• Donnington Grove

Growing vegetables the Organic way

If you have looked after your soil well and raised healthy plants, you should have strong growing, happy crops

Prepare your soil
Good gardening starts with healthy soil. There are many soil types but all will benefit from following these tips:

Dig clay soils in late autumn, and for all other types of soil dig in early spring.

Dig out pits or trenches where your climbing beans will be growing, fill them with rough compost or kitchen waste (fruit and vegetable peelings) and re-cover with soil. This will hold on to water as well as providing natural food for the crop.

Before planting, lightly fork compost into the soil where the leeks, lettuce, onions, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, courgettes, parsley and broccoli will be growing, but not where the carrots will be sown.
Sowing and planting your organic vegetables.

Check the information on your seed packet for advice on when to sow each crop. You will also find advice there on whether to sow direct into the soil or in a pot or tray indoors. Here are some tips for successful sowing and planting:

Don’t be tempted to sow too early outside. Seeds will not perform so well in cold wet soil.

All the seeds in this range, except carrots, can easily be sown indoors on a warm windowsill or in a greenhouse for later planting out, minimising the effects of the weather, birds and mice.

Move plants into larger pots as soon as their roots have filled the available space.

Broad beans are hardy enough to be planted out in early spring. Plant out other more tender crops after the risk of frost has passed. Do not plant out anything that looks weak or unhealthy.

Carrots, leeks, coriander, lettuce (July sowing) and onions can be sown direct where they are to grow.

Water plants in when planting to help them to establish.

How to care for your growing organic vegetables
If you have looked after your soil well and raised healthy plants, you should have strong growing, happy crops.

Try not to allow weeds to establish. They will compete for nutrients
and water.

Grow some flowering herbs or annuals with simple open flowers near your vegetables to attract beneficial insects to prey on
pest insects.

Grow carrots under very fine mesh or insect-excluding netting to keep out carrotfly.

Keep indoor plants watered but be careful not to overdo it.

Remove any plant that looks unhealthy, dwarfed and wrinkled or the wrong colour. This may be a virus. It cannot be cured and may spread.