Gardening has always be an interest of mine. Recently, gardening has become more of a passion. The more I learn about it the more I want to learn. I decided while I was pregnant that I was going to have a huge garden (or at least huge for me) since I would be making baby food around that time. I had been gardening for the past couple of years myself but have been active in others’ gardens throughout most of my life. I made baby food for my 2 year old but I bought the vegetables that I didn’t have in my pantry. At that point, my pantry was small and my garden did not have many of the vegetables that we have grown to love.
I never thought I would be making my own baby food but when I started it also became a passion. I tried to watch what I used to make the baby food and started experimenting with other vegetables. It was really this process that got my organic gardening thoughts churning.
I had a lot to learn. I still have a lot to learn and I am now sharing that journey with you. I am certainly no expert and hope to get lots of feedback on this topic from ‘real’ gardeners.
But here goes:
The main point of organic gardening is to work in harmony with the ecosystem understanding the role of each player to get the best possible results.
As you are developing your garden, keep in mind the goal of working in harmony. Create the garden so that birds, insects and other animals control the pests. In this, it is important to understand which are good insects and which are the pests. Work with your garden. See year to year what problems you are having and then adapt to that for the next year. Organic gardening is a work in progress not a solution.
When gardening organically, the soil is very important. In regular gardens, gardeners can overcome soil issues with fertilizer. In an Organic Garden, this is not as much the case. Some adaptations can be made but we need to consider the environment, staying away from artificial fertilizers all together.
A very popular and sustainable way to fertilize your organic garden is composting. Composting has many benefits not limited to increasing fertilization of the soil. You can also use animal manures (grass fed), mushroom compost, leaf mold or prunings which are cut up.
This is my first year in composting. Previously, I haven’t had the need to compost as my soil was very fertile. My garden was in an area beside a river bank where it would stay damp. Not damp enough to rot but damp enough to produce perfect crops with minimal interventions.
This year, I relocated and needed to move my garden. Since I have a dog who roams my yard (a lab), I wanted to put my garden on a hill behind my house where my dog can’t get to without someone taking her there.
Due to these changes, I am going to set up rain barrels and will be starting to compost.
You also want to make sure that your plants are organic and are not genetically motified cultivars.
Genetically motified cultivars are plants that were genetically altered to live in less than idea enviroments, to live through certain blights or illnesses and to resist certain insects. These genetically motified cultivars carry some environmental risks including interupting the ecosystem. Some of the variances are in herbicide resistance but it is unclear how things of this nature can impact the soil and plant associated microbial communities and from there the impact that may have overall.
Again, we are trying to work with the ecosystem understanding that everything has its place and to throw off one part is to throw off other parts.
These layman’s posts on organic gardening will carry you with me on my journey of gaining knowledge and developing my organic gardening skills throughout this gardening season and into the next.