Saturday, June 22, 2013

What is Organic Gardening? - The Basics for Gardening Organically

What does it mean to have an organic garden?

Does organic gardening mean you have to put up with insects eating your plants or unattractive flower beds?

Answer: The short answer is that organic gardening means not using synthetic products, including pesticides and fertilizers.

Ideally, organic gardening replenishes the resources as it makes use of them.

Like feeding depleted soil with composted plants, or planting legumes to add nitrogen to an area that had been planted with heavy feeder.

The bigger picture involves working in cooperation with nature, viewing your garden as a small part of all the natural system.

Here are some basics to get you started with organic gardening: One of the basic tenant of organic gardening is to "Feed the soil and the soil will feed the plants". It's really common sense. Plants get water, air and nutrients from the soil. Clay soil is higher in nutrients than sand and hold water better. Sometimes it holds water too well and the plants can't get enough air. Sandy soil is well drained, but can use some amending to make it great garden soil. This is where organic matter comes into play. Adding organic matter improves any soil's texture as well as attracting soil organisms that create nutrients in the soil.
Growing fields in Jay

How Do You Know if You Have Bad Soil?

The only definitive way to know for sure is to have it tested. Your Cooperative Extension probably provides this service for a nominal fee.

A quick guesstimate of your soils health can be made by looking at your plants health. If they are thriving, don’t fix what isn’t broken.

If your plants are languishing, yellowing or otherwise looking sickly or you feel like you are forever feeding them, it would be worth testing your soil.

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