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

Succeed with seed with selection perfection

Ben Raskin: One of the keys to saving your own seed is the 'selection', or identifying the best of your plants to keep the seed from. If you are aiming to 'maintain' a variety, in other words to keep it as close as possible to the original genetics of that variety, then there will be specific traits you will need to keep (colour, height, pest or disease resistance for instance). Most of just want to ensure the selection performs well in our garden or farm.

25 July 2014 | 1 Comments | Recommended by 1

Organic is different

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall: For many of us, especially those who grow our own, the idea that organically produced fruit and veg is good for you just seems instinctively right. When you know what has – and hasn’t – gone into the soil and how little the sophisticated processes of nature have been interfered with by the grower, then the inherent vital, vibrant goodness of the resultant crop seems obvious. I grow organically both at home and at River Cottage and I can see the positive effects on the environment – the soil brimming with worms, the abundance of insects and wildlife – as well as tasting them in the quality of the fruit and veg I harvest.

15 July 2014 | 12 Comments | Recommended by 12

Child gardening

Gardening courses
Creating fertile soil – the organic way
02 August

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

Weed and pest control within the organic regime
09 August

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

Commonwork Autumn workshop 2014
18 October

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

Commonwork Winter workshop 2014
13 December

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