How To Plant Your First Organic Vegetable Garden

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organic-vegetable-garden-by-benklocek.jpg Have you noticed that the price of fresh produce has climbed through the roof lately?

It’s not likely to get any better either.

Just about every other week, there are food recalls due to salmonella outbreaks caused by poor food handling procedures.

That’s just one of the many reasons to grow your own food.

Having your own organic vegetable garden will also eliminate all the middle men who may or may not be taking your best interests to heart in terms of cleanliness, pesticides, sprays, cleanliness, and GMOs.


Gardening Is The American Way

As recent as one generation ago, for some of us baby boomers, growing up on the family farm was the standard way of life.

Plots of land as small as a ½-acre provided not only your shelter but also your basic nutritional needs as well (thanks to small scale farming). Victory gardens helped many eat healthy through World War II when many things were rationed due to wartime shortages.

Today, organic gardening is becoming a more mainstream way of obtaining food. Many families are tilling up a portion of their yard and growing their own fruits and vegetables. That way, they know exactly what they’re eating when the fruits of their labors are served for dinner.

Don’t have a yard? Consider organic container gardening!

It’s actually quite trendy these days to grow your own food:

Over 41 million U.S. households (38%) planted a vegetable garden in 2009. More than 19.5 million households (18%) grew an herb garden and 16.5 million households (15%) grew fruits during the same period.  Source

How To Start An Organic Vegetable Garden

Preparing your very first organic vegetable garden will bring plenty of questions to mind. What’s the first step? When do the seeds go in the ground? Here are some helpful resources that offer step-by-step instructions to get you started on the right foot.

1. Know the best time to plant, water, and harvest vegetables in your area.

2. Start small. Your first garden needs to be a manageable size. You don’t want to become overwhelmed and end up failing simply because you bit off more than you could chew.

3. Choose the right location so that your garden area receives the maximum amount of sunlight possible throughout the day. A spot facing south is best.

4. Prepare the soil properly, so your plants will grow to their full potential.

5. Protect your garden from animals (…and children). Last year, just as my tomatoes were gaining some size, the deer came through and wiped out the whole crop! Fencing may be necessary.

6. Start your seedlings indoors. If frost is an issue, don’t jump the gun and plant too early. I always start extra tomato seeds, because the last frost of the season almost always comes the week after I transplant my tomatoes outdoors!

This video shows how to design your vegetable garden. You can see how simple organic gardening really is…

As you can see, growing your own produce doesn’t mean you need to put money down on a 40-acre field and mortgage the house in order to buy a collection of expensive tractors and machinery.

You’ll be surprised how many tasty foods can be produced in a very small amount of space!

Starting small and gaining experience is a good way to learn what works and what doesn’t. My own first garden in Texas produced some wonderful tomatoes, yellow squash, and the sweetest (though small) cantaloupes.


Harvesting The Produce From Your Garden

Getting your first garden through to harvest will be one of the most satisfying accomplishments you can experience.

With luck and patience, you will have a successful first harvest. Then, you’ll want to learn all there is to know about canning and preserving. That way, you can have fresh grown vegetables all year long!

Here’s a free online canning and food preservation guide that you can study while your watching your veggies grow.

There’s nothing better tasting than fresh homegrown vegetables right out of the garden. My favorite is tomatoes. This video shows how to grow tomatoes that will taste spectacular: