When you hear about organic gardening, one can easily assume it involves eco-friendly practices. And you wouldn’t be wrong.
Indeed, this style of gardening used to be considered a trend or seen as an activity only a few skilled people were dedicated and committed enough to do correctly. More often than not, the individuals and gardeners who focused on growing organic gardens were nature enthusiasts who were exceptionally environmentally aware during a time when this wasn’t such an urgent cause as it is today.
Over the years, with more and more people starting to realize the importance of adopting eco-friendly practices, organic gardening has become the go-to practice when it comes to gardening style rather than just a passing trend.
This change was mainly a result of the increasing number of individuals becoming more aware of how urgent it is to change some of our habits with more positive ones that are not as impactful to the environment.
Therefore, organic gardening was reborn.
Simply put, this Organic Gardening doesn’t involve the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or any other chemicals toxic to the environment. For this reason, many gardeners, beginners and experienced prefer organic gardening.
Anyone who wants to grow an organic garden should learn everything this practice encompasses. While it is true that organic gardening means the lack of fertilizers and chemicals, it is a comprehensive gardening style, as you need to acknowledge nature’s extensive system.
This means celebrating and taking into consideration every aspect and element of it, from plants, wildlife, insects to soil and water supply, and being extremely aware of how they are linked to one another. Simply put, organic gardening celebrates every form of life and the beauty of nature.
Keep reading to discover all the benefits, how to grow an organic garden, and more!
What Does Organic Gardening Mean?
By definition, organic gardening is the type of gardening that is free from any synthetic products. Essentially, this means that you don’t have to use any fertilizer or pesticide or any product that supports plant growth and health that contains any chemicals or toxic ingredients. Instead, you use natural and organic replacement products to grow any type of plant, vegetable, or fruit you want to in your garden.
The all-natural resources you use to grow plants organically will be replenished, so waste is significantly reduced. This practice doesn’t have a negative impact on the environment, given that instead of having high consumption and scary bills on water, you reuse a large amount of it. Therefore, while you manage to reduce this consumption, adopting a positive habit, you also decrease your bills.
As mentioned above, in organic gardening, you need to take into account all the elements of the natural ecosystem, from the soil, water supply, plants, to insects and wildlife, minimize destruction to everything around, from living to nonliving things, while replenishing the resources that you consume to grow your organic garden. Ultimately, organic gardening means balancing everything and maintaining harmony.
5 Benefits of Organic Gardening
So, why should you consider growing an organic garden? Apart from the more obvious reason – because an organic garden is the most sustainable practice, ensuring environmental health – there is more than one benefit involved when it comes to organic gardening. Imagine how diverse your garden can be and how rewarding it must be to grow your own produce and crops without using any chemicals or pesticides whatsoever. So, five of the benefits of organic gardening are as follows:
1. Superior Taste for Your Fruits and Vegetables
You may have heard this before – organically grown fruits and vegetables taste better. Until now, chances are you weren’t sure whether this was true or not. But the fact that you don’t use any sort of factory-made products made to protect the plants or help them grow better and faster ensures better quality and a superior taste. Indeed, they may not have a perfect shape like the ones you find in supermarkets. But that is the goal. The appearance may be uneven, but the taste will be significantly better, and your organically grown fruits and vegetables will be full of flavor.
2. Healthier Plants, Vegetables, and Fruits
Any type of plant you include in your organic garden will be much healthier than it would be if you use toxic chemicals. Therefore, because the garden is free from pesticides and fertilizers, none of your plants, vegetables, and fruits will contain a chemical residue, which could end up in your body when you consume them. Research has shown that organic fruits and vegetables contain a higher amount of minerals and vitamins, an excellent advantage for humans given the health benefits implied. Healthy produce equals healthy humans.
3. Higher-Quality and Non-Toxic Soil
The fact that gardeners do not use any products containing chemicals, tending the soil solely with natural elements and elements, will only produce a nutrient-rich and toxic-free bed. The result – all the plants, vegetables, and fruits that will grow and bloom from such non-toxic soil – will have the same high quality as the soil. What’s more, in organic gardening, organic matter is highly used in soil preparation. This practice has the excellent plus of reducing soil erosion in the long term.
4. Organic Gardening Saves You Money
Buying organically grown produce from a store can be rather expensive. Compared to non-organic products that are more affordable, this healthier alternative can be quite the expense for some people, who choose the least costly option, even though it isn’t as healthy. For this reason, growing your own organic garden can save you money. Whether you have a garden or not, there are certain types of vegetables which you can still grow even indoors, like paprika pepper. So, organic gardening can still be done, although on a smaller scale.
5. Positive Environmental Impact
As mentioned above, organic gardening means a more positive environmental impact or significantly reducing the negative one. The importance of adopting eco-friendly practices cannot be reiterated enough, even though growing this type of garden may not seem like a lot. But when it comes to organic gardening, the fact that no toxic chemicals are used is undoubtedly improving the environment. This happens because the process is much cleaner. Not to mention that you can lower water consumption, given that you use organic matter for the soil, which reduces soil erosion and, hence, conserves water.
Taking into consideration all the benefits mentioned above, no one can deny that organic gardening is worthwhile and a healthier option for both humans and the environment. In addition, many gardeners who have started working on their organic places have stated that being closer to nature is a benefit in itself. Tending to an organic garden can be meditative, allowing the individual to improve their mood while creating something so valuable.
Essential Tools in Organic Gardening
For a novice gardener or an individual who has never done this before, gardening can seem like an intimidating area.
Because you need to take care of so many plants with different specifications and requirements and be careful and mindful of their needs, it is understandable that not so many people know what it means to grow a garden. But the fact is that anyone can do it with the right tools and a great attitude.
When it comes to organic gardening, the following essential tools are vital to ensuring you can efficiently and effectively grow your organic space:
- Spray nozzle for better precision;
- An effective hose, at least one, depending on the size of your garden;
- Quick connectors for a faster switch between a nozzle and a sprinkler, if necessary;
- A pair of pruners for cutting thin wood pieces or perennials stems;
- A water timer to ensure that your organic garden is always correctly watered.
- Other essential gardening tools include rakes, trowels, soil forks and shovels, and a tiller.
All the tools mentioned are essential in gardening in general. If you decide to grow an organic garden, these will not differ. The only difference is that no fertilizers, pesticides, or insecticides will be used.
How To Start Growing an Organic Garden
Now is the time to start growing your organic garden. Whether you have a backyard or front garden, a balcony garden, or an indoor vertical garden, it will be good news to hear that you can still have an organic garden. The only downside when you have limited space is that you cannot grow as many fruits and vegetables. But if space is not an issue, it is crucial to know the steps to growing an organic garden correctly. They are as follows:
Step 1 – Select The Spot Where You Will Grow Your Organic Garden
This needs to be in an area where your plants, fruits, and vegetables, can receive from 6 to 8 hours of sunlight every day. This is the ideal scenario, but for some plants, such as lettuce or herbs, a bit of shade is allowed, given they tolerate it.
Step 2 – Ensure The Soil Is Well-Drained and High-Quality
Your organic gardening is as thriving as your soil is rich in nutrients and well-drained. This will support the growth of healthy and abundant produce. A noteworthy mention would be that compost is always recommended in an organic garden, given it provides more nutrients.
Step 3 – Prepare Your Organic Garden Soil
It is of the utmost importance to prepare your soil and make sure it is enriched with a stable pH. Adding compost is extremely helpful and highly advisable, given that it provides the needed nutrients for the soil to grow healthy plants and produce. In an organic garden, fertilizers and any chemical products are not used. However, you can use organic fertilizers full of micronutrients. Such natural products can support the soil and the plants in growing better and producing more. The recommendation is to add an organic fertilizer after the first month after planting. This will replenish the necessary nutrients.
Step 4 – Choose The Plants You Want to Grow
This step is all about your personal references. Choosing the plants you wish to grow in your organic garden is a matter of what you like and will most likely prefer eating. When doing this, an essential aspect to consider is the seasonality of plants, vegetables, and fruits. This is crucial because you must know when they have to be planted and when their ripening time is. A noteworthy mention to keep in mind when choosing what to grow is that some types of companion plants can be insect-repellent. For example, basil can keep these at a distance if planted close to tomatoes.
Step 5 – Focus on Using Chemical-Free Products
Apart from using companion plants like basil or amaranth to repel some pests or insects, you can make your own toxic-free insecticides at home that do not contain any harmful chemicals. Even by mixing soap with water, you can keep hungry critters at a distance. What’s more, nowadays, there are many more unharmful pesticides you can buy from local green businesses that are sustainable.
Step 6 – Set A Watering Schedule and Stick to It
Watering your plants regularly and in accordance with their needs is of the utmost importance. In the initial stages, until roots are established, the watering schedule should be more frequent. Then, you can start watering more rarely. You should keep in mind that the soil needs to be well-drained and that no plant – regardless of the type – should be flooded in water. A water timer is extremely helpful in ensuring the watering schedule is maintained.
Step 7 – Regular Maintenance Is a Must
While all the necessary steps and practices mentioned above are equally essential in growing a healthy and thriving organic garden, if you don’t perform regular maintenance, it is highly unlikely the garden will continue to produce as well every time. This being said, it is of the utmost importance you maintain your organic garden regularly by performing all the necessary activities, like watering, weeding, and harvesting.
Growing an organic garden is an excellent and effective way of reducing pollution, and therefore, contributing to a better environment. The air won’t be polluted with transferred chemicals because no pesticides, insecticides, or fertilizers are used. Not only is this type of gardening extremely eco-friendly and beneficial for both the environment and humans, as they produce healthy fruits and vegetables, but it is also a way for you to support soil biodiversity and maintain it at healthy levels.
Organic gardening is a holistic process where you can create an ecosystem and contribute to nature’s extensive system by replenishing the resources you use. Therefore, this type of gardening provides healthier food for you and your entire family while also maintaining the ecosystem’s harmony and balance.
Organic Gardening FAQ’s
How does organic gardening protect insects?
There are many insects that have a beneficial impact on your garden, so protecting them should be a priority. In organic gardening, the use of synthetic pesticides is completely avoided. Synthetic pesticides are highly toxic to bees, butterflies, moths, and other beneficial insects that have an important role in the ecosystem. Organic practices focus on helping and protecting insects and other wildlife from toxic chemicals such as herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides.
Why should organic gardening be your hobby?
Organic gardening is a fun hobby that has many proven benefits. It can help you save money and it is good for your physical and mental health. Gardening outdoors is an effective way to de-stress, boost your mood, reduce the risk of depression and boost your immunity. Organic gardening brings you closer to nature and it can be a great way to spend time with your children outdoors and to teach them about the environment. Organic gardening can help children become more responsible and more aware of the world around them.
What is organic matter gardening?
Organic matter gardening consists of using organic matter as fertilizer to help your plants grow. Examples of organic matter include compost, leaf mould, green manure, and animal manure. Organic matter improves the structure of garden soil by feeding the microorganisms that beneficial insects that keep the ecosystem balanced. It also adds acids and nutrients that help plants develop healthy roots, so it is safe to say that organic matter is an essential part of organic gardening.
What is organic container gardening?
If you don’t have a lot of space available, organic container gardening is a great alternative. Organic container gardening consists of planting and maintaining vegetables, fruits, and herbs in temporary or permanent pots and containers. You can grow a lot of different vegetables in containers including tomatoes, peppers, radishes, green onions, peas, cucumbers, etc. Herbs such as basil, oregano, rosemary, mint, parsley, or thyme can also be easily grown in containers. You can also grow columnar apple trees in containers, citrus trees, strawberries, bush cherry trees, guava, raspberries, blackberries, or fig trees.
Can you use Epsom salt in organic gardening?
There are many articles on the internet that recommend using Epsom salt for gardening but the great majority of these articles are not based on science. We’ve done some research on this common practice and concluded that Epsom salts will add some magnesium and sulfur to the soil. If your soil is nutrient-poor, Epsom salts might do the trick, but gardening soil, in general, does not lack either of these nutrients. For fertilization, organic material and organic mulch are better options. When it comes to adding different substances to your gardening soil, it’s best to be cautious and do some extra research, especially when it comes to things that are not intended for garden use.