What Does Organic Mean?
Many people believe the term organic gardening simply means not using any synthetic chemicals in the garden, but to others organic gardening is much more.
Organic gardening is defined as a way of growing plants in a sustainable system based on nature through practices such as building the soil and managing pests with a variety of means, including organic pesticides when needed. This is called Integrated Pest Management.
In nature, plants and animals die and are consumed by other insects, animals and microbes, releasing nutrients back into the garden for the use of more plants. When we harvest our gardens, we remove nutrients and organic material that would otherwise be recycled in the garden.
The basic concepts of organic gardening include using soil, compost, vegetable scraps, grass clippings, manure and shredded leaves.
Choose the right plants for the right area. Choose plants that are disease resistant and monitor your plants for problems at least weekly. I do this every two days and eliminate pests before they take control. Keep them properly fertilized by checking with a soil test.
Adjust your tolerance levels. Learn to accept some leaf spots, blemishes or a few insects. Keep your garden clean and remove sources of disease and insects. Use proper crop rotation at least every two years. Encourage natural enemies. Plant a variety of species of plants that attract beneficial insects. Space plants properly for good air circulation so more sunlight reaches plants. Plants grouped too closely will not dry and make them susceptible to disease. Use barriers to prevent problems such as row covers, plant collars and fences. Use mulch, pull weeds and use only non-synthetic fertilizer.
Since the 40s, more and more chemicals have been used in gardening: chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides…
Organic growers do not use these chemicals and work with nature to produce their crops. They vary the crops they grow on the same land in order to control the pests and diseases. Changing the crops each year (rotation) keeps a balance of nutrients in the soil. And they feed the soil with organic compost, of course!
A well-balanced organic environment encourages nature’s own pest controllers too, like ladybirds, which eat aphids (insect pests). There is no need for chemical pesticides!
For further info on starting your own gardens, or anything related to gardening, get in touch with Vandana at 8880482000 or send in a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Credits: WiscNews & RosaliaconCiencia