Beginner’s Organic Gardening Guide (What You Need to Know)

Whether you have a spacious backyard or a tiny balcony, anyone can enjoy the benefits of growing their own organic food. Organic gardening is not only a great way to connect with nature and promote sustainability, but it also allows you to produce fresh, nutritious food for yourself and your loved ones. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know to get started on your organic gardening adventure.

one ripe and one unripe tomato plant
Source: Plum Branch Home

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Around my junior year of high school I became intrigued with nutritional science. I loved doing research, partaking in advanced science classes, and started enjoying healthier food. From that point on I’ve dedicated my eating habits to organic. After reading tons and tons of scientific research on the harm of chemicals and pesticides on our food, I felt as if I knew too much. I no longer felt okay purchasing non organic produce. Once my husband and I got a home of our own we quickly created an organic garden!

Why is Organic Gardening Important?

  • Leaves chemicals off your plate
  • Foods contain more nutritional value (vitamins and minerals)
  • Foods have more flavor and taste better (due to higher nutrition levels)
  • Helps protect our bodies from synthetic chemicals and pesticides
  • Reduces antibiotics and hormones added into your body
  • Preserves the environment
  • Limits effects on the climate

Learn more about why organic matters on CCOF’s Why Organic Page.

Best Gardening Supplies

Whether you have a gardening shed or a shelf in your apartment, you don’t need tons of supplies to grow your own food. Besides the planters, pots, seeds, and soil, the list below is all you’ll need to get started. If you plant tomatoes, you’ll want to get a tomato cage to help keep the plant upright.

How to Find Organic Seeds and Plants

There’s multiple ways you can find organic seeds and plants, from local farm stores to online shops. If you’re looking to shop local try local feed stores, farm stores, or nurseries. If you prefer to shop online try Amazon, online gardening shops, or big box farm and garden stores. Another option is taking seeds out of organic produce bought at the store and growing seedlings to plant.

Organic Gardening Soil

My favorite organic gardening soil is Whitney Farms Organic Potting Soil. It truly has organic ingredients that are pure. It’s also affordable and really helps your plants thrive. There’s no stinky smell to it either, it’s just like regular dirt but so much better. When I was searching for the best organic soil, I felt very frustrated by many brands that were organic but used questionable ingredients. When I found Whitney’s soil, I knew I had to grab all the bags I could.

Organic Gardening Fertilizer

Fertilizing your garden may depend on multiple factors like your climate, soil quality, and amount of plants in each area. Lately, I’ve only fertilized my garden every 5-6 weeks. I use basic, natural fertilizers: organic coffee grounds (leftover from morning coffee) and egg shells. On plants that love acidic soil, like strawberries, I’ll add a few tablespoons to the soil. For plants that prefer a more basic soil PH, I’ll add a few tablespoons of crushed up egg shells. Depending on your circumstances, you may need to do research for what organic fertilizer you’ll need. Just make sure it is free of chemicals and pesticides.

Bug Control for Organic Gardens

The best bug control for your garden will depend on a few factors: the region you live in, produce you’re growing, and what you’ve been using. You will definitely want to do your own research to find the best natural bug control for your circumstances. We live in middle Tennessee where bugs come frequently 3/4 of the year. Because of this I use a homemade spray to repel them: 1:1 white vinegar and water mix plus 15-20 drops peppermint essential oil. I spray this over my plants once a week unless it rains. Then I’ll do a quick spray after it finishes raining.

Best Organic Gardening Books

Organic gardening books are great to have on hand for a quick reference or read. You can visit your local library and borrow one or purchase a book to have at all times. I store my gardening books in the kitchen cupboard with my cookbooks. Anytime I have a quick gardening question or want to learn more on the weekends, I pull it out. Here’s a few great resources to keep in your home!

Gardening Magazines to Read

If you love magazines, signup for a subscription or two to enjoy. They’re always full of helpful tips and tricks. I personally love Southern Living for their gardening and plant articles but there are tons of options to choose from!

Check Out More PBH Gardening Blogs

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  1. I would love to start an organic garden 🪴
    Thank you for all of this great information on getting started.
    Love that you can even have a small garden on a patio!