Organic gardening is essentially the same old regular gardening but without the use of any synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. However, this approach can make fighting the insects, weeds, and diseases rather difficult. Additionally, organic gardening also involves being more careful of the plant’s well being and paying close attention to soil.
The most important aspect of organic gardening is soil. Soil productivity should be taken care of meticulously and organic material added to it regularly. As a matter of fact, for plants that are grown organically, compost is very essential. Compost may be of dead flowers or leaves, vegetable scraps, grass clippings, fruit rinds, etc. A good, ideal soil looks dark in color and smells sweet and is often full of earthworms. There may be soils for which compost won’t be enough and they would require more of natural additives. These could be rock phosphates (Espoma sells a good one), bone meal (try the Espoma BM4 bone meal if you’re starting out), or greensand. The pH balance as well as the requirement of nutrients can be easily gauged by a straightforward soil test.
However, there is a thing that can cause even staunch organic gardeners think twice about pesticides. And that’s the sight of insects plaguing their plants. Well, the best way out would be to follow a preventive strategy. First of all, ensure that the plants are healthy as can be, because they fall prey to insects mostly if they are unhealthy. Also, ensure that the plants are neither too wet nor too dry.
Probably, inviting insect predators like birds, ladybugs, frogs, etc. to your garden is a good way to keep the insects away from your garden. This can be accomplished if you keep some water source in the vicinity or grow nectar producing plants that may attract certain insects. Other methods include using plant collars, sticky traps, and barriers. Alternatively, certain items of house like garlic, hot pepper, or insecticidal soaps also prevent insects.
Plant diseases may also be avoided if you select plants that are disease resistant and take care to plant them in prime conditions. Constant moisture along with bad circulation of air may also be a cause for diseases. So ensure that the plant site and watering regime and methods is well suite to the plant.
Organic mulch can behave as a weed barrier, however, more enhanced protection can be ensured by putting a newspaper layer or similar under the mulch. Be persistent if you wish to prevent weeds. Make sure you mulch well and thereafter pull and hoe properly. Thus, doing this consistently will make your garden weed-free in a few seasons.
Organic gardening is a healthy way of caring for your plants in a natural, pesticide manner. It may, for sure, take a bit more care and time as compared to regular gardening, but it definitely is worth that extra time.