With the ban on chemical treatment products, but above all because awareness is real and growing, the cultivation of vegetables in "organic" mode has become essential.
If there are more and more organic market gardeners, so too are gardeners wishing to cultivate an organic vegetable garden!
Here are our tips for getting your organic vegetable garden off to a good start!
A good location
Vegetables, like other plants, need water, sunlight and nutrients to grow. Chemicals are used to meet some missing needs.
You can already meet the need for light by choosing a good location. Most plants require a sunny exposure. Choose a south, southwest or west exposure for the location of your growing plot.
Do not hesitate to reserve a second small shaded space for certain vegetables that prefer freshness. This is the case with spinach, salads or radishes.
Green and natural fertilizers
To enrich the soil, we forget the chemical fertilizers which only impoverish it and we favor natural fertilizers, vectors of microbial life. For the cultivation of many vegetables, it is advisable to add fertilizer in the fall before sowing.
The ideal is then to spread a good layer of well-decomposed compost. You can also opt for manure or green manure. Indeed, some plants have the ability to restore nutrients to the soil: they are called green manures. Depending on the plants, it can be nitrogen, potassium or phosphorus. In addition, they make the ground more permeable and then become a mulch.
In spring, we sow phacelia or vetch, while in autumn, we can count on clover or sainfoin, for example. And for an ever more lively and rich soil, swap your spade for a grelinette!
This is surely the basics of the organic vegetable garden: growing vegetables from organic seeds! The difference with a "standard" seed is that the plants that produced these seeds were not treated with chemicals. Otherwise, it would be difficult to grow non-organic seeds without giving them pesticides.
Organic seeds are naturally more resistant. The ideal is to buy organic AND reproducible seeds. This means that you will be able to harvest your own seeds from year to year, no need to buy them every year!
Furthermore, the seeds from plants grown in your garden will be adapted to it and fight better against any parasites in your environment. Non-reproducible seeds are hybrids, which correspond to a crossing of two species. To avoid them, nothing could be simpler, they are labeled as such: "F1 hybrids".
In order not to use pesticides, plants must have everything they need and evolve in an environment that is suitable for them. Some “friendly” plants help each other out and make your job easier. We then speak of associations of culture or companionship.
For example, carrots and celery protect the leek from ringworm to which it is particularly susceptible. In return, the leek promotes the growth of celery and repels certain pests of the carrot. This vegetable, rich in associations, is also useful in strawberries as it protects by repelling mites and exerting a fungicidal action. Strawberry which also stimulates the growth of garlic! There are many beneficial associations for the vegetable garden. Find out about each plant you want to cultivate, it surely has its share of plants to marry or to separate.
Despite our efforts, it is possible that the vegetable garden is the target of pests and diseases. Larvae that nibble on leaves and seedlings, biting-sucking insects, fungal diseases… The list of pests and diseases is long.
However, for each there are prevention techniques and natural remedies. You need to find out about each vegetable plant, but we can cite some good practices:
- Do not plant the plants too close to avoid promoting diseases from fungi
- For the same reason, do not water the foliage but the base of the plant
- Sprinkle with rain water
- Apply nettle manure to strengthen the plants
If the pests do occur anyway, favor mechanical traps, natural predators, biological treatments (especially based on black soap), pheromone traps, repellent or on the contrary attractive plants, etc.