Horticulture

Organic horticulture aims to produce healthy, good quality food in an ecologically responsible way, for which the grower gets a fair return. The system is designed to avoid the need for agrochemicals and to minimise damage to the environment and wildlife.

Growers apply sustainable management practices to maintain optimum fertility and biological activity in the soil, and to enhance the farm environment by encouraging farm wildlife. This helps to support plenty of natural predators, preventing pests and diseases from reaching damaging levels. A healthy soil helps to produce crops that are more resistant to pests and diseases. Healthy crops ultimately mean healthy food.

The technical competence of UK organic growers continues to improve, with reports of better quality fruit, vegetables and salad crops. To find out more about organic horticultural production download our free comprehensive introductory guide:

Technical information

Soil Association Technical Information - Free

Free to Producer Members & Licensees

  • Guide - Biodiversity
    • The purpose of this guide is to raise awareness among organic farmers of the value of maximising biodiversity within the organic farmed landscape, benefiting the farmer and the wider environment. Agri-environment schemes are likely to become increasingly important with support payments diverted to measures that improve conservation management on farms.
  • Guide - Soil Management
    • Good soil management is the key to plant and livestock nutrition in organic farming. This guide is designed to help give an understanding of soil and how farming operations can affect its properties. It also provides practical information on how to manage, maintain and improve soil health and fertility.
  • Guide - Woodland Management
    • Woodlands can complement and support wider farm management by providing shelter for stock, farm materials and an efficient use of winter farm labour. The purpose of this guide is to encourage organic farmers to apply best practice in woodland management to maximise farm biodiversity and economic return.
  • Guide - Setting up an Organic Box Scheme
    • Well operated box schemes provide growers with a means of achieving a secure income through a loyal customer base and the potential for high profitability off small areas of land. This guide offers practical advice and information to those who are considering setting up a box scheme in their locale.

Protected Cropping Factsheets - members and licensees only

  • Systems and Regulations
  • Business and costing
  • Crop timings
  • Disease
  • Pests
  • Example rotations
  • Managing soil and crop
  • Managing the environment
  • Optimising fertility and weed control

If you are a member and would like a copy of a factsheet or guide, please contact producer.support@soilassociation.org

To become a Producer Member Join here

Links to external information

Market information

Market Prices

Organic Marketplace