A former middle school history teacher and counselor, Douglas “Doug” Grant worked at San Antonio, Texas’ Northside ISD from 1987 to 2013, during which time he coordinated multiple recreation programs and served as a campus life volunteer and teacher sponsor. In his free time, Douglas Grant enjoys organic vegetable gardening.
Creating an organic vegetable garden in your own backyard can be easy if you take the right steps. For starters, you should focus not only on vegetables you and your family actually eat, but ones that are known to thrive in your local climate. Cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and string beans are popular choices because they will produce for months. Knowing where to plant is just as vital as knowing what to plant. Choose an area that offers at least six hours of direct sunlight in your main growing season and make sure to protect your garden bed from high winds by positioning it near a wall or behind bushes, or by erecting a sturdy trellis.
You should also have the soil in your garden tested for nutrient deficiency and ph level, whether through the local cooperative extension office or by a do-it-yourself method. This will help you to determine how to improve the soil for the particular vegetables you plan on growing. If the soil is rocky in the area you choose, consider constructing a raised bed vegetable garden instead. Organic seeds can be purchased at local garden centers and retail outlets, and there are also reputable mail-order companies such as the Sustainable Seed Co. and High Mowing Organic Seeds, among others, that ship 100 percent certified organic seeds.