Organic gardening starts by building up the soil so it is fertile, choosing suitable seeds and plants, starting seedlings indoors in early spring and then planting the hardiest ones outside. Organic gardening refers to gardening without chemical pesticides or fertilizer.
Working compost and natural fertilizer into the garden area for about a year builds up the soil. Suitable fertilizers include seaweed extracts, fish emulsion or manure from cows, goats, chickens or rabbits.
Some organic gardeners use heirloom seeds because seeds from successive seasons may be saved and used again. Hybrid plants and seeds can be grown for resistance to insects and disease. Some organic gardens have a mix of hybrid and heirloom vegetables.
Growing seeds indoors in late winter or early spring allows the gardener to thin out the weakest, planting only the healthiest in the garden after any chance of frost has passed.
Placing mulch around the plants keeps moisture in the soil. Some plants may require tubes made from plastic bottles with the bottoms and tops cut off to deter worms, caterpillars and slugs. Placing shredded newsprint between the rows keeps down weeds that attract bugs; the soy ink is harmless. Some gardeners use mesh to keep flying insects out.
Planting certain vegetables with certain other vegetables can help increase yield and deter pests. Gardening Know How features a long table of companion plants that complement each other.