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

Soil and the power of poo

Marianne Landzettel: ‘Give me five more minutes’ signals Gualu Goud as he’s standing on top of one of his five compost heaps working the top layer with a hoe. I met Gualu earlier this month in a village in the eastern Indian state of Odisha (formerly Orissa). He’s been a cotton farmer for most of his life. Things were ok until about 10 years ago when yields started to drop even though he used increasing amounts of expensive chemical fertilisers. And looking at his soil he felt really bad, there was no life in it, he says.

12 February 2015 | 2 Comments | Recommended by 8

Seed saving: the EU horizon and a renewed resurgence

Ben Raskin: We had a good growing season in 2014 with a dry summer and autumn, giving us some good seed ready for planting this year. Meanwhile, at a political level the EU Plant Reproductive Material (seeds, cuttings and baby plants to you and me) legal shenanigans continued. The proposed regulation from the European Commission wanted to simplify the existing confused and cumbersome laws, as well as provide a platform to increase exports to outside the EU and safeguard human health. But this proposal would have further sustained the dominance of the big seed companies (like Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta) and drastically reduced the number of seed varieties available for growing. The Soil Association, along with many others campaigned against these proposals.

30 January 2015 | 4 Comments | Recommended by 0

Child gardening

Gardening courses
Home grown organic food 52 weeks of the year
07 March

Valerie's Veggies, Feliz Ginns Road, Stocking Pelham, Herts, SG9 0JD

Companion planting
14 March

Valerie's Veggies, Feliz Ginns Road, Stocking Pelham, Herts, SG9 0JD

Introduction to organic growing
21 March

Valerie's Veggies, Feliz Ginns Road, Stocking Pelham, Herts, SG9 0JD

Weed and pest control within the organic regime
04 April

Valerie's Veggies, Feliz Ginns Road, Stocking Pelham, Herts, SG9 0JD

Growing from seeds
11 April

Valerie's Veggies, Feliz Ginns Road, Stocking Pelham, Herts, SG9 0JD