Why You Should Go Organic

Organic gardening isn't just about growing your own food.. it's about the health of our planet and our health as well. There are a variety of reasons TO grow organically, and absolutely none to grow conventionally. Organic foods have more nutrition than conventional foods, they are free of pesticides and herbicides, most of which are known carcinogens, and organic growing supports and sustains the planet and the natural ecosystem.

I do organic gardening to sustain good health, and I buy organic at the grocers for that reason as well as to support responsible agriculture practices and businesses who care about our well being and that of the earth. It is well known that organic foods have more vitamins and minerals than their pesticide grown counterparts.. and they also are free of poisons. Nowadays it's even more important to grow organically than ever before.

Previously it was possible to at least wash off pesticides from produce, but that is no longer the case. Pesticides are now being put on the seeds, so as the plant grows the poisons are taken up INTO the plant and then the vegetables. In this kind of agriculture there si no possibility of not consuming poison because it's inside of the food and not on it. This practice has also been linked to the disappearance of honey bees. Pesticides are neurotoxins, and when the bees take in the pollen they are being poisoned.

Another important reason to adopt organic agriculture is the earth. Agribusiness is rapidly killing the planet and destroying the very farmland that sustains us. The reason for this is because herbicides, pesticides and the fertilizers used today kill beneficial microorganisms in the soil that are responsible for breaking down the soil so the plant can take in what it needs to provide us with full nutrition. Then the poisons wash off the land with rain, and we end up with enormous dead zones in the oceans.

I find it ironic that before the middle of the last century, what is now known as "conventional" agriculture was non existent, and the convention then was organic. Now however, small family farms are all but gone and our food is grown by gigantic corporations who have no concern for our health or that of the planet. Their only concern is profit. So the choice is ours. We have enormous power in what we choose to buy. So go organic.. whether it's in the grocery store or in your own back yard. You and your children both will be happy you did.

Organic Gardening Basics

Organic Gardening Basics

Organic gardening is a method of gardening that doesn't uses any harmful chemicals. Organic gardening is much more healthy than "conventional" is, and is very popular today among gardeners. Growing an organic garden isn't difficult either.  It is my hope that the following tips will help you to get a start and also help you create and maintain a natural pesticide free and chemical free flower, herb or vegetable garden.

There are basically four essential elements to growing a successful organic garden.  One is mulching, two is pest control, third is fertilizers, and fourth is weed control.


Mulching a garden helps to hold water, reduces weeds and adds essential nutrients back into the soil.  You can purchase organic mulch in most home centers, but my preference is not to use any ground overlay at all and to handle weed control by hand.  Having said that however, I DO like to use mulch between the plant boxes or rows to keep down on weeds.



One of the easiest ways to deal with pests in your organic garden, is to use a simple soap spray on your plants and then follow it with a clean rinse.  It works well and I use it all the time for nearly every type of infestation.  The one thing I found that it doesn't work particularly well on is vine borers.  For those, I watch the plants (squash and other thick vine plants) and when I see a leaf beginning to turn brown, I look at the vine and can always locate where the borer is at.  They are moth pupae which are laid on the vine and when the eggs hatch they bore in and eat their way up the vine.  All that is necessary to deal with them is to take a pocket knife and cut the vine open right where the green area meets the brown (because that's where the borer is at) and pop it out.   I usually just leave them on the ground because they cannot get back to the plant and will die and add nutrients back to the soil.  Another way to keep down on certain pests is to plant Marigolds along the edges of your plants.  They work well to keep down on some varieties of bugs.


When it comes to fertilizer, my preference is fish emulsion.  It can be found in any home center and makes for an excellent fertilizer.  It's sold in a concentrate, so you just add water and to the garden.  Be careful not to over fertilize because you can burn the plants.  If your plants require more acid, (you can test this with a simple ph test) you can use coffee grounds. They work wonders.. believe me.  Another thing that works well for fertilizer is to use plant rotation from year to year, or to plant a nitrogen fixing plant (such as peas) next to a plant that uses nitrogen.  This works especially well in high density gardens, such as Square Foot or French Intensive.


Weeds can be treated with vinegar, but I've never done it.  I've always preferred getting into the garden and working, so I pull the weeds out that will come out (they are easiest to pull after a rain or watering) and for the one's that are stubborn, I just use my spade or some other tool to loosen the roots and then they will pull up easily.  After they are loose, it's usually a good idea to put them in the mulch pile, unless they have gone to seed.  Often a mulch pile will get hot enough to destroy the seeds, but I never wanted to take the chance, so on the rare occasion that one does began to go to seed I throw it away. 


Although I didn't add it to the list above, compost is also important for an organic garden to add essential nutrients. It can be made from almost anything you have on hand including ground up leftovers, leaves and grass.  You can get compost bins from home and garden centers, or you can easily build one.  I've seen them built out of everything from plywood to steel barrels.

And finally, if you want to plant herbs for organic cooking, they make a beautiful addition in the organic garden and don't need a lot of attention. 

Starting an Organic Garden

When you are looking to grow food for your family and loved ones, you already know that you want it to be healthy and nutritious, and one of the best ways to do this is to make sure that your garden is organic! Organic gardening not only allows you to grow food that is free of chemicals or additives, but it also promote ecological responsibility and has low impact consequences for the environment. If you are looking grow an organic garden, you'll find that there are plenty of tips to get you started. One of the best ways to get started with an organic garden is to get a hold of some heirloom seeds. You'll find that heirloom seeds are taken from plants that were once common in human history; as such, they have not been genetically modified and as a rule, they tend to be fairly tough. They are not hybrids, and there are around 4,000 varieties of seeds, so you'll be able to take your choice. When working with organic gardening, you'll find that it is always a good idea to consider the lay out of your garden. You'll find, for instance, that you can work with intensive intercropping, where you'll find that one crop is grown between rows of another; this will allow you to take full advantage of your gardening space, and reduce your water and composting requirements. You'll find that gardening boxes is another way to maximize your space. Organic gardening also implies that you will be free from the use of chemical pesticides and additives; this does not mean, however, that you are letting your garden run rampant with weeds and bugs! You'll find that by planting some flowers and herbs around your garden, you'll be strengthening its immunity to insects. Consider marigolds, mints and chives for a start. You'll also find that you can deter pests by rotating your crops annually. Any good organic garden needs a fair amount of planning, and the more you plan, the more prepared you are going to be. Take the time to consider what you can do to make sure that your organic garden continues to feed you and nourish you in the future!

Looking At Natural Pest Control For Your Organic Garden

As every gardener knows, insect pests are part and parcel of being a gardener, and that you have many different ways of dealing with them. When you are considering an organic garden, you already know that you should not use chemical pesticides, but the truth is, you really don’t need them! There are plenty of different solutions for the various pest problems that you might face, and you’ll find that with just a little bit of information under your belt that you will be able to deal with your pest problem quite easily and handily.

The first thing to keep in mind is that you can make your garden much more immune to pests simply by starting off with a good gardening structure. For instance, make sure that you rotate your plants, which will make the pests of one year completely obsolete the next. Remember that healthy soil will encourage nematodes, which will work well against soil bests, and that the use of compost and mulching can also keep pests off. Remember that plants that are native to your area will always be tougher in the face of natural pests, and that having a wide variety of plants will encourage less pests as well, due to the fact that the plants will “protect” each other.

When considering natural pest control, make it your business to encourage the natural predators of your pests. For instance, ladybugs, birds, moss, certain fungi and ground beetles are all beneficial to a garden, and you’ll find that keeping a natural garden will encourage them as well. Check at your local garden shop for any recommendations, or anything that you can do to encourage these animals and plants to help you out.

Regular garden maintenance will also help you keep the pests down. Whenever you see any small, weak or dying plants, pull them out. They may be infected, and even if they are not, they will provide a place for pests to nest. Pull the plant out and keep it from the rest of your garden. Similarly, keep your garden clear of debris, use clan mulch and weed regularly. Doing this can help with your water irrigation and keep your garden growing healthily as well.

You’ll find that natural pest control is quite easy once you learn about the pests that are troubling you. Remember that every problem has a natural solution your garden, so look around for the solutions that you need!

Green Landscaping For You!

Just because you are interested in making sure that you make a positive benefit on the earth rather than a negative one doesn’t mean that your yard has to look sloppy! More and more people are discovering the joys of green landscaping, and if you are interested in a wonderfully sharp and fully natural look for your yard, you will want to take a look and see what green landscaping can do for you. Green landscaping is essentially landscaping that look at things like water conservation, the use of all natural resources and the selection of appropriate plants to beautify a piece of land while still making it work with the surrounding ecosystem. If this sounds complicated, keep in mind that it’s really not, and that there are many things that you can try at home an on your own.

For instance, if you are planning on redoing the landscaping of your yard, consider the placement of deciduous and evergreen trees. If you plant deciduous on the south and east sides of your home, you’ll be able to get shade during the summer while still keeping the sun’s heat and warmth during the winter, because the leaves will not bar the way of the light. Evergreens that have been planted in the north and the west are particularly perfect for protecting your home from harsh winds during the cold months.

You may also want to consider the use of recycled materials for your green landscaping project. You’ll find that soil amendments and mulch fall under this category, and that with wood becoming more and more expensive and increasingly depleted to boot that you will want to consider making sure you can recycled plastic bender board. Similarly, you can recycle broken up concrete into great flagstones, and recycled brick for paths and patios.

When considering green landscaping, keep in mind the fact that you should also consider the water irrigation concerns. When you are deciding to put in a garden, think about how the water will flow and how you can best take advantage of the water that is around. Consider drip-irrigation and the use of drought resistant plants, which can make sure that your deep watering needs are kept to a minimum.

When you are considering getting involved with green landscaping, remember that there are many options open to you, so see what will beautify your home as well as protect the earth that it sits on!