There’s a new garden in town. It is (mostly) easy to install, looks good
year-round, requires almost no maintenance and has a terrifically upbeat impact
on the environment. No wonder rain gardens are such a great new gardening trend!
Organic systems recognize that our health is directly connected to the health of the food we eat and, ultimately, the health of the soil.
Here are some of the main features of organic growing:
– Organic growing severely restricts the use of artificial chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
– Instead, organic growers rely on developing a healthy, fertile soil and growing a mixture of crops.
– Genetically modified (GM) crops and ingredients are not allowed under organic standards.
Going organic may mean that you have to make a trade-off between glossy, same same supermarket looks with better tasting crops that aren’t perfect in shape or size, but many gardeners think this is a price worth paying. You’ll be able to grow different crops that are always relatively expensive to buy in supermarkets and at farmers markets and, growing your own vegetables is both fun and rewarding.
More farmers are getting into organic vegetable gardening because it is cost effective and they are able to produce almost the same yield of crops. You to can do this at home but first, you have to understand the principles of organic vegetable gardening.
First, organic vegetable gardening does not use any fertilizers, nutrients or pesticides. Nature is your partner here because you will be using two things to make it all work namely sunlight and water. We donít produce these ourselves but you have to find the ideal area and provide adequate drainage.
Aside from sunlight and water, you can help the crops grow by using compost heap from leftover food, chipped bark, garden compost, leaf moulds and manure. You can mix these all together and then spread this throughout your garden.
A lot of people are grossed about by manure. You donít have to scoop this from the toilet because this is sold in stores. If you have a dog, put on some gloves and put it there. Chickens are also great to have. Just let them roam around in the garden.
Some people use dead animals or meat products. You donít put these in the soil but leave it for a couple of weeks in the bin because maggots will soon appear and this is what you use to help fertilize your garden.
Another helpful creature is the earthworm because it digs deep into the ground and aerates the soil bringing various minerals to the surface which also provides better drainage. This long pink colored creature also leaves casting behind that experts say is five times as rich in nitrogen phosphorous and potassium. Again, this can be purchased from the gardening store.
Organic garden is challenging since you have to deal with unwanted guests. Some of these pests include armyworms, crickets, gypsy moth caterpillars, slugs and squash bugs. Before, people used fertilizer to kill them but in an organic setting, the best weapon is the toad that is known to eat more almost every type of insect. If you have caterpillars or spiders lurking in the garden, get a bird because this is not in the toad’s diet.
In some cases, you donít have to buy a toad or a bird from the pet store. They may come in to your home as long as you set the ideal environment for them. You can put up a bird house or a small pond. Within days, you will have some new occupants protecting your garden.
Other insect killers which you can get to do the job include the preying mantis and the ladybug because they mark their territory and eat anything that dares enter their domain.
Plants can also be used to protect your vegetables. For example, the rosemary, sage or thyme is an effective deterrent against butterflies. Marigolds on the other hand are effective against nematodes.
But despite all the flowers and creatures that nature has to offer, crop rotation is seen as the best way to keep the soil fertile. If you planted this kind of vegetable for this season, change it with another and the return to the first after this one is harvested.
The principles behind organic gardening are very simple. You just have to be practice it so you can harvest the vegetables you have planted weeks ago.