Some of the best organic soils for vegetables are peat moss, coconut coir, and perlite.
Peat moss is very good because it is light and fluffy so it does not compactify plants. It also has a lot of nutrients which can be used by vegetables to grow. Coconut coir is also excellent because it contains microbial activity which helps break down organic materials into humus. It also has a large amount of air space so that the moisture can quickly evaporate without creating an overly wet condition for your plants or soil. Perlite is a very good soil because its light in weight so it does not compact the soil. It also aerates the soil and allows for better drainage. Another benefit of perlite is that it is sterile and has been used in potting soils for years. Even though perlite can be a little more expensive than peat moss or coconut coir, it I definitely worth it.
The best organic soils really depends on the type of vegetable you are growing, and how they like to grow. If you are growing root crops like carrots, potatoes or beet roots, then perlite will work quite well because of its lighter weight than peat moss or coconut coir. Also, if your aim is to grow larger vegetables like tomatoes or cucumbers, then perlite will work great for this also because it aerates the soil and gives it better drainage.
Some good vegetable crops are cucumber, squash, tomato, carrot and many more. You can make an excellent blend of organic soils for vegetables by using a mixture of peat moss and perlite. You may need to come up with a blend that works well with your garden area. For example if you live in a warmer climate you may need to use less perlite than if you live in a cooler climate so that your plants/vegetables do not get waterlogged.
Steps to start an organic vegetable garden
- Organic soil and mulch for your vegetable garden
Organic soils for vegetables are normally peat moss, compost or leaf mould and horticultural sand. The first step is to prepare the ground for your vegetable garden by digging in a large amount of organic soil mixed with mulch. This will allow for better drainage and air space.
- Site selection
It is important to select the right site for you vegetable garden as you want it to be easy to maintain without too much attention. Choose an area that gets full sun which is free from obstructions like trees, buildings and fences (for wind protection). Also make sure it does not flood during rainy seasons and that it has good drainage so that excess water can evaporate off quickly.
- Use organic garden fertilizer
Organic garden fertilizer can be used to feed the roots and foliage of your vegetable plants. The best time to apply fertilizer is in the spring after the vegetables have been planted. Most organic fertilizers are high nitrogen based and will increase the size of your vegetables. Nitrogen is also important for producing good tasting vegetables too! Some organic fertilizers include: blood meal, liquid fish emulsion, kelp meal, lawn clippings and cotton seed meal.
- Seedling planting
Growing seedlings is a good way to start your organic vegetables garden. You can buy seedlings at garden stores or you can plant them yourself by direct seeding or transplanting. Direct seeding seeds in the spring will let you get rid of weeding between plants, they also rarely suffer from diseases because of lack of developing roots and leaves. Direct seeding is done very easily and in early spring you should use a small drill to plant seeds in a row. Also make sure not to cover the seeds with too much soil otherwise they will get damp and rot quickly.
- Raised beds for organic gardening
Raised beds are great for growing vegetables because it allows for better drainage and aeration. Make sure that the soil has good drainage, light and air space, like perlite or peat moss. More organic soils for vegetable gardening is leaf mould and compost which will help with water retention. The best time to make raised beds is in late summer or early fall when the soil has dried out. Using raised beds to grow your vegetables will also help improve the nutrition as more sunlight will get to the vegetables roots which can make them healthier and grow larger!
- Use a drip irrigation system
If you can invest in a drip irrigation system this will really benefit your vegetable garden and make it the best organic soils for vegetable gardening! A drip irrigation system uses slow drips of water directly to your plant root zone so that they don’t get overwatered and stay damp.
- Crop rotation
You should alternate your vegetable crops so that your soil remains healthy and free from fungus or disease. It is best to alternate between legumes (beans) and vegetables such as cabbage, spinach, lettuce, beet, radish or carrots. Also make sure to keep some nitrogen-rich crops like leeks in your garden as they help with the growth of your veggies. The best organic soils for vegetable gardening are peas, squash and corn which can be used for both vegetables and beans. The beans will over grow the other crop allowing you to start a new one without destroying the root structure of beans already planted! It also keeps the ground fertile by filling in nitrogen in the soil after a crop has been harvested.
- Controlling pests
The best organic soil for vegetable gardening is not to use pesticides or insecticides to control garden pests but instead use natural repellents. You can also make your own traps for slugs and snails by filling a container with beer where they will drown in it! You can also put up yellow sticky traps near your plants which have been proven to attract some bugs.
- Watering your vegetables
You should water your gardens early in the day so that the plant doesn’t get waterlogged. Watering must be done at the roots but never on the foliage as this can cause mold and diseases to develop.
- Follow plant spacing requirements
Always check the spacing requirements to make sure your vegetable seedlings have enough room to grow. If you plant them too close together it can cause the plants to get diseases and eventually kill each other as they compete for nutrients in the soil.
- Harvest regularly
It is important that you harvest your vegetables on a regular basis so that they don’t get over mature and start rotting.
- Pick weeds regularly
Always keep an eye out for weeds taking root in your garden as these will attach themselves to your veggies and will eat away at their leaves. Pick these weeds off regularly and throw them away.
- Add compost and manure to organic soil for vegetables
If you have a small space for your vegetable garden it is also best to add some compost or manure into the soil to improve its fertility levels. Adding lots of nutrients from the outside, helps to make the soil more fertile and it can help with the growth of your plants, which can make them healthier as well as larger! You can put this down by digging a 10cm deep trench around each plant and then add some compost or manure to it.