One of the things I love to do is grow my own fruit and veg – my raised bed was built by my little brother and it has kept us in goodies for three years or seasons if you prefer. This is the story of my Organic Vegetable Garden and how you can grow your own.
This post will contain affiliate links
First decide on the Vegetables you want to grow
My brother had brought me some amazing seeds for my birthday. They are from Plant Theatre and are available at Amazon.
He got me the Funky Veg kit which contains such beauties as Purple Haze carrots and Tigerella tomatoes. I knew I had to try those.
I suggest if this is your first time at growing pick easy to grow Vegetables like
He also got me the Psychedelic Salad kit which has Purple salad onions ( or scallions ) and Lemon Crystal cucumber and Red Dazzle lettuce – who could resist trying them out.
The kits come with little pots and seeds and peat blocks but I decided to save the little pots for when things get slightly bigger and I pick up the mini seed greenhouse in Aldi and pick-up some seed soil while I was at it, this way the seeds can get a good start in the warm window sill of my sunny kitchen.
Give your Seedlings a Good Start
1. Find the right containers
You can start seeds in almost any type of container, as long as it’s at least 2-3 ” deep and has some drainage holes. If you are the DIY type, you might want to grow seedlings in yogurt cups, milk cartons or paper cups.
2. Prepare the “potting soil”
Choose potting soil that’s made for growing seedlings. Do not use soil from your garden or re-use potting soil from your houseplants. Start with a fresh, organic sterile mix that will ensure healthy, disease-free seedlings.
Before filling your containers, use a bucket or tub to moisten the planting mix. The goal is to get it moist but not sopping wet; crumbly, not gloppy. Fill the containers and pack the soil firmly to eliminate gaps.
Remember that most mixes contain few, if any, nutrients, so you’ll need to feed the seedlings with Liquid Organic Fertiliser, a few weeks after they germinate, and continue until you transplant them into the garden.
3. Start planting
Check the seed packet to see how deep you should plant your seeds. Some of the small ones can be sprinkled right on the soil surface. Larger seeds will need to be buried. To make sure, I usually plant two seeds per cell (or pot). If both seeds germinate, I snip one and let the other grow.
Moisten the newly planted seeds a small watering can. To speed germination, cover the pots with plastic wrap or a plastic dome or mini green house that fits over the seed-starting tray. This helps keep the seeds moist before they germinate. When you see the first signs of green, remove the cover.
4. Water, feed, repeat
As your seedlings grow a small watering can to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Let the soil dry slightly between watering. Remember to feed the seedlings regularly with liquid fertilizer, mixed at the rate recommended on the package.
5. Light, light, light!
Seedlings need a lot of light. If you’re growing in a window, choose a south-facing exposure. Which in our house is the kitchen window. Rotate the pots regularly to keep plants from leaning into the light.
If you’re growing under lights, adjust them so they’re just a few inches above the tops of the seedlings.
Set the lights on a timer for 15 hours a day. Keep in mind that seedlings need darkness, too, so they can rest. As the seedlings grow taller, raise the lights.
6. Move seedlings outdoors gradually
It’s not a good idea to move your seedlings directly from the protected environment of your home into the garden. You’ve been coddling these seedlings for weeks, so they need a gradual transition to the great outdoors. The process is called hardening off.
About a week before you plan to set the seedlings into the garden, place them in a protected spot outdoors (partly shaded, out of the wind) for a few hours, bringing them in at night. Gradually, over the course of a week or 10 days, expose them to more and more sunshine and wind.
A cold frame is a great place to harden off plants
I didn’t plant everything. I started with some lettuce, some scallions , Brussel sprouts and tomatoes and a couple of containers of the first of the carrots. The rest I will start of after this lot get a bit bigger and move on to pastures new.
Decide where you are going to grow your Organic Vegetable Garden.
We are growing in raised Beds – mainly because our soil is wet clay ! But you can grow Vegetables in Pots or you can plant start into the soil. it is up to you.
First thing I will have to do though is finish clearing the raised bed of old plants. Our old bed is taken over with strawberries from which we got such a huge haul last year. We only finished the last of the big bags in the freezer at Christmas and still have two jars of jam in the fridge.
We have plans to extend to three raised bed – strawberries in one, herbs in one and veggies in another and I would also love to grow raspberries.
I will try potatoes again but this time in potato bags we got a decent haul the least time so will have a try but want to keep them away from the tomatoes in case of blight.
Remember plants Need food
We grow everything as organically as possible so I have my own compost heap. Which I was thrilled to discover is now producing gorgeous fluffy brown compost. I have a great post on how to make your own Organic Compost here. We also collect rainwater in a water butt to water the garden with.
We try every natural method know to man to fight the dreaded slugs.
All we will need this summer is the weather and I pray it is like last year which was gorgeous.
Good Luck With your Growing Organic Vegetable garden you might find these post helpful
- Growing Courgettes -the How and the Why ?
- The Great Carrot Experiment
- 10 Tips to Grow Great Strawberries
- Growing Runner Beans
- Growing veggies in a small space
You can find all my Gardening posts by going to my Start Here Page or you can also find recipes made from the garden.
THIS IS IMAGE PINNABLE =====>