Organic gardening basics?

Jen asks: Organic gardening basics?
I want to start my own organic garden with produce and such, but I am a college student and would have to wait until spring break to start (around mid-March). Any suggestions for how I would go about doing it? I could use any information! Thanks!
Thanks for all the information, everybody! 🙂

The answer voted best is:

Answer by heart o’ gold
You need way more information than you will get in this venue.
I suggest book shopping – there are plenty of books on this subject and I’d look at as many as you can then select one you think you’ll actually read and use, for whatever reasons it may appeal to you.

I do suggest starting with easier plants, particularly warm weather plants like tomatoes and zuchinni as they are hard to screw up and very rewarding. I also always suggest that beginners plant herbs…you can use them to season many foods and it is very satisfying (and impressive to your friends) when you can walk out into your garden, come back with a couple of handfuls of plants and use them to make simple yet completely delicious meals.

Suggested plants to start with this spring: tomatoes, zucchini, chard onion and garlic (mine never mature, I always use them all when they are green because they’re so delicious and I just buy the mature ones when I need them).
Always plant plenty of radishes and keep planting them every two weeks. Radishes will keep many bugs away. I don’t even really eat radishes but I always plant bunches of them. And always plant marigolds near your tomatoes, just trust me on this. Hm…and green beans are very rewarding, as are sugar snap peas.

I also suggest you read up on companion planting. The radishes and marigolds mentioned above are examples of that.

My favorite herbs – I grow them in ground and in pots so I can move them around. I wouldn’t be without any of the following, they’re staples in my kitchen. When buying herb plants taste and smell them first. There are different cultivars and some are better for cooking than others. If you like the way it tastes/smells, buy it, you’ll think of something to do with it…

Rosemary: super easy, a classic on chicken with a little lemon, garlic and salt/pepper. Goes well with other meats, use sparingly, it’s powerful! Likes plenty of sun and good drainage. The upright kinds are best for cooking.

Thyme: there are lots of different varieties, my favorite is lemon thyme: Great on anything…I add sprigs to pots of steaming vegetables, handfuls of the leaves to soups, stews and salads. This last year I started using lots of lemon thyme leaves in my turkey stuffing…yummy!

Tarragon: Mostly I use this for mushrooms but it’s also great for meat dishes. One of my favorite italian restaraunts served a chicken breast in a cream tarragon sauce…yummy. A teeny bit in your hollandaise sauce is excellent.

Oregano: A no brainer for cottage potatoes…I’ve been wrapping organic potatoes in parchement paper with an oregano sprig and salt and pepper and baking them…they don’t even need butter (but are terrifc with a little butter or milk). The classic pizza seasoning…I once had the owner of a very posh pizza chain tell me that the secret to his (amazing) sauce was plenty of oregano and not so much of the other italian type herbs. There are lots of different ones…I grow several that have distinctly different favorites…I make cuttings of the one I like best every year to share with friends.

Verbena: Less well known than the above, great for tea and lately I’ve been using it with a little thyme and a tiny bit of sage for my chicken…

That’ll get you started, good luck with it – gardening is seriously addicting!

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  1. Organic gardening needs patient!

    I suggest you to grow first root vegetables.
    Such as potatoes, shallots, beets, carrots,
    onions, garlics, and so on.

    If you are interested in planting potatoes…

    Potato needs about 100 days frost free growing
    season. Potatoes are generally planted from the
    end of March, or in April and early in May according
    to your local climate conditions.

    The potato will succeed in almost any properly
    cultivated good drainage deep soil. Soil must be
    moist all the time and weed free.

    In March, first buy some seed potatoes from the
    organic garden supplier. Most of them will come
    in a 500g or 1kg paper bag.

    Before you purchase any organic seed potatoes
    from the store, you have to gather a few information.
    Such as your favourite types of potatoes, the
    growing space, the harvesting time, and the

    Sprouting the seed potatoes in the dark
    before planting them directly into the ground
    will help to shorten the growing time.

    For sprouting, prepare a 2 inches of good potting soil in a pot.
    Place the seed potatoes on top and cover with one thin
    layer of loose soil.

    When under the suitable warm, the young growths will push
    through the soil within a few days. A gentle watering may
    be given. Earth-up when the shoots grow taller. Take
    care that the young shoots will not be getting dry.
    Feed more water when the sun is going stronger.

    You can grow potatoes in any types of containers,
    pots, barrels and large bags or growing them directly
    in the open ground raised bed vegetable garden.

    When the potato plants are tall enough, and you prefer to
    plant them in the garden, you may remove the pot and
    set the same ground together with the plant into the
    garden soil. They need a sunny place.

    Drill some holes with a depth of 3 to 4 inches,
    fill in some rain water before you set the plant in place.
    If you have more space, the holes should stand 2 feet apart.

    Use hoe occasionally to keep the weeds down,
    when shoots appeared on the soil surface. Mould up
    the rows when the shoots are high enough.

    If you prefer to plant not in the ground, you may place
    12 inches of straw above.

    If you are growing them in containers, you may place
    them outdoor and fill up the container with a mix
    of ordinary potting soil and rich organic soil.
    Add some earth worms into the container.
    Garden worms will help to generate the organic garden
    fertilizer and enriched your soil.

    When roots appeared on the soil surface,
    earth up to cover all the tubes. Potatoes
    will be turning green when they are
    expose to sunlight.

    Green potatoes cannot be eaten.

    If you prefer to eat young potatoes, harvest them
    when the flowers drop. If you prefer a bigger size ones,
    harvest them when the plant is totally dying down.

    Harvest the tubers carefully with the spading fork,
    take care not to damage the fruits. Pull out the
    plant and remove the fruits carefully from the
    ground and remove any ground attached.
    Place them in a cool dark room and
    lay them on papers on the floor. They will
    last long enough when they are not expose to
    lights and moist

    During harvest, If you discovered any diseased tubers,
    throw it away, but not in the compost.

    If the weather allows, you may leave the tubers in
    the ground until needed.

    Potatoes grow supper fast when they are planted with
    the well drainage good soil, enough sunlight and rain falls.

    You can also insert garlic cloves, onions sets,
    shallot sets In between of the extra space, if
    there is.

    Happy gardening…

  2. I would recommend
    You may also want to check out the books All-New Square Foot Gardening and
    Cash From Square Foot Gardening.
    The second book is specifically about growing food to sell. The first (and the website) will help you with setting up your garden.
    Good luck and have fun!

    Square Foot Gardener and Organic Gardener for over 20 years.

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