|Why Garden Organically?||(See the Links section for further details)|
|When you garden organically, you think of your plants as part of a bigger cycle within nature that includes the soil, water supply, natural pests and predators and people. It is not only about avoiding using synthetic fertilizers or pesticides on your plants, although this is important too. Organically grown food is healthier to eat as it isn’t contaminated with synthetic chemicals. Organic gardens are also a haven for wildlife of all sorts, the gardener encourages a natural ecosystem where natural predators control the pests, rather than chemicals. The wider the variety of wildlife, the more stable is the ecosystem.|
main factors to consider in organic gardening are:
Soil: An organic gardener seeks to continually replenish the soil with the organic material and nutrients that the plants have consumed. This is achieved by regularly adding organic material to the soil – compost, manure, grass clippings, straw, vegetable waste, etc.
Use mulches (straw, clippings, leaves, etc.) to reduce the evaporation of water from the soil.
Pest Control: Encourage natural predators that eat pests – frogs, toads, hedgehogs (create ponds and overgrown areas) hoverflies, ladybirds (plant marigolds and other flowers) birds and bats (make bird and bat boxes) Artificial pesticides also harm these helpful creatures, so don’t use them!
Plant appropriately: plants adapted to the local climate and site are better able to grow without help and have some natural defenses against the local pests. Interplant your crops with different species, a mix of plants will attract a variety of beneficial insects and prevent problems spreading across the entire garden. Do not plant the same crop in the same place until at least 3 years have past, so that pests can't build up in the soil.
With some planning and regular work, an organic garden can yield large, healthy crops without the need for artificial fertilizers or pesticides. Work in cooperation with nature, not against it!