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Grow Your Own Vegetables - Organic Gardening in Ten Easy Steps

Now is the perfect time of year to start thinking about starting your garden! Growing vegetables in your own backyard is one of the most rewarding things you can do. It is healthy, liberating and fun to watch the work of your hands produce the sustenance that fuels your body. Food grown in your own backyard is potentially the ultimate in freshness since you can eat just moments after harvesting.

Fresh food contains more nutrients since certain vitamins, enzymes, and phytonutrients have a very short shelf life. This bounty of nutrients will have an amazing effect on yours and your family’s health. Plus, fresh food tastes much better than produce harvested long before it is consumed. This fundamental guide will outline the basics of how to create your own 10’ X 10’ organic garden in your backyard allowing you to grow 10 different vegetables in 10 easy steps.

Step 1 - Planning Your Garden

  • If you are starting a new garden choose a relatively level area about 10’ X 10” that gets the most sunlight in your yard. It should an area that gets proper drainage and should be away from any trees. It would be helpful to select a spot that is close to the house and close to the watering hose and close to the shed where you will be storing your gardening tools.

  • Select 10 different plants that are appropriate for your hardiness zone. For example you may choose bush green beans, cucumber, zucchini, winter squash, tomatoes, pepper, onions, carrots, lettuce (leaf) and radish.

Step 2 - Purchase Seeds

  • Use organic, heirloom seeds whenever possible. Seed companies that I like include:

  • Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company

  • Seeds of Change

  • Territorial Seed Company

  • Johnny’s Seeds

  • Kitizawa Seed Company

  • Purchase one package each of your ten vegetables. Make sure your seeds are fresh and stored in a cool, dry area until they are ready to plant.

Step 3 - Planting Seeds Indoors

  • In late Winter, start your seeds indoors in peat pot cell flats six to eight weeks prior to the last frost. Use organic potting mix or a seed starting mix such as Lamberts. Water once a day to keep it moist.

Seed Depth

Bush Green Beans 1”

Cucumber 1”

Zucchini 1”

Winter Squash 1”

Tomatoes 1/8”

Pepper 1/4”

Onions 1/4"

Carrots 1/4"

Lettuce (leaf) 1/8”

Radish 1/2"

Step 4 - Preparing Soil

  • As soon as the ground thaws and you can work the soil, dig the grass up with a shovel and use sod to start your compost pile. Continue to add grass clippings, leaves, seaweed, and kitchen scraps and dried leaves to your compost pile throughout the year. Add some rock dust to re-mineralize the compost. Turn your compost pile at least a couple of times a week. This compost will be ready to use next Spring at which time you can start a second compost pile and alternate using piles