Organic Gardening at Home
How to get started
Have you always wanted to have your own garden but have no idea where or when to start? If so, start here:
It's Time to Start Planning Your Garden!
This is a great summary of what you need to consider before starting a new garden at home. It also has some great tips for anyone planning on starting seeds indoors for the first time. We include links to where you can find seeds and all the products you need to get started.
Your First Garden Template: What to Grow and How to Do It
This article will walk you through the entire process of starting a new garden. From how to dig it out to protecting it from critters to what to plant and when. Find everything you need to know to get started all in 1 place.
Keys to Success
Our home garden relies on the following 4 principles. They are all very simple to do and will turn that backyard garden into your own little thriving ecosystem. Follow these methods and everything else pretty much takes care of itself. For the vast majority of us gardening is a hobby and not a full time job. These 4 principles are just as much about making it easier on you as they are about the success of your plants. Maybe you don't have time to be weeding constantly or can't water because you'll be on vacation for a week or 2. Doing these 4 things will make your garden more forgiving when life gets in the way.
Organic Gardening Reference Section
Planting your own backyard garden can be one of the most humbling and rewarding experiences of your life. Whether you're planting something for the first time or just need a quick refresher, check out the index below for details like when to start your plants, how far apart to plant them, when to harvest, and all that good stuff.
Charts and Other Quick Reference Items
Plant Hardiness Zone
Where is yours, what does it mean?
Average Last Spring Frost Date
Enter your zip code and find yours here
Optimal Soil pH and Temperature
Science! Click here for charts showing the optimal soil conditions for each vegetable type>
Starting a new garden or even keeping up an existing one can seem overwhelming. But just like anything else if you plan it out in advance and break it down into smaller tasks it becomes a lot easier. We used to think of gardening season as beginning on Memorial Day and ending with the first fall frost but now we find something garden related to do every month of the year. It sounds like more work but actually ends up being less because your time is used more efficiently.
- Plan next year's garden. The holidays are behind us and we're still months away from being able to get back outside, so take advantage of that downtime to think about what it is you want to plant in the spring. Make note of what went well last year, what didn't, what you might want more or less of, and what you have room for. With organic gardening it is important to practice crop rotation, which means you do your best to never plant the same type of plant in the same spot 2 years in a row. Click here for more information on what crops should and should not follow ones from the previous year.
- Order your seeds. The reason we suggest planning your next garden in early January is so that you can order your seeds as soon as possible. Especially if you're ordering specific organic or specialty items which tend to sell out quickly. There are only so many seeds harvested from the previous year and once they're gone you're out of luck until next year. If you're looking for a supplier we can't recommend Fedco Seeds highly enough. Click here to read all about why we love Fedco so much
- Start your seeds indoors. Onions and some flowers need to be started indoors as early as February. Click here for instructions on how to start seeds indoors
- Start your seeds indoors. It will soon be time to start tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. Click here for instructions on how to start seeds indoors
- Prepare your garden site. Depending on where you live you may need to wait a little longer, but as soon as the ground is no longer frozen you can get out there. If you are stating a new garden for the first time, check out this article for instructions on how to dig it out, protect it, and what to plant.
- Start your seeds indoors. It's now time to start tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. Click here for instructions on how to start seeds indoors
- Plant Peas and Fava Beans in the garden. Both of these provide great nutrition and can be planted as soon as your garden is ready. How to plant Peas. How to plant Fava Beans.
- Plant Lettuce, Spinach, Arugula, and other cold tolerant greens. Many greens can also be planted as soon as the soil can be worked. Check out our Vegetable Index for specific instructions on how to plant each variety.