Nothing could be better than fresh, home grown, organic produce that tastes terrific. But what does organic gardening really mean? Can you trust the labels? Can you be sure that organic produce is really chemical free?
What Organic Gardening Is NOT
It’s important to understand that organic gardening is not just a matter of substituting a dangerous chemical pesticide for a natural one. Whenever I ask a class of gardeners how to define organic, invariably, the first thing they say is that it’s about not using chemical pesticides. It involves so much more than that. A natural pesticide is actually the last thing that is used by good organic gardeners. Organic is an holistic approach to gardening, looking at many aspects that go into growing healthy plants.
What Organic Gardening Really Is
A natural eco-system is aimed for when using organic principles. Creating ecological diversity within the garden will allow natural predators to do the job of pest control for you and you won’t even need to use an insecticide. But more importantly, soil fertility is the key to any successful organic garden. The aim of the gardener should be to concentrate on growing, not killing. Soil holds the life blood for plants. If we put 90% of our effort into developing great soil, then the rest will take care of itself. Recycling nutrients through compost and using natural fertilizers like manures and rock dust are all elements employed in organic gardening.
The other 10% should involve good plant selection for the site and climate – if you grow plants out of season then they’re bound to have problems. Plant selection also considers what combination of plants work well together, so crop rotation and companion planting are also important principles to use.
Organic Principles for the Whole Garden
You can use the principles of organic gardening for your whole garden … it’s not just about your veggie patch. When you use these principles you restore life back into lifeless soil, you help reduce further environmental damage and you ensure a safer place for you and your family.
The Veggie Lady