Organic Gardening, How Does It Work and Getting Started
Simply put organic gardening is growing food without chemical pesticides, herbicides and inorganic fertilisers. It relies on beneficial insects, diversity of plants, and using compost to supply the soil with nutrients.
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Organic Gardening, How Does It Work?
In organic gardening, you should consider your plants as part of the more extensive natural system beginning with the soil and including the water supply, the wildlife; insects and people. Benefits associated with organic gardening include your health from the physical activities with gardening and the healthy food an organic garden produces.
Organic gardening has a focus on improving soil health. It adds carbon to the soil, which, promotes healthy plants through the natural use of composted materials. One of the leading practices of organic gardening is continually building the health of the soil through the addition of organic matter in compost, mulch or by growing cover crops.
Replenish the Natural Resources as They Are Used
Organic gardeners will recycle plant waste from their gardens and kitchens and return the nutrients back to the soil by making compost. And instead of focusing on feeding individual plants, organic gardening focuses on feeding the soil.
The soil is tilled and prepared using gathered mulch, composted manure or food and leaf remains. When you pick a position, consider light exposure, soil drainage, soil fertility and pesticide contamination. Choose a spot with good drainage by keeping clear of soils where water pools for long periods.
So getting your soil health up to scratch and giving your plants their best chance to thrive. Making sure it’s alive and filled with millions of microscopic organisms that break down organic matter and provide it as nutrients to plants.
- Gardeners grow what they like to eat.
- It’s a simple approach to working with nature.
- Garden size will depend on the space and time you have.
- For the novice gardener, just a few basics will start you.
If this is your first-time organic gardening, start a compost pile now to help enrich the soil, but remember, it takes a while for compost to break down to use in your garden. Your healthy soil is the key to healthy plants and an abundant harvest without chemical additives.
Remember, when it’s not in the soil, it’s not in our food. Applying a good organic fertiliser or soil enhancer before you plant is like giving your soil, and your plants a superfood snack. This is well worth doing especially in newly created gardens.
Well draining soil encourages your plants to produce strong roots.
The philosophy of organic gardening is more than holistic. It is about nurturing the entire ecosystem in your vegetable garden from the soil upwards, including water supply, climate, wildlife and insects. The same with all organic gardening, good soil preparation is essential for optimal plant growth and blooms.
When you’ve got healthy soil and growing vegetables, all that’s left is weeding, watering, preventing insect damage and enjoying fresh, homegrown produce. Healthy organic soil is teeming with life, not just earthworms and insects, but a staggering multitude of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms.
Organic Gardening Growing Food without Chemicals
Conventional gardening relies on pesticides that remain present in foods, even after harvesting. Everyone would like the food we serve to our families and also our environment to be safe and healthy.
The best advantage is that you can feed organic produce to your family and pets, knowing that nothing in the food is unhealthy. Also that it is free of harmful chemicals. With organically grown food more popular than ever before, it’s helpful to learn the difference between organic and conventional gardening.
There Is Less Risk of Contamination from Toxic Chemicals
With the large corporations that control most of our food supply and farmland, the concern is profit, not human health. If you can’t be comfortable eating the food, then there is no point it letting it grow, right?
Compost helps by providing your plants with nutrients, helps conserve water, helps in the reduction of weeds and helps in keeping food and yard waste out of landfills. Organic mulch, including straw or composted leaves, will help keep down the weeds. Also retaining moisture and allowing oxygen to reach the roots of your plants so they can grow strong.
Why Is It Important to Grow Your Own Food?
When you grow your own food, it can have many health benefits. It can help you to eat more fresh vegetable and fruit. You decide that only natural products come in contact with your food. You’ll also find that vegetables grown in your own garden have more nutrients than many commercially grown vegetables that have to be picked early.
The best compost forms from the right ratio of nitrogen, and carbon-rich organic waste, and is mixed with soil, water, and air. Adding organic matter by using compost in the soil increases its capacity to retain moisture and nutrients and supports beneficial microbes, which are essential to healthy plant growth.
As a grower, you want to be sure your crops are thriving and that you are not using chemicals, and you are wary of diseases and pests. Understanding the simple basics of this practice and what it involves will help you have healthy and productive plants no matter what growing method you follow.
Organic gardening focuses on only natural products to grow plants. Mentally, organic gardening offers a deep satisfaction in knowing you are helping to turn the tide back for a healthy earth, healthy plants and animals, and healthy people.
Can be a better source of produce than commercial agriculture.
What you can plant and harvest will depend on when your specific planting and the growing season starts and finishes and how long it lasts. For example, you need to know how many hours of direct sunlight your plants can receive and where the shadows fall in the afternoon.
Growing vegetable plants every year demands much from your soil because they take a lot of nutrients out of your garden every season. As your plants grow, they use up the nutrients in the soil, and these need to be replenished in natural fertiliser.
Unwanted Bugs and Pests
The two most significant threats to your organic garden are likely to be weeds and pests. Controlling pests and invasive plants are indeed much more challenging when you are not using pesticides and herbicides.
With organic gardening, many of the typical pesticides are off-limits. However, there are still many great ways to keep the pests out! Removing disease infected leaves or plants, rotating crops, so you are not growing the same type in the same spot each year. And handpicking insect pests and eggs all help to suppress pest populations.
Creating This Ecosystem Begins with Improving the Soil
Other methods may include managing soil fertility, not allowing weeds to grow, and mulching. Beneficial insects, including ladybugs, can help control garden pests by feeding on them. And you could grow plants that repel pests with their scent or chemical make-up.
There are an array of tools to bolster plant health and ward off pests. Floating row covers are one of the best ways to keep a large variety of problems away out of your vegetables and flowers.
By using crop rotation, you will help to keep your soil healthy and end the life cycle of pests and diseases that have made themselves comfortable. The best defence against pests in your garden is keeping your plants healthy, but at some point, most gardeners must do battle with insects or disease in their garden.
- The soil feed’s and nurtures our vegetables.
- A way of growing food in harmony with nature.
- Weeds compete with your crops for sunlight, food and water.
- Starting from seed will help you save money and offers more diversity.
Healthier plants are not as attractive to pests, and, can withstand an attack better than an unhealthy one. Helping you maintain a garden without synthetic pesticides or fertilisers.
Organic farmers achieve natural bug control by using companion planting and beneficial insects, such as the ladybug, to rid the garden of pests, like aphids, that destroy crops. Predatory insects feed on pests like aphids or caterpillars.
Replace those nutrients, so your plants keep growing and thriving.
Organic gardeners avoid using synthetic pesticides and fertilisers on their plants as these can be harmful to beneficial insects, people and other elements of the ecosystem. Since chemicals like pesticides linger in the soil, atmosphere, and waterways long after application, long term chemical use can alter soil health and structure.
Natural sprays or pesticides can be used besides other natural pest control methods. Their ability to break down quickly has promoted their wide use in place of synthetic chemical pesticides.
Your Garden Will Be Worth the Time and Effort
But most importantly have fun, enjoy the time spent in your garden and have the satisfaction of growing healthy food for your family. Don’t forget, if you try growing a vegetable and it doesn’t work, you can try something else next time.
After the first few plants, you’ll be amazed at how natural and comfortable it is to grow healthy plants and enjoy tasty organic produce. And remember, growing vegetables, herbs, and flowers organically means your garden becomes a beautiful haven for birds, bees, and butterflies.
Moist Soil, Leave It Alone, Dry Soil, Time to Water
Organic vegetables and fruits contain scent and taste much better due to their natural growth compared to those grown commercially. Nutritionally, organic vegetable and fruits may contain up to 40% more antioxidants and higher levels of essential trace minerals.
Eliminate all existing weeds first before mulching. Only use mulches that are weed-free and come from a reliable source. Otherwise, you could introduce more weeds to your garden.
What Makes My Plants Organic?
Organic gardening is the phrase used to determine that the flowers, vegetables, fruit or herbs that are grown have not been subjected to chemical or synthetic herbicides or fertilisers. An organic garden uses only natural methods of unwanted bug control and natural ways of improving the soil and feeding plants.
Choose disease-resistant varieties of plants that can be spaced a little closer together, giving weeds less room to find a home. However, the most effective method for keeping out weeds is to pull them up at the root by hand or hoe.
Feed your plants consistently, adding in compost regularly throughout your gardening season. Organic material in your soil can be increased by adding manure, topsoil, peat moss, compost and other suitable materials.
Manure should be composted unless you aren’t harvesting or planting anything for two months after application. You could dig the compost through your soil after removing dead plants and use as a mulch to put around existing plants.
A healthy soil helps decrease the chance of attracting unwanted insects.
Regularly adding your own organic compost to the veggie patch is a good way to boost soil health and also increase its ability to hold nutrients. The ingredients of a good organic compost are readily available in most homes from your lawn or garden if you have one and from your kitchen.
To grow disease and pest-resistant crops, you need to work closely with the soil. You will have to amend the soil frequently to ensure that it provides all the nutrients that crops need to thrive.