Organic Vegetable Gardening

Written by Sarah Provost
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Organic gardening is a beneficial technique in all areas, but is particularly important for the vegetable garden. You don't want to be spraying poison on something that's going to end up on your plate, after all. Pest control, fertilization and soil amendment can all be done without the use of noxious chemicals.

Pests can be controlled in a variety of ways. Netting, collars, cloches and other barriers can keep pests from getting to your plants. Sticky traps work well for flying insects, and the tried and true saucer of beer will lure slugs. Be sure to plant some flowers among the veggies to attract ladybugs and butterflies, who will keep aphids under control.

Chemical fertilizers provide larger doses of the needed nutrients than organic formulas, so you'll have to apply organic fertilizers more often. The most common organic fertilizers are fish emulsion, rotted manure and cottonseed meal. They all need the activity of microorganisms in the soil to release their nutrients, so apply them when the ground is warm and moist.

Organic Soil Amendment

Many of the techniques used to improve the soil without the use of chemicals also have side effects in the other areas as well. Rotating your crops, for instance, will make your soil more fertile, but it will also help control pests and diseases. Compost, manure and other soil amendments not only improve the soil's structure, making it better able to hold water and get air to the plant roots, but they will also release nutrients into the soil.

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