Thursday, March 10, 2011

The basic organic principle, and why

How do you begin gardening the organic way? Organic gardening is much more than using low-chemical sprays. There are several components of organic gardening.

All gardens have animals that are not desired by the gardeners, generally because those animals chew holes in our plants. The animals don’t realize that they are pests: they’re just enjoying their lunch. The organic gardener devises ways to get rid of these animals without damaging the surrounding plants and soil or adding pesticides to the garden.

Plants that attract beneficial insects or deter pests can be an important part of a pest control plan for the garden. Using companion plants that attract good or predator bugs to the garden is a sneaky way for a gardener to get ahead in the garden-munching game. Plants like marigolds and garlic deter just about any pest and can be planted liberally around the garden, while many herbs like dill, chamomile, and rosemary attract a selection of pollinator and predator insects.

Organic weed and disease control can also mean sprays, but these sprays are very different from the chemical-laden sprays of conventional gardening. A light dose of vinegar, soap and water sprayed onto the leaves of a weed can kill it. A cup of boiling water on a particularly stubborn garden weed will damage its root system and allow the gardener to remove the plant from the garden for good. Finding and following organic techniques is becoming much more mainstream, and there are now organic sprays available in stores. As organic gardening techniques become part of our culture, it’s becoming much simpler to find off-the-shelf products to facilitate organic gardening.

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