Growing Vegetables

Wholesome, nutritious, organic produce from your Sustainable Garden

Growing vegetables is part of our culture – in many places, the availability of fresh produce is minimal, so growing your own is the only way you can get those luscious tomatoes, crisp lettuce and other greens, and herbs for flavoring.

Growing Vegetables

The trend has been to get produce out of season from other countries; grapes from California, or Chile when it’s winter in Canada, or broccoli from Argentina.

With the advent of the 100 Mile Diet there is a new trend of finding food from closer to home.

The emphasis is on fresh, wholesome and nutritious food, not those dried up, desiccated and pallid examples of vegetables that have traveled thousands of kilometers to get to a supermarket.

The taste and quality of many varieties has diminished with the requirement that they travel well, and maintain their good looks, at the cost of their nutritional value.

Growing Vegetables organically is a treat for eyes and tummies

Growing your own vegetables will give you an eye opening experience, and discovering that you can have a three season vegetable garden to provide luscious and nutritious food is equally as enlightening. See more about fall gardening and spring garden planning.

How to Grow...

How to Grow Peppers - coming soon!Peppers

Once you’ve tasted the real flavor of a fresh tomato, still warm from the sun, or a salad grown and harvested steps from your kitchen door in a raised bed, you’ll never go back.

Your appreciation will grow along with your vegetables.

Main things that growing vegetables need:

Full sun is essential for many vegetables, especially tomatoes, squash, peppers, potatoes and most greens. Peas, beans and other legumes need at least some sun every day.

See the Top Ten Myths About Organic Garden Seeds; if you're saving your own, or buying them, you need to know this:

Saving Seeds is an important task in the Organic Garden - don't be misled by the myths...

Lettuce is one green that actually grows better and doesn’t bolt into setting seed if it has more shade. Grow it behind trellised pole beans or under a small twiggy shade if your area is really hot and sunny. Using intercropping and stacking techniques can make the most use of a small growing area.

Garden soil for most vegetables must be well drained, light and nutritious.  Lots of vegetables need a rich soil, like most squash.  They are referred to as 'heavy feeders' so to keep them actively growing, learn about how to make compost tea.

How to Grow Summer Squash

If your garden area is near trees, their roots may pose a problem by seeking out the nutrients and moisture in a vegetable garden. If your vegetables thrive for a year or two, but then start to fail to thrive, this could be the issue.

Raised bed gardening is one method to grow vegetables successfully even near large trees.

Ample moisture is essential, as most vegetables are filled with water. Lettuce is mostly water, as well as tomatoes, peas and squash, so a good source of clean water is necessary. If you can salvage water from rainfall, or keep well water or tap water in a black barrel to pre-warm it, so much the better. Rain water is ideal, as it has no chemicals, minerals or softening agents in it.

Starting seeds, or hardening off seedlings? 

You need a cold frame!

Old Window Cold Frame

Natural Fertilizer

Many gardeners worry about how to feed their vegetables more than any other issue.

Compost, of course is the most valuable and natural soil additive, so if you can compost your kitchen scraps and then sprinkle that around each plant, do it.

Great San Marzano Tomato Experiment
; click on the picture:

Looking for information on growing paste tomatoes?

If you don’t have enough compost to spread it, make compost tea, either out of home made compost, chopped weeds, alfalfa pellets or commercially bagged chicken or steer manure.

Avoid using compost tea on greens as this can be a source of contamination with salmonella or E. coli, two rather nasty types of food poisoning.

Plant some cover crops and nitrogen fixing plants to protect the soil and add organic matter once your harvest is in. Soil fertility is one of the most important tasks in the garden; don't skimp on adding compost or soil amendments.

Growing vegetables is a challenge that many gardeners are gladly taking up; in some cases, they can grow many of their own carrots, beans, tomatoes and other produce.

Even if you can only grow one small tub of plants, make them edible.

What would you plant for a fall garden?

It's hard to decide if there is time left in the season, for another crop to ripen enough for harvest.

Some vegetables actually thrive in cooler temperatures, so don't let that stop you;

Find out here on The Gardening Cook;

Find out what kinds of vegetables to plant for a great fall garden at The Gardening Cook...

Cover Crops

Natural Fertilizer

Raised Bed Gardening

Square Foot Gardening Method

Organic Garden Tour

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