Organic gardening is what all horiculture and argiculture was before the advent of the Industrial Revolution and the resultant availability of chemical additives such as fertilisers and pesticides, most of which were introduced in the 20th Century. It is one of the fastest growing gardening movements, and more and more people are discovering that it is possible to enjoy a beautiful, thriving garden without the use of chemicals such as artificial fertilisers and pesticides.
Reasons and concerns
One reason to avoid the use of artificial fertilisers and pesticides is that long term use of such chemicals can deplete the soil and leave it unable to sustain further growth. In many cases beds of perennials suddenly stop blooming for no apparent reason, and the culprit is often found to be the overuse of chemical fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. (I've never heard of 'beds of perennials suddenly stopping blooming' happening. John Cossham 18:56, April 9, 2012 (UTC) )
Concern for the health of the gardener's family members, pets and the environment as a whole is another reason many people choose organic gardening methods. Runoff from many commercial pesticides and chemical fertilizer can leach into ground water, damage wells, and cause problems with fish ponds and other parts of the landscape.
In addition, a well planted and well landscaped home interior has been shown to improve the value of the home, and when that garden is an organic one its value is further enhanced. A beautiful organic garden can be a great way to provide a cost effective enhancement to any landscape.
Both artificial fertilisers and pesticides are made from fossil resources such as oil and mined chemicals. In a post-Peak Oil world, and with increasing climate change, the use of these resources should be reduced and discouraged. However, fertilisers and pesticides have enabled Humanity to produce very high crop yields which have provided cheap food for many around the world. In the future we will have to balance the need for lots of food from reducing land resources and for an increasing population with the need to reduce C emissions and the increasing cost of finite resources such as oil and gas. John Cossham 18:56, April 9, 2012 (UTC)
Pest control is one of the places where organic gardening can actually be superior to chemical methods. Instead of using harsh pesticides to get rid of garden pests, it is often better and more effective to use beneficial insects to get rid of harmful ones. Harmful insects are often unable to compete once more beneficial insects have been brought in to the organic garden.
One of the most common pests encountered by gardeners, and one of the biggest reasons they use chemical pesticides, is aphids. These common garden pests can be organically controlled by spraying the infested stems, leaves and buds with a diluted mixture of soapy water, then an application of fresh, clear H2O. This technique has been used by organic gardeners for many years, and it is effective even against heavy infections of aphids.
Plant selections for a good landscape
Selecting the right plants is also important to success as an organic gardener. Choosing the right fertilizer is an important consideration as well, since there are organic equivalents for just about every type of chemical fertilizer. When choosing plants and fertilizers, be sure to research the best plants and organic fertilizers for your own area. If you have an organic gardening club in your area, you may want to join in order to swap tips about the best types of plants and fertilizers.
One great element of any organic garden landscape is a good ground cover. Planting ground covering plants in areas where grass has a hard time taking hold not only enhances the beauty of your home, but it provides better soil drainage and water retention as well. Many homeowners have discovered the power of using native species as natural ground cover.
Flowering vines are another popular centerpiece of many organic gardens. Flowering vines are great for enhancing the beauty of fences, walls, sheds and other structures, since they can easily be trained to grow along these structures.
These any many other plants and flowers can enhance any organic garden and make it the showcase of the community. Growing an organic garden is a great way to protect your home, your family and even the environment.
- Avoid watering the garden when the temperature is at 8.33 F – 103.73 F (-13.15 C – 39.85 C (260K – 313K)) or between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m because that’s when water evaporates
- Use rain barrels, because that helps save water from being wasted from the sink
- Plant trees, to help provide clean air
- While waiting for a sink to heat up fill a container with cold water, use water from a dehumidifier, melt ice in a container