The word “organic” is thrown around a lot these days. Most people recognize it as being a good thing, but what does it mean to go organic? The stickers you see in grocery stores are the end result of a long and complex process of accreditation that commercial growers follow in order to be certified organic.Thankfully, going organic is a fairly easy and straightforward process for the home gardener. Organic gardening is, at its core, about working side by side with nature, observing her processes. Choosing the right soil, plants and pesticides will ensure that you have a healthy and productive organic garden.
Soil is what can make or break your garden. If your soil is nutrient poor, your plants will not grow as fast or as much as you may want. Producing your own compost and adding it to your soil will give your garden the boost it needs to thrive. You can create your own compost pile out of vegetable scraps, eggshells, and dead plants. After bacteria break down this waste material, you can add your compost into your soil to create a wonderful base for your organic garden.
Even with the best, most nutrient rich soil, your garden will not thrive if you do not choose the correct plants. The best plants for your organic garden are plants that are already adapted to grow in your area. This includes both your geographical location and the specific conditions in your garden. Plants that thrive in climates with heavy rain will not fare well in arid areas. Also, if your garden is shaded, planting crops that require full sun will not work. It will be more fun and less work to choose plants that want to be in your garden in the first place.
Once the soil and plants are in place, the final step is ensuring that they remain healthy and intact. It should be obvious that toxic, synthetic pesticides have no place in organic gardening. That does not mean giving your plants over the pests, though. There are several natural products and chemicals that you can safely use to kill unwanted bugs in your garden. Household detergent, horticultural oils, and even bacteria can be used to effectively to kill pests. In the end, however, most organic gardeners accept that a small amount of damage is a part of the cycle of nature.
There are many methods the organic gardener can use to achieve their ends. What all these methods share is the core idea that organic gardening is about working with nature instead of against it. Building good soil, choosing the right plants, and implementing safe pesticides are the very basic beginnings for a healthy, organic garden.