As the overall global awareness of the importance of sustainability grows, many individuals aim to go ‘green’. However, a lot of misleading information is flooding the media and the web, often confusing those eager to make the necessary shift to organic ways, including organic gardening. As such, here at Skaza, we do our best to provide readers with highly reliable information.
Moreover, gardening is one of the significant areas where switching to organic methods is without question the way to go. However, unfortunately, there are still many gardeners who do not know what organic gardening is. Thus, we decided to create this article and, once and for all, clear up any uncertainty and confusion around organic gardening. Aside from learning about what organic gardening is, we will also provide you with actionable information on how to apply organic gardening at home in 3 easy steps.
Are you ready to dig in? Let’s do this!
Organic gardening for Beginners: What Is Organic gardening?
The word ‘organic’ refers to the ‘natural approach when applied to gardening; this primarily means that no synthetic products, such as synthetic fertilizers and synthetic pesticides, are used. However, true organic gardening is much more than just avoiding synthetic products. It is gardening where everything is done in a sustainable manner. That way, the entire ecosystem related to the garden is considered and treated in a natural and long-term sustainable way.
Organic gardening includes proper and natural soil treatment and preparation, proper selection of plants, sustainable water supply, and inclusion of beneficial wildlife. Of course, with an end goal of producing healthy and nutrient-rich crops for you and your family, and other people (in case you have a larger scale garden or even a farm).
Organic gardening: Healthy & Environmentally Friendly
Luckily, nature designed things so that healthy and environmentally-friendly aspects come covered hand-in-hand. As such, what is good for the environment is also good for our health and wellbeing. And while currently buying organic food is still extremely expensive, having your own organic garden makes a lot of sense, even from a financial point of view.
Organic gardening at Home in 3 Easy Steps
Now that you know that ‘organic gardening’ refers to growing plants, vegetables, and fruits in the most natural way possible and thus supporting the health of the entire gardening system, it is time to take a closer look at how to go about organic gardening.
As mentioned above, in order to achieve organic gardening, you need to have a big picture in mind and the whole lifecycle of your garden. Basically, it would help if you learned to work in harmony with the natural system evolving around the soil, water supply, and insects. You must minimize destruction to living and nonliving things in your environment and constantly replenish any resources utilized during gardening. This may sound difficult if you are just getting started; however, it is actually simpler than you think. Though you have to be realistic and know that gardening, especially organic gardening, demands a high level of consistency, and time and energy devotion.
Committing to organic gardening is something that you will most easily achieve by doing the best you can and implementing ‘organic’ ways gradually. Do the best you can and eventually, your gardening will be 100% organic.
Below, we cover the three most important aspects and thus play the most significant role in switching to organic gardening.
Organic gardening - Step #1: Soil Management
When gardeners use synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, they take a misleading ‘shortcut’, resulting in nutrient-depleted crops and severely damaged soil. As such, this is definitely not a sustainable long-term approach.
It is important to always keep in mind that soil is the food for your plants. As such, the soil must be full of good nutrients. Moreover, since you will consume the plants, you surely want them to consume healthy and natural stuff, right? Moreover, there are countless beneficial microorganisms (effective microorganisms (EM)) and macro-organisms that ensure the entire ecosystem is functioning properly. By using synthetic substances, you can harm all those beneficial creatures.
In order to offer your garden the best soil conditions, you need to make sure your soil has plenty of humus. This is achieved by a suitable mix of compost, grass and leaf clippings, and composted manure (ideally from local organically and humanely raised livestock).
Since compost is the most important ingredient in hummus, you should surely set up your own composting pile and make good compost. Why compost? For one, compost feeds plants, reduces weeds, and helps conserve water. Moreover, another great thing about compost is that it also helps you make use of your organic waste and keep it in the loop. There are many factors affecting the composting process, but you do not need to stress over details too much as you get going. Furthermore, there is a great composting solution for your home, called Bokashi Organko. It enables you to reduce your organic waste, create a nutrient-rich mass to be used in your compost, and as a side product you also get a natural fertilizing liquid. This makes Bokashi Organko definitely one of the irreplaceable tools when establishing organic gardening at home.
Watering could surely be treated separately, however, since you are supposed to water the roots of your plants, it kinda makes it suitable to mention it under soil management. It is important not to waste water and also ensure your plants get enough of this vital nutrient. If possible, collect rainwater and water your plants in the morning using a near-air temperature water supply. Moreover, substantial (one inch of water per week (rain included)) infrequent watering is the best approach. That way, you will ensure deeper rooting, which is essential for stronger plants.
Organic gardening - Step #2: Weed Management
Weed is a known nuisance for every gardener. And the organic solution is to ensure proper soil management and then to remove the weed that appears mechanically. We know that this sounds like a lot of work and it can honestly be. However, you need to see it as a healthy way of exercising in the fresh air. According to the ‘Blue Zones’ book, gardening is one of the healthiest forms of exercising. On top of that, you can use that time to send some love and positive energy to your plants.
Moreover, you can greatly reduce the amount of weed in your garden by applying organic mulch and burlap. Straw may work as well, but it doesn’t last long. You also have wood chips, which are a pricey solution. Furthermore, using grass clippings is also an option for plants that need a lot of nutrients (e.g.: lettuce and squash).
Another great solution to weed removal will also be available to you if you decide to use Bokashi Organko. As mentioned previously, fermentation liquid is its side product. The latter is highly acidic and thus able to kill the weed. However, you have to be mindful to use it only during the dry periods because if the rain were to dilute it, it’d turn into fertilizer.
Organic gardening - Step #3: Pest Control
Pest control is a very tricky business when it comes to organic gardening. When considering insects, there are a lot of beneficial ones that you don’t want to scare away while getting rid of harmful ones.
Moreover, in case a garden is being assaulted by pests, this is normally an indication of other problems; are plants getting enough light, moisture, and nutrients?
Great protection against pests is a diversified garden. Having a wide range of plants helps a lot. Of course, choosing the right plants for your environment is also a key element in pest control and organic gardening as a whole.
Furthermore, fostering natural predators (bats, frogs, toads, lizards, and birds) in your garden is a good thing. Moreover, beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, are your true friends when organic gardening is in question. You can buy ladybugs and have a small source of water and some plants with small blossoms to keep them around and attract other predatory insects. Using nets and row covers is also a way to protect your garden from pests.
Some organic ‘weapons’ against leaf-eaters include Bacillus thuringiensis, horticular oils, insecticidal soaps, garlic, or hot pepper sprays.
What Is Organic gardening - Parting Words
The above three steps are the core of organic gardening and thus the ones you should start implementing as soon as possible. You’ve got this!
We’d really like to express our gratitude for your efforts and commitment to living a sustainable lifestyle. By applying organic gardening, you play a crucial role and thus deserve to be praised. Thank you and keep up the good work!
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