Love gardening? want to know organic gardening and it’s benefits? Check out this beginners Guide to Organic Gardening and its benefits.
What is Organic Gardening?
There are several people, including gardeners, who do not fully understand what organic gardening is and how to set up an organic garden. Essentially, organic gardening is the cultivation of plants, fruits, and vegetables without using any synthetic products like pesticides and chemical fertilizers. It encompasses the use of just natural products to grow plants and also aims to replenish the natural resources used by the garden. The inspiration behind organic gardening is to consider plants as a small fragment of the greater natural ecosystem that includes soil, insects, water supply, and people. This makes organic gardening so much more than merely evading the use of synthetic products.
Everybody wants the food we eat and serve our families to be safe and healthy, and this should be not just for us but also the environment. A pure organic gardener endeavors to ensure that their activities do not exploit the natural resources consumed by their garden; on the contrary, strive to replenish it and encourage undertaking that is in harmony with the ecosystem.
The fundamentals of organic gardening require cultivation accentuated towards creating an ecosystem that sustains and nourishes soil microbes and plants, whilst also benefiting insects instead of just putting seeds in the land and letting them grow.
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How to Maintain Organic Gardening Objectives?
As discussed above, the aim of organic gardening is not just to grow plants but also to ensure that the environment and natural resources surrounding us are not exploited or harmed. Therefore, to achieve this endeavor, there are three core areas that need monitoring to uphold organic gardening objectives.
- Soil Management: This is dealt with using only organic and natural fertilizers that also replenish the natural resources consumed by the garden.
- Weed Management: This is managed by the use of organic ground coverings and manual labor.
- Pest Control: Pest control is ensured by using companion planting and promoting beneficial insects.
These three areas are the most vital to ensure successful organic gardening. Accurate knowledge is essential and involves simple basic lessons to get reliable results. Organic gardening is as simple as the use of companion planting, relying on intermingling plant varieties, dense planting to offer support to vulnerable plants, and promoting natural systems to minimize the spread of pests and diseases.
If anything could be called a rule in organic gardening, it is this: feed the soil, not the plant!
7 Benefits of Organic Gardening
Discussed below are the several benefits of having an organic garden. Learn the benefits of organic gardening.
Reduces Pesticide Intake
Organic gardening emphasizes the use of only natural and safe products to grow plants and curbs the use of pesticides. Resulting in pesticide and chemical-free crops that are safe and healthy to consume for you and your loved ones.
Organic gardening promotes good health as the final product is free from any toxic ingredient and synthetically enriched chemicals. Due to this, vegetables and fruits grown in such a garden are save from chemical residues that enter the body during consumption.
The produce from an organic garden is proven to be healthier and contains higher vitamin and mineral contents than grown by pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and herbicides.
Several pieces of research have confirmed that organically grown produce contains higher nutrient concentrations such as vitamins C and D. Furthermore, organic gardening provides an added benefit of exercising the body from manual labor, which includes planting, harvesting, and weeding. This makes gardening a meaningful and enjoyable pursuit and also aids in boosting physical exercise.
Safeguards the Environment
Using chemicals in the form of fertilizers to grow crops is one of the significant ways humans pollute the environment. Chemicals that are applied or sprayed on the plants seethe through the dirt into the water, putting the microorganisms at risk. Moreover, when crops are sprayed with chemical solutions, the wind carries away the toxic particles into the atmosphere and results in air pollution. Thus, implementing and embracing organic gardening is one of the finest ways to ensure and maintain a healthy environment.
Organic gardens massively aid in preserving the ecosystem by promoting toxin-free and environment friendly gardening practices. It ensures maintaining an ecological balance by limiting the disturbance to the natural environment. It keeps the ecosystem safe for birds, insects, and tiny animals by evading chemical use. Additionally, the use of organic fertilizers ensures the wellbeing of the soil and replenishes it to promote environmental health.
Limits Carbon Runoff
Greenhouse gases are released from plants that involve any form of chemicals during the cultivation process. These gases combine with other toxic impurities present in the air and pose a direct risk to the air we breathe. To make things worse, these gases also contribute significantly to escalating global warming and leading to destructive damages to the environment.
Organically grown fruits and vegetables possess a better taste and scent due to their natural cultivation compared to those grown commercially. Vegetables and fruits that are grown commercially cannot encompass or beat the taste of natural flavors of organically grown products to a considerable extent. Organic gardening is not just right for your health, but it also provides refreshing delight to your taste buds.
Organic gardening can play a massive role in saving money by growing your fruits and vegetable gardens. Saving money is something that everyone wants to do, but it can be achieved only by initiating small activities like home growing fruits and veggies. Several studies reveal that organ gardening allows people to save fifty percent of their money previously used to buy vegetables and fruits from the supermarket or other perishable stores.
Ask any organic gardener about what they think or feel while planting the seeds, tilling the soil or cutting weeds in their garden; you will most probably hear them say that it brings them closer to nature, makes them feel as if they are part of something grander, or it’s like prayer time or meditation for them.
The outdoor environment offers a refreshing means to gardeners and allows them to connect with nature, feel the sunshine, and fresh air, which acts as a stress reliever for several people.
There are a few benefits of organic gardening.
Step by Step Guide to Set Up an Organic Garden
The following is a step by step guide on how to start an organic garden:
Step 1: Prepare the Soil
The soil is the most crucial resource of organic gardening. Optimal quality soil is achieved through the constant addition of natural substances to the earth that are locally available. To have healthy plants, it is necessary to prepare the cultivated land they will grow on thoroughly.
Like human beings, plants also require nourishment and nutrients to bloom, and in this case, it comes from the soil. Thus, ensure that the plants receive fresh and adequate nutrients, which is possible only if the ground is adequately conditioned.
Additionally, before cultivating the land for plants, it is vital to check it’s pH level. This can be done by collecting some soil samples, sending them to your local agricultural extension office for testing and analysis, or directly purchasing a home testing kit to do it yourself.
This is was the first step to set up an organic garden.
Step 2: Make Fine Quality Compost
The next step is to make an excellent quality compost, which will provide plants with necessary nutrients, conserve water, reduce weeds, keep the produce, and the yard waste out of landfills.
Compost can be made or obtained from available natural resources such as kitchen waste, leaves, yard garbage or remains, and grass trimmings. Moreover, premade compost is also readily available for sale from organic garden centers or mulch suppliers.
Step 3: Prepare the Garden
Once you’ve attained the soil sample results and the compost, the next step is to prepare the garden area for cultivation. Use the available gardening tool to prepare the land without destroying the soil carefully.
Step 4: Choose Plants
After preparing the garden soil, it is time to select the right plants for your organic garden. Soil testing results will come useful in this stage as they tell you which type of plants will thrive in micro-conditions of your soil. Carefully select plants that flourish in different areas of the garden in terms of light, moisture, drainage, and soil quality. It is vital to remember that the healthier the plants are, the more resistant they will be to attackers as the right site ensures higher natural defenses.
Additionally, choosing the right crops to plant according to the garden climate and condition will ensure better growth and productivity with minimal input. Another crucial aspect of organic gardening is to purchase seedlings that are grown without synthetic chemicals and pesticides.
Step 5: Plant Seedlings in Beds
When planting the seedlings, ensure they are done in wide beds as it prevents gardeners from walking over them and damaging the soil surface while harvesting or attending the plants. Furthermore, grouping crops can reduce weeding, control water wastage, and make it easier to apply compost. Moreover, it enables yields to consume available nutrients and water.
Lastly, ensure that there is sufficient space between each row as it promotes circulation and repels fungal attacks.
Step 6: Water the Crops
Once the seedlings are planted, the next step is to water them. It is ideal for watering the crops instantly after planting as it gives them the much-needed water to grow and bloom.
Ideally, it is recommended to water plants in the morning when the weather is cooler, and there are no strong winds. Moreover, the evaporation of water is significantly less in the morning than it is at noon.
Step 7: Pull Out Weeds
Weeds diminish crop yield by competing for space, light, water, and soil nutrients. In agricultural crops, they can downgrade crop quality by contaminating the produce. They can provide shelter to insects and serve as hosts for diseases. Weeding may require hard work, but it is essential to maintain your plants’ health and quality.
Step 8: Provide Nourishment and Nutrients
Organic gardening requires gardeners to look for eco-friendly means to protect their plants from toxic fertilizers and pesticides. Therefore, ensure that the crops receive adequate nutrients, light, and moisture to grow well.
Pro tip: Diverse gardens help to prevent pests and boost biodiversity.
Organic gardening encourages companion planting and supports beneficial insects. Instead of using harsh chemicals, pest control is done by keeping diseases and pests below damaging levels. This is majorly achieved through promoting pest predators and beneficial insects such as birds, bats, lizards, spiders, and toads.
Natural pesticides or sprays can also be used for pest control. These are readily available at organic garden centers and contain neem oil, the bacterium Bacillus, and minerals like copper. Such natural pesticides break down quickly and, therefore, are widely used nowadays instead of synthetic chemical pesticides.
Step 9: Use Organic Fertilizers
As much as organic compost and matter will improve nutrient and water retention in the soil, the supply of the necessary nutrients for productive and healthy growth is limited. Therefore, organic gardening demands extra fertilizers made up of natural sources, such as natural deposits like rock phosphate, plant products like wood ash, and animal manures and byproducts.
Agricultural lime made up of limestone is also a natural product often added to the soil to improve its quality by optimizing the pH if the soil is too acidic.
Step 10: Maintain the Garden
There are a few crucial garden maintenance practices that promote healthy cultivation and harvest of plants. Few of these practices include:
- Use high-quality natural compost
- Proper watering
- Using natural animal manure
- Weeding at the right times
- Prune regularly to ensure appropriate aeration and efficient use of nutrients
These are the 10 steps to set up an organic garden on your own.
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Organic gardening is beneficial for both the environment and the people. However, it requires a lot of hard work and patience to maximize benefits of organic gardening. Therefore, first, learn how to set up an organic garden and ensure that you preserve the environment in which you grow your healthy fresh produce!
I am Elsa, love gardening. I spent lots of time with plants, flowers, it gives me lots of happiness.
I am sharing all the practical tips on how to grow various plants, flower plants, vegetables in the garden. Read more about me.