Monday, May 27, 2013

What Makes a Garden Organic

It is one of the best reasons I know for gardening.  I like walking to my little plot of land and picking my own fresh crops.  It's even better because I know exactly what I am serving on my dinner table.  No unnecessary chemicals have touched the food that I will use in my favorite recipes.  It's a very simple choice to keep pesticides off of my harvest.  That's pretty reassuring to me.  But, exactly what qualifies as an Organic Gardening? 

Simply stated an Organic Garden will be a garden that is grown and produces without the use of harmful products such as fertilizers or pesticides. That is a fairly basic description when you stop to analyze exactly how to obtain the most productive garden and keep the weeds and the unwanted insects out.  I've touched on some simple ways to handle weeds in A Better Way to Eliminate Weeds.  I've also addressed those pesky insects in More Pests to Eliminate.  I do go on an on about my belief in the benefits of Compost.  That's just a brush on the canvas though.  It takes a little more to qualify a truly Organic Garden.

Organic Gardens first start with the right soil.  If you have previously treated with chemicals you will need to let the soil regenerate for a few years. Integrate the dirt with plenty of compost to help remove any unwanted interference.  You can continue to plant and the benefits will be rewarding.  You will be unable to call your produce fully organic until all signs of past chemical interaction has phased out.  Having your soils tested at the local extension offices will confirm that your efforts have been rewarded.  May of these agencies, or even 4-H clubs will offer this service to you for free.

Once you have realized your choice to garden more naturally you will need to start with organic seeds.  Many seed companies offer an organically grown product.  I like to reseed my own crops year after year.  It's a simple thing to do so be sure to read How Do You Seed?  It's the only way I'm completely sure I know what I'm getting.  Even if you are still in the process of conditioning the soil begin using organic seeds as soon as you decide on organically grown vegetables.

Be sure to observe the environment around you.  Unless you are fairly secluded you may find yourself with unwanted interference. Are your neighbors busy spraying there grounds and tossing heavy loads of fertilizer to get that "perfect" lawn?  These practices can hinder your efforts.  Chances are you can't convince them to stop using fertilizer, so be sure to place your garden in an area far enough away from the neighbor to avoid the run off.  On the other hand maybe you can sell them on the healthy benefits, and cost saving remedies toward a more organic environment.

It will take effort and time to create a truly Organic Garden.  It's a smart choice worth the achievement.  Keep the garden maintained with the proper products and you won't be disappointed.  Visit your garden every day.  Be attentive to it's needs and don't hesitate to take action if something doesn't appear to be working.


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