Organic gardening is the new black. Well actually it’s probably in vogue from at least a few seasons ago, but it’s still a wonderful way to grow plants that you and your family can enjoy. This one isn’t going out of fashion anytime soon. Organic gardening is better than traditional gardening because it’s healthy for both humans and the earth.
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What Is Organic Gardening?
Organic gardening is different from traditional gardening in one major way – it is powered by natural processes instead of synthetic additives. On one level, this means that an organic gardener uses animal and vegetable fertilizers instead of chemically produced ones. It also means abstaining from the use of industrial pesticides and instead relying on natural pest control. In addition to these basics, another fundamental element of organic gardening is the proper choice of crops and the associated effective rotation of these crops throughout the year. In this way, a gardener can tap into the natural properties of the plants to build a nutrient-rich soil.
Tried and Tested
Organic gardening methods were a mainstay of the human race for many years, including the hyper-growth period between the Agricultural Revolution and up until the mid-1800’s, at which point industrial agricultural chemicals were developed. In the last 50 years, there has been some resurgence in the idea of moving away from gardening with chemicals and back towards working with the earth on a natural level.
The Benefits Of Organic Gardening
One of the main benefits of organic gardening is that crops can be grown without killing off the surrounding ecosystem and destroying the natural balance of the environment in the process. Although the scorched earth method may deliver results in the beginning, overtime it wears down and depletes the soil, whereas organic gardening not only maintains the balance but also leads to more productive soil in the future.
What’s more, although somewhat subjective, it can be argued that organic gardening also produces food that is both healthier and tastier. This is because organic plants are grown in soil that has a proper balance of nutrients, and which therefore produces stronger plants and food that have absorbed those healthy nutrients in high amounts.
Nevertheless, probably the greatest benefit of organic gardening is that it reduces the health risk of using chemical pesticides. This isn’t to be understated, as chemical pesticides have now been shown to be carcinogenic. Combine this with the fact that organic gardening also prevents pollution of groundwater with toxic chemicals and you’ve got a pretty compelling set of benefits.
All Natural Fertilizers
Where do all natural fertilizers come from? Unsurprisingly, they come from both animal and vegetable sources. Animal fertilizer for organic gardening is made from the fermented waste of animals, most notably cattle and poultry. By fermenting these animals’ manure, it increases the nutrient value and this is then passed on to the plants. Poultry such as chicken is often chosen as a source because their droppings are dense and full of nitrogen, which is good for the soil. However, beyond cows and chickens there are many types that can be used, such as bat guano, fish waste or bone meal (powdered animal bones).
The most popular way to create wonderful vegetable fertilizer is through composting. Compost is made in an enclosed area where household and yard wastes are mixed together and stored. When combined this way, microorganisms can quickly and easily break it down, giving it the nitrogen that it needs. There’s quite an art to creating good compost, so if you’re interested then you’ll want to do some more research.
There are several ways to control pests naturally. One is to use good fertilizer and rotate crops regularly; gardens with only one crop are just asking for trouble. Do some research into the great potato famine of Ireland to see what we’re talking about. Another method is to stock the garden with insects that eat pests, such as ladybugs, praying mantises and certain types of wasps. There are also all-natural organic sprays that use common household goods such as canola oil, peppers, and baking soda. Or you can also build insect traps using plastic containers and a little bit of that good old fashioned household favourite – beer!
If you haven’t tried organic gardening before then perhaps it’s time to give it a shot. The methods have been honed to perfection over the millennia, so the reality is that it works well, plain and simple. Chances are that with the increased awareness in the health effects of our food choices we’ll see organic gardening taking much more of a centre stage in the years ahead.
We hope you’ve liked this organic gardening article, brought to you by United Home Services, one of Australia’s largest cleaning franchises. Take a look at their article on Five Amazingly Cheap and Easy Eco Cleaning Ideas for more great tips.