How to grow organic fruit and vegetables

Get organic vegetable gardening and grow organic food

Growing your own organic food using organic gardening techniques is an individual action all of us can take to build a sustainable food culture. There are 300,000 acres of prime growing land in domestic gardens or allotments in the UK, with 80% of households having access to a garden. And even if you don't have a garden many popular fruits and vegetables will grow in pots or window boxes. At the moment though less than a third of gardens in this country are used to grow anything to eat.

Growing organic vegetables and fruit has many benefits. Because you can eat your harvest almost immediately your fruit and vegetables lose less nutrients, meaning they are healthier for you and your family. Food miles are non-existent, saving on the damaging greenhouse gas emissions associated with our modern food chains. With anything you don't need composted, waste is more or less eliminated. And by managing your garden using organic principles you can encourage bio-diversity, meaning you're helping improve your local environment.

If you've no experience, the thought of growing your own vegetables can be intimidating. To help get you started, organic gardener Phillipa Pearson has put together this month-by-month guide to key tasks on your veg plot. And Soil Association members can get regular advice in our membership magazine Living Earth.

Gardening blogs

Let’s get seedy

Kim Stoddart: Guardian gardening writer and enthusiastic seed saver, Kim Stoddart shares her tales from the seed field lab - I signed up to become part of this initiative last year when I worked with the Soil Association on a series of videos about seed saving. I’d been increasingly dabbling with this oft-neglected practise and buoyed by the success of last year’s efforts producing my own stock of kale and carrot seed this seemed like a natural progression.

30 June 2015 | 0 Comments | Recommended by 1

How to plant out seedlings: eight tips for new gardeners

Jess Gotham: It’s time to talk about seedlings. The Soil Association’s head of horticulture Ben Raskin’s follow-up workshop on care of new plants was very informative, as he explained what needs to be done once seeds have germinated. I felt rather guilty when I thought about my ‘mystery beans’ from the seed swap, as I’d neglected them for a few days at this crucial stage and they didn’t get enough sun, but hopefully you can learn from my mistake. As someone mentioned at the workshop, if something does go wrong you can always re-sow! In extreme cases there’s always next year… but for now, look after your seedlings carefully and they’ll reward you by growing up big and strong.

20 May 2015 | 1 Comments | Recommended by 1

Child gardening

Gardening courses
Learn organic gardening, 9 week Autumn/Winter course
11 September

Brocton Leys, Brocton, Staffordshire ST17 0TX

Weed and Pest Control Within the Organic Regime
28 November

Valerie’s Veggies & Plants, Feiiz, Ginns Road, Stocking Pelham, Herts SG9 0J

Home Grown Organic Food 52 Weeks of the Year
12 December

Valerie’s Veggies & Plants, Feiiz, Ginns Road, Stocking Pelham, Herts SG9 0J

Introduction to garden permaculture
19 March

Commonwork, Bore Place, Chiddingstone, Edenbridge, Kent. TN8 7AR