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How to Grow an Organic Vegetable Garden

June 04, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 188

It's no secret that eating organically grown vegetables has significant health benefits. But what many don't realize is that growing your own organic vegetable garden also helps the environment and your wallet. By eliminating the use of pesticides, artificial fertilizers and herbicides, the possibility of toxic chemicals leaching into the soil and water supply is none. Growing your own vegetables also saves you some of the expense of buying organic from the grocery store. If you are intimidated by growing your own vegetable garden, don't be. All it takes to grow your own vegetables is a little patience, time and the willingness to get your hands dirty.

For novice gardeners, it is best to start small by growing only a few vegetables. Warm season vegetables such as tomatoes (technically a fruit), lettuce, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers and squash are relatively easy to grow. Be sure to plant warm season vegetables after the last frost in your area. In the Northeast the ideal time to plant is mid-May to early June. Other requirements for a successful garden are well-drained soil, organic fertilizer and compost, water, occasional weeding and tools.

Growing Tomatoes

Tomatoes thrive in soil that is fertile, well-drained and rich in nutrients and organic matter. They also need an area that gets at least 6 to 8 hours of daily sunlight. Before planting, prepare the ground by loosening the soil and mixing in organic compost. The ideal pH of the soil is 6.0 to 7.0. You can test your soil by buying a testing kit or taking a sample of soil to your local garden nursery. When the soil is ready, remove a few of the bottom leaves from the plant and bury it deep in the soil.

Once planted, tomatoes need to be watered evenly and regularly. Carefully water the tomatoes around the roots in the morning, not in the afternoon or evening. Adding a layer of mulch that is two to three inches deep, will help keep the soil consistently moist and prevent weeds from growing.

Once the plants start to grow and bear fruit, the vines will begin to get heavy. To prevent the vines from drooping and breaking, tie the vines of each plant securely to stakes with a piece of yarn.

Peppers

Peppers are relatively easy to grow, making them the perfect vegetable for novice gardeners. Like tomatoes, peppers enjoy lots of sun and need soil that is rich in organic matter and that drains well. When planting pepper plants, space them about 12 to 18 inches apart. Make sure to water your pepper plants frequently, especially in the beginning. Be careful not to overwater, however, as this can lead to root rot. Keep an eye on the temperature at night. Peppers do not do well in the cold. If there is a drop in temperature, cover the plant with a plastic bag.

Growing your own vegetable garden is not as intimidating as it seems. It might take getting a little dirt on your hands, but once you eat your first tomato and pepper, it will be well worth it.

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Source: EzineArticles
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