The DeLish Bite

Lindsay Evans blogs about food, entertaining and her favourite recipes for Green Living.

Last week I gave you the low down on the benefits of growing your own organic garden. Today, I am going to give you some easy tips to get started... Organic gardening is all about growing vegetables without the use of modern chemicals, making the vegetables tastier and better for you. Many vegetables that you purchase these days are grown on poor soils that leave the vegetables short of many nutrients. So if the vegetable is short of goodness then so are you when you eat them! Size Doesn’t Matter: You may have access to acres of land or just a few feet of balcony space. This should not prevent you from planting some organic veggies. Those who reside in cities can plant gardens on roof-tops or balconies using various containers. Veggies specifically bred for containers are now readily available. No green space at your disposal? Don’t fret. Many cities now offer small plots of land for a small fee that you can purchase and use to plant your own produce. Choose Your Soil: A proper organic garden begins with good quality organic soil. Therefore it is important that you test it so that you can do all that is necessary to get the soil right before you get started. When starting an organic vegetable garden, research which soils would work best for your plot of land and look into how to build a compost heapl. If non-organic plants or veggies have been growing there, you might need to work the chemicals out of the soil. Choosing Varieties: Choose a wide variety of vegetables that are well adapted to your region and known to be disease and pest resistant. Check with your local services for recommendations, and use seed catalogs and organic gardening books to identify varieties that are bred to be pest or disease free. What to Plant: Start planting peas, spinach and broccoli once soils are thawed in the spring (or in the fall where winters are mild). These vegetables thrive in cool soils and air and can even survive light frosts. Tomatoes, peppers, corn and squash need heat and do not tolerate frost. Plant them only after soils are thoroughly warm and danger of frost has passed. Above all, enjoy this experience and get your family involved and have patience. Even one beautiful plump tomato can make it all worthwhile.