What is Organic Gardening?
There has been so much buzz in the last few decades on "going organic," "organic farming," and "organic gardening." It's one of the best transitions from a society using so many chemicals in everyday life.
Organic gardening is gardening without using synthetic products like chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Instead, it involves the use of only natural products in the garden. Natural products replenish natural resources as it uses them.
Organic gardeners ensure that their activities are in harmony with the ecosystem, minimizing exploitation and replenishing all the resources consumed by the garden.
There are three main objectives of organic gardening. These are soil management by using organic fertilizer, weed management by manual labor and use of organic ground covers, and pest control by promoting beneficial insects and companion planting.
Organic gardening is simple and makes you a part of the nature around you.
Why go Organic?
If you have been dabbling with the thought of following an organic path, then we hope these top reasons will convince you to make the shift.
1. All chemicals are toxic:
From respiratory problems to skin rashes and blisters, using chemicals affects your health while using them and years after as well in the form of cancer and growth defects.
2. More nutritious:
Organic vegetable gardens produce a yield with higher levels of essential antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins vital for health.
3. Helps combat environmental pollution:
It is found that organic farming would reduce emissions compared to conventional agriculture regarding factors like livestock and crop production. Since chemical fertilizers and insecticides are not used in organic gardening, soil and water pollution will be reduced.
4. Promote biodiversity:
Chemicals harm pollinators like butterflies, birds, bees, and other fauna. But if you practice organic gardening, you will be mesmerized by the insects and birds that visit your garden.
5. Maintain healthy soil:
Natural gardening practices like mulching, fertilizers, and crop rotation we make on the existing earth to make it more fertile
6. Tastier food:
Any food you grow organically tastes much better than chemically grown food.
7. Breathe easy:
It's uncomfortable to walk into a garden that uses chemicals due to the choking smell. Organic gardens don't have that issue. Instead, it lets you breathe fresh air.
How to get started?1. Understand the agro-climatic zone in which you live. That is temperature, rainfall, and other weather conditions.
2. Choose an area with about 6-8 hours of sunlight. You don't have to worry about the non-availability of space. Plants grow equally well in containers if you choose the suitable containers for the right plants.
3. Soil is the key. Make sure to use disease-free, fertile soil. You can use organic compost to enrich the soil.
4. Choose native plants because they do not require much care and are suited for the weather conditions prevailing in the region. You can also plant wildflowers or other brightly colored flowers to attract pollinators.
5. Buy untreated seeds which are free from chemicals.
6. Once the plants get established, feed the soil with organic compost.
8. To control pest attacks, use companion cropping or trap crops. Do not kill the beneficial insects in the garden. If pest infestation is too much, choose organic pesticides like citrus juice and neem oil.
9. Do not overwater the plants. It leads to diseases like root rot, seedling death, etc.
Dr. Vandana K.