Every year there is more interest in organic gardening. It is no wonder why. Organic produce tastes better, it is better for the environment and it is healthier for the people who consume it. But what does it take to garden organically?
There are many different ways to approach organic gardening. Some gardeners choose to go completely organic, while others will start a gradual process of eliminating chemicals from their garden. The point of this type of growing is to bring the garden and ultimately the produce to as natural of a state as possible.
Centuries ago, our ancestors grew their crops in this manner. But as technology progressed, new ways were found to combat insects, fungus, and to help plants grow larger. This new way of growing was embraced and encouraged. As a result, large farms were able to grow more and worry less about crop loss from disease and pests.
However, with the excitement over this new way of growing better crops, no one took into consideration what the chemicals were doing to the soil and the people. It wasn’t until many years later that the harmful effects were realized. Many of the chemicals that were supposed to be beneficial to the farmers have turned out to be harmful for the environment. Not only is the soil and water supply suffering, but the people who consumed the food grown this way have faced health problems.
As a result, we have come full circle. Small, organic farms and home gardens are becoming more and more popular as people turn back to growing the way nature intended. But many people are still not sure how to begin growing an organic garden.
You don’t need to jump in with both feet to get started. Your first year, begin with a small garden that you will grow without the help of any type of chemical. Now this doesn’t mean you will have to put up with pesky bugs and poor soil. By implementing natural pest control and fertilizing methods you will be able to grow delicious produce!
First of all you will want to amend your soil with organic material. This can either be compost or aged manure. Both these will help enrich your soil and allow it to retain moisture and nutrients for a healthy garden. In addition, use organic mulch such as shredded bark, grass clippings, or leaves to help keep the weeds down and hold the moisture in. Using mulch will let you cut back on how much you water the garden which will be another beneficial contribution to the environment!
As far as pest control, there are many ways to combat nuisance bugs in the garden without resorting to chemicals. Usually a simple solution made with water and a mild dishwashing liquid such as Ivory is sufficient to keep many bugs at bay. If this doesn’t work, you can use predatory insects such as parasitic wasps, praying mantis, and lady bugs to do the dirty work for you.
Growing a garden organically isn’t a difficult thing to do. It is just a matter of changing your mindset away from using chemicals. The delicious produce that you grow is worth the effort!