Posted August 21, 2011 by atanas in Farming
 
 

How to Grow the Top 5 Organic Vegetables

These are the top 5 vegetables that you really should be getting organic because they hold the greatest load of chemical residue when bought conventionally. So why no grow them yourself? They are all really easy to grow and have a lot of uses in the kitchen.

Tomatoes

Most people think of tomatoes when they think of home gardening, so its no shock that they are one of the top vegetables that people grow themselves. They’re easy to grow and usually produce a pretty sizable harvest of bright red fruit. Tomatoes can be planted by seed, but these heat-loving plants do very well planted as seedlings as soon as you have passed your local frost date. Even a light frost will kill a tomato plant. Plant them in a location with full sun.

Learning how to grow tomatoes is easy and most people think of tomatoes when they think of home gardening, so its no shock that they are one of the top vegetables that people grow themselves. They’re easy to grow and usually produce a pretty sizable harvest of bright red fruit. Tomatoes can be planted by seed, but these heat-loving plants do very well planted as seedlings as soon as you have passed your local frost date. Even a light frost will kill a tomato plant. Plant them in a location with full sun.

Variations range from tiny cherry tomatoes to large beefsteak ones, so you can choose based on how you plan on using them. Bush tomatoes stay compact, but vining tomatoes can get large and will need a cage or trellis to keep them off the ground. Pick them when they have completely turned red, unless you have a recipe for green tomatoes.

Spinach

Though they like sun, spinach needs cool weather to grow. Start your seeds about a month before your last frost date for the best results. You need to be able to harvest your heads of spinach before the weather gets too hot, or the plant will shoot up a seed head (called bolting) and it will be too bitter to eat after that.

You can take advantage of the seasonality of spinach, by planting again after the warm weather has passed. A fall crop will work just fine. Either spring or fall, you’ll need a good load of compost or natural fertilizer for spinach to thrive. Harvest the whole head, or just pick individual leaves as you need them.

Potatoes

You usually grow potatoes by planting other small potatoes rather than as actual seeds. You can buy seed potatoes at most garden stores in the spring, or you can even use potatoes from the grocery store. All they need are a few of the bumps, or “eyes” on them. That’s where they sprout from.

Plant them in a sunny spot about a week before your last frost day. Dig the soil well so your plant can put down good roots and so your potatoes aren’t misshapen as they grow. They will be large plants so leave a couple feet between them. As your plants grow, you may see potatoes forming just under the soil. Add more dirt to keep them covered. In the fall, the top of the plant will start to yellow and die off. That’s when you go digging for your potato harvest.

Sweet Bell Peppers

Be prepared to water often if you want to grow bell peppers. They need constant moisture or you can have bitter fruit at harvest time. Never let them dry right out. Put seeds or seedlings out only once the soil is warmed up, and choose a sunny location.

They need a long growing season, so you’ll have best success if you have at least 3 months of very warm and sunny weather. Since bell peppers come in green, yellow and red varieties, you’ll need to watch their color to know when to harvest. Only when they’ve completely changed color are they ready to eat. With green ones, just pick them once they reach a reasonable size.

Zucchini

Zucchini isn’t high on the contaminants list but is a long-time favorite for home growing because it produces so much food with just a couple of plants. It’s the perfect choice for a new gardener because it needs little work and you get a lot back. Plant your seeds after your frost date, and allow a lot of room for each plant to spread out or get a trellis and let them grow upwards. Water often and give them lots of natural fertilizer (compost or manure)

Harvest the fruits any time but if you let them grow too large, they won’t be as tasty or tender.


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