Organic gardening in the truest sense means gardening without the use of any chemical substances, may they be in the form of fertilizers, pesticides, growth enhancers, etc. Some people think that if they use only small amounts of chemical fertilizers they still are producing organic. But they are wrong. Let’s tackle some of the misconceptions and issues that surround organic gardens.
Don’t get us wrong, organic gardens don’t mean just leaving them to nature. It does need fertilization and pest management as well. However, you will use materials, techniques or approaches that are truly organic.
When it comes to fertilizers, for example, organic gardens obviously need fertilizers that are either plant or animal in origin and not petroleum or chemical based as most synthetic fertilizers are made of. So this means, organic gardens will have to rely on composts, animal manures, etc to provide added nutrients to the soil that the plants needs for growth. It’s a good thing really, natural based fertilizers is less damaging to the soil in the long run that synthetic ones.
One of the many tips an expert organic grower will give you is that importance of maintaining a healthy soil. Some studies have found out that soils that are not treated with any chemical or synthetic fertilizers or herbicides grow plants that attract less pests. There are several ways to protect your soil. Covering it with vegetation or mulch will protect the soil surface from unnecessary damage from excess sun exposure and erosion from winds and rains. Remember that the top layers of the soil contain the living organisms that plants needs.
At times, organic gardens are also beleaguered by pests and you need to provide some sort of support or else your plants can easily be destroyed by aphids, worms, etc. There a number of effective alternatives for commercial chemical fertilizers. Some are readily available in your own kitchen which makes them really convenient.
Garlic and peppers for instance can be utilized as a spray against common pests. Extracts from the Neem tree is also a great weapon against leaf eating, stem boring, or flower devouring pests. Also, you should note that spiders, ladybugs, and lacewings are three of the many insects that are on your side. These insets are natural predators of aphids, worms, larvae, and other pests so treat them nicely.
Another way to manage the pests in your garden is by thinking ahead. When you planted your plants, you could also place along side them plants that are natural repellents of insects such as marigolds which are very effective against nematodes.
Sometimes, it is nice to view organic way of gardening as a means where we can contribute to the protection of nature by helping minimize the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers that are harmful to the environment. May it be a flower garden, your lawn and shrubs, a vegetable patch, or even a fruit and herbs garden, as long as you incorporate organic techniques you are helping build a better future for the next generation.
These are only a few elements that you will have to internalize when start your own organic garden. Just remember that organic gardening is a technique where emphasis is on the interaction of living organisms.