Home > Great Big Greenhouse Blog > April 2016 > IN THE DIRT with DOUG - ORGANIC GARDENING, EASY AS 1, 2, 3

IN THE DIRT with DOUG - ORGANIC GARDENING, EASY AS 1, 2, 3

Organic gardening is simply using nature based processes in your garden.  Growing organically just means you are working with nature using natural products with your gardening processes.
                The first step is to determine, once and for all, that you want to become more organic with your gardening and landscape and make a commitment to work with nature and to use safe, organic, environmentally friendly products when needed.
                The plant industry has been scrambling for years to keep up with the public demand for organic, natural products.  At this time there are so many great products in garden centers to help you convert to organic gardening.
                The next step starts with the soil.  Whether you are gardening in the ground or in containers good soil is the key to a healthy, organic garden.    Personally, I garden in the ground as well as in containers.  I start with using organic soils, including adding composted cow manure.  I create the best growing medium possible. 
                The next step is choosing plants that have been grown using organic processes and are possibly labeled as being certified organically grown.  Without this label then you need to ask the garden center how the plants have been grown.  Many growers will use safe growing methods.
                You have now accomplished creating good organic soil and have planted your plants.  Now, what do you do to stay organic with your feeding and keeping your plants insect and disease free?
                Just like humans, soil gets tired.  When planting, every year I add the organic Espoma plant foods to my plants.  At the time of planting I use Espoma BioTone.  During the active growing season I will feed my plants with Espoma Plant Tone  or Espoma Garden Tone.  One great way to replenish soil nutrients is to sow a cover crop for the winter.  You, then, turn this crop back into the soil which adds good organic matter to the soil.
                As for fighting pests and diseases…I will use Ivory Soap and water as a bath to fight aphids on the new growth.  Some very good organic commercial products for organic gardening include Neem Oil, Captain Jack’s Deadbug with Spinosad, and Diatomaceaous Earth. 
Keep in mind that releasing or encouraging natural predators such as birds, frogs, toads, ladybugs, and praying mantis can help keep pests naturally under control.
                In conclusion, converting to organic gardening is made simple with all these organic soils and products that can now be found in garden centers.  Using organic methods ensures that we maintain the biodiversity and healthy soils that allow plants to thrive and produce, while letting nature do some of our work in the garden.
Posted: 4/6/2016 by Doug Hensel | with 0 comment(s)
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