There has been much written on the subject of organic gardening. We’re constantly told to tiptoe through this world so that we don’t leave our footprint on the environment. And, we’ve been told that many of our diseases are caused by pesticides, herbacides, insecticides and any other cides that you can classify.
No matter which way you turn someone, somewhere is finding something that’s bad for us. Every other day a new discovery becomes the reason for some non-genetic cancer or virus.
And as gardeners, we don’t want to find our pastime becoming our past-time.
So how can we traverse through the myriad of negative information and become more organic in our approach to gardening? Well here’s a few steps that should at least point you in the right direction;
- Replace your chemical poisons. Many of the chemicals that we keep in our gardening sheds can easily be replaced with organic substitutes. Most times it is merely finding a natural inhibitor of the insect, weed or disease that we are trying to combat and using it to our advantage.
- Soil is King. Past generations have viewed the plant as the overall ruler in the garden and have remedied their failings by prescribing to the plant rather than the soil. If your soil is built up with organic material that drains well, many of your plant problems will fall by the wayside.
- Use organic liquid fertilisers. Apart from dosing the soil up with organic composted manure each year the best fertiliser you can give to your plants is via a liquid form. Plants will readily take up liquid fertilisers far easier than any other feeding pellet. The best source of organic fertiliser is either worm castings or a compost tea.
- Grow complementary plants together. Plants require different minerals so grouping them together can offset the negative effects of another which is not only wise but beneficial to your plants and their growing environment.
- Encourage natural predators. Ladybirds enjoy a feast of fresh aphids so rather than spend money on chemical sprays buy some ladybugs instead. Most bugs have a natural predator so it is merely discovering what they are and how to encourage them into your garden.
- Rotate your crops. This is a good practice so that soil-borne diseases won’t build up and therefore ruin successive croppings. Use a four-bed rotation system moving every group of plants each season.
This list should at least help you in becoming an organic gardener. It doesn’t take much to do but it may require a new way of looking at your garden and solving some of its problems without reaching for the spray.