaten by pests, the mass application of pesticides and fungicides have largely erradicated that risk and as a result we can now achieve greater yields per acre and feed more people.

The cons however, are a little less obvious to detect immediately.

Many of the pesticides don't just kill the pests, but also the 'good' insects, which the farmer or gardener relies upon to fertilize the fruit crops - and keep the bad pests at bay! Higher and increased production of the same crops year in and year out have depleted the soil of the vital nutrients, something which was avoided by crop rotation - the old fashioned way of ensuring the soil kept its nutrients and the same pests did not affect the same crop year after year.

Another - for us as parents especially important aspect - is that all the chemicals, pesticides and fungicides sprayed on the crops to keep them pest and fungal free, and also the chemicals used to keep the fruit and veg fresh-looking for the supermarkets after harvesting, leave trace elements within the produce ... and that is what we end up feeding our children and ourselves!

This is why organic vegetable gardening is such a hot subject at the moment and is also likely to stay on the important agenda for a long time. Organic produce, organic farming, organic milk, eggs, fish, meat ... and of course our very own backyard organic vegetable growing can help to balance nature the way it was designed to be balanced.

I want to have an organic vegetable garden, but HOW?

Organic vegetable gardening is part of a much wider, broader perspective on gardening, and here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Create a garden which is in tune with nature rather than fighting it: create a wildlife garden, where natural pest controls in the form of hedgehogs, toads and birds feel welcome.

  • Throw away any of the chemical hazardous pesticides and either make up your own concotions to keep away the pests, eg organic slug control, or buy organic variations which are guaranteed not to harm other insects or birds.

  • Instead of using bags full of fertilizers to increase the yield of your veggie patch, dig in plenty of manure or mulch during the winter months, giving it time to decompose into useful and nutritious matter for the crops the following season.

  • Practice crop rotation, just like the farmers have for centuries, never plant the same family of vegetables in the same place two years running. Most forms of crop rotation work on a three year plan, but more about that some other day!


  • In this Section:

    Related Pages:

    Organic Slug Control

    Wildlife Garden

    Recommended Varieties:

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