Successful organic gardens begin with soil preparation; all plants need food and nutrients abundant in well prepared soil. The ground must be broken up and tilled with hand or machine tools, usually a choice that depends upon the size of the plot. For beginners, garden hand tools and an 8-foot square space are a good combination.
Soil preparation is the foundation. Raise the ground by adding topsoil inside a framework of railroad ties, wooden posts, or boards. Tilling is a chance to add drainage, fertilizer, air, and loosen the garden bed. One can mix some sand for drainage, and some organic fertilizer into the bed while tilling. Many gardeners plant a late fall crop to plow under in the spring. Organic top soil with manure is excellent and is available at garden centers everywhere.
Next, one should carefully plan the garden. One can grow vegetables, herbs, flowers, and fruits by organic methods. There are favorites for success depending on the region and weather conditions. One can select any combination that fits the space allowed. One is simply better off in planning rather than choosing spontaneously. Space needs vary by the plant, and the growing season for each species is a factor.
Gardeners should avoid the late frosts. A hard freeze will damage or kill most garden plants. An almanac is a handy way to help guess about the frost. Another way is to plant cool weather plants and protect them if a late freeze occurs. Glass or plastic covers over the garden bed can keep enough heat in the air, and ground to let a mild freeze pass. Potatoes are particularly good at this, if a frost kills the above ground stem, it will grow a new one.
Lastly, if planting vegetables, use heirloom seeds where possible. The taste and textures of heirloom vegetables are remarkable as each are selected for some beneficial reason such as taste, abundant yields, and adaptation to local weather and soil conditions.
Heirloom tomatoes and potatoes are excellent additions to a beginning organic garden.
Heirloom tomatoes have a rich and rewarding taste. Heirloom potatoes grow well and easily in every climate, yield abundant harvests, and will add noticeably improved food qualities when compared to the grocery store potatoes. Heirloom potatoes come in a wide variety, and one can plant an assortment by picking a fingerling, a medium potato like Yukon Gold, and a large prolific type like Kennebec. The yields are impressive; one potato cut into eight sections can yield a harvest of 80 potatoes.