Organic gardening is revolutionizing the way we do our gardening keeping in mind the environment around us. It involves doing away with harmful chemicals and pesticides and using natural products to grow our fruits and vegetables.
The natural way of increasing the fertility of the soil is through the use of decayed plant and animal matters and manures. Organic gardening involves duplicating these nutrients by recycling them back into the soil. Organically cured soil is rich in microscopic life which benefits the plants. Artificial fertilizers and pesticides disrupt the nature's balance. It is even costlier compared to organic gardening.
In other way it can be said that organic gardening involves respecting our flora and fauna. The various techniques of organic gardening are No Dig Gardening and Companion Planting.
Forms Of Organic Gardening
- Using manures instead of harmful chemicals and fertilizers.
- Avoiding plastics and using only plant matter (leaves and straws) for mulching.
- Using natural insect predators such as Ladybugs for controlling insect menace.
- Adopting natural insecticides such as soap sprays for controlling insects.
- Using natural matter like manure and composted weeds for gardening.
Benefits Of Organic Gardening
- No harmful pesticides in the food cycle.
- Benefits the environment
- Cost saving
- Realizing responsibility towards protecting the environment
Techniques Of Organic Gardening
No Dig Gardening
No dig gardening is a technique which is favored by organic gardeners world over. No dig method rests the responsibility on nature to carry out cultivation. Organic matter such as ,compost,old straw, mushroom compost, leaf mold, etc, are added to the soil as a mulch at least two to three inches deep, which is then merged by the action of worms which pull it downwards.
Worms and other soil life helps to build up the soil's structure, the tunnels built by them provide aeration and drainage, and their excreta bind the soil particles together. No dig technique is devoid of pests and diseases, mainly due to a balanced soil population which is built up in the comparatively undisturbed environment, and by encouraging the build up of beneficial soil fungi. Moisture content is also retained better under mulch than on the surface of the earth.
Moving to a no dig system is a tedious process, and it depends upon large quantities of organic matter to provide mulch material. It is impertinent to remove perennial weed roots from the area beforehand, No dig is not recommended in all situations, but gardeners should consider minimizing soil disturbing practices in order to reverse soil damage and erosion.
Companion planting involves planting of crops in proximity. One of the traditional method involved planting of corn and pole beans together. In the 1970s companion planting was recommended as a part of the organic gardening movement.
It was encouraged with the idea that various species of plant thrive when they are together. The idea of companion gardening was found in the cottage garden. Companion planting benefits crops which suffer from aphids and greenfly. They can benefit from the nearness of marigolds which attract hoverfly and are also said to discourage other pests.