Organic Gardening for Beginners

Getting your organic vegetable garden started

Organic gardening for beginners can seem an overwhelming task, with so much to learn and do. Get started organic home gardening by taking it step by step. You can build up your organic vegetable garden over several seasons.

Encourage your garden to flourish using an organic gardening approach that is beneficial to the environment. As you develop your garden’s natural strengths its myriad of related systems will thrive.

For those completely new to organic gardening, its principles involve:

  • feeding the soil
  • gardening chemical-free
  • preserving the environment
  • recognising the value of biodiversity
  • caring for the welfare of people and animals
  • nurturing wildlife
  • providing healthy food
  • thinking of the future

Consider your garden as a complete and living entity. Take a whole system view that recognises all the parts of your garden as being inter-related and interdependent. The health of the whole depends on the health of the parts.

It’s possible to start gardening organically by taking it step by step. Even doing a small bit at a time helps. Some organic gardening methods you may already do, some you might like to think about starting.

  • take care of your soil
  • use organic mulches
  • compost your kitchen scraps
  • maintain a worm farm
  • keep chooks to recycle scraps and produce fertiliser
  • collect rainwater
  • encourage natural predators of garden pests (e.g. ladybugs)
  • use organic alternatives to chemical fertilisers and pesticides
  • use organic weed control methods
  • buy local whenever possible
  • recycle materials
  • use sustainable materials
  • use organic seed wherever possible
  • exclude genetically modified seed
  • provide plants and habitats for wildlife
  • include a pond or water feature for wildlife

When you research organic gardening methods, you can always find innovative solutions to gardening challenges. Organic methods are surprisingly effective, not just in the short-term, but as long-term, sustainable and practical processes.

A simple, manageable approach to get you started may be to take on an additional organic gardening task each season. This way you can build up your organic garden bit by bit as your knowledge and resources increase.

Autumn: Create leafmould to use as mulch, soil conditioner or fertiliser.

Winter: Plant a green manure crop such as comfrey , broadbeans or lupins to dig back into the soil in Spring.

Spring: Plant nasturtiums and marigolds amongst your vegetables as companion plants that will deter pests and use organic seed wherever possible.

Summer: Compost the scraps and leftovers of your harvest or feed them to your chooks.

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