Updated: Apr 4
Organic gardens are healthy, sustainable, vibrant and rich in biodiversity. Its all about working with nature and minimize human impact on environment.
When it comes to organic gardening, there are two main principles:
- no use of chemical fertilizers
- no use of chemical pesticides, fungicides, herbicides
So how do you feed and protect your plants?
Feeding plants is not the best approach. Feed your soil, bacteria and fungi instead of plants. They will work in symbiotic relationship and plants will be healthier and more resilient to pests. Vegetables and fruit will also be more nutritious.
Try to feed your soil with as much organic matter as possible. Learn to make homemade compost, use organic liquid feeds as seaweed, comfrey, nettle tea, molasses or slow release organic pellets as Grow It Bio that provide both nutrients and organic matter.
Mulching is another great way to feed your soil and when spread thickly 5-15cm it will also suppress weeds. Use wood chippings, homemade compost or straw. Lawn clippings are good mulch but use only in spring and summer around plants that need high nitrogen. Mulching and high organic matter in soil also improve water retention so soil doesn't dry out as fast.
Plants growing in organic soil are generally much healthier, but with high biodiversity in the garden you also receive the benefit of having predators like ladybirds, lacewings and birds that will gorge on aphids. Frogs, birds and soil nematodes will keep the slugs in bay.
Pests often attack plants that are stressed. So prevent stressing plants by growing them in right conditions and acclimatizing new plants before planting out.
If you grow veggies try to grow more so you can replace any plant lost to pests. Netting is great way to keep pigeons and white cabbage butterfly from brassicas.
Another trick is to use companion planting to confuse certain pests away or attract predatory insect. Onions and garlic will hide the smell of carrots to keep away carrot fly, calendula and nasturtium will attract and lure away pests from susceptible plants so plant them in far corner. Marigolds will both attract predatory insect and repel many pests.
Pollution is the greatest threat of our time, and by gardening organically we can help improve biodiversity, our health and health of environment and leave habitable planet for future generations.
"The earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself."
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