Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Learn The Basics of Sustainable & Organic Gardening

Today most people are turning to sustainable and organic living because they see the major health benefits of doing so. There are more vegetable and herb patches popping up in homes, business and in the community and if you want to start caring for your garden in an organic way this article is for you.

The tips provided can be applied to all plants in your garden from vegetables to ornamental plants and trees so let’s get started. 

So in a nutshell sustainable and organic gardening is producing food and creating a garden without the use of chemicals and working with nature, as opposed to against it. The basic rule on this type of gardening is that you will not use synthetic products. This will include the important elements such as the fertilizers and pesticides. 

If you don’t want to spend a little bit more for those organically grown and sold in the supermarket, perhaps you should consider planting your own in the garden.  You can do this at home since you have access to the three most basic things namely soil, water and sunlight. It is very easy to do that even your kids can join in the fun.

What is Sustainable Gardening? 

It is easy to create beautiful and sustainable gardens when we: 
  • Conserve water in the garden to help maintain water levels in our catchments
  • Use plants to provide food and shelter for native mammals, birds, and insects
  • Grow our own food to promote a healthy lifestyle and reduce food miles
  • Reduce chemical use in the garden and so reduce chemical runoff entering     our waterways
  • Compost household and garden waste to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, which in turn helps reduce the amount of greenhouse gases produced 

Tips For Organic Garden Practice

  • Start with good soil by using organic fertilisers such as compost, animal and green manure, worm juice and natural fertilisers such as seasol
  • Have a good source for organic seeds
  • Use organic pesticides - If you can't afford to pick the insects one by one by your bare hands, then you can go to your local grocery store and ask for an organic pesticide that is available commercially or make some yourself. To help prevent pests, you can encourage wildlife into your garden to eat them.
  • For weeds, the thing you can do is pull these one by one from the ground. You can try boiling water or a salt & vinegar solution (the solution is strong so keep away from your favoured plants)
  • As for other animals, putting up fences and using essential oils seems to be a good deterrent.  
  • Mulch is another solution. This can be made from chipped barks, garden compost, leaf moulds, manure, sugar cane and hay. It must be applied at 3 to 4 inches or 8 to 10 cm from the ground in order for it to be effective.
  • For those who don’t have a big garden, they can try growing these organically grown vegetables in containers. They require more water than those planted in the soil so give doses frequently. If planting in pots try to use natural materials such as clay, wood and even cardboard boxes. Stay away from the plastic containers.
  • Crop rotation is the practice of planting a different crop in the same area where another crop once occupied. This keeps the soil’s nutrients fertile so it can be used again in the following season. 
  • When making changes in the garden use sustainably sourced materials.

It may sound complicated enough for the beginners but the main reason why organic gardening is so beneficial is the fact that vegetable and herb crops harvested have 50% more nutrients and vitamins compared to that of conventional methods. 

Organic gardening is challenging but it pays off when you are able to reap what you sow.  This means additional savings and even as a small business if you want to sell whatever excess you have in the market.  

This is your way of giving back what nature has bestowed on you since the day you were born.

Thank You For Reading

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