For those of you who still haven’t come in terms with Organic Gardening and what it means, here’s a quick idea about it. Organic Gardening, as the name suggests, means Gardening using only products derived from nature. It means not using synthetic products including chemical pesticides and fertilizers.
Organic gardening is all about creating an ecosystem where all the elements help sustain each other. Like for example, the plants help the insects and the beneficial insects help the plant and so on.
Here are some of the important components of an organic garden:
Organic fertilizers, along with organic pesticides make the most integral part of organic gardening. In simple language, organic fertilizers are those that are derived from animal and vegetable matter, which are formed as a result of microbial degradation.
Why are Organic fertilisers better than chemical fertilizers?
Inorganic fertilizers or chemical fertilizers are subject to leaching and results in high toxic salt concentration in soil, while organic fertilizers work as soil conditioners. Inorganic fertilizers are derived from synthetic elements while organic fertilizers contain only plant and animal-based materials which turns out to more beneficial, of course.
- Manure is derived from livestock and poultry waste. It has been used as a fertilizer since ancient times. It is buried in the soil near plants so that plants can directly absorb the nutrients.
- Mulch is the most common type of natural fertilizer. Mulching materials includes, bark, leaves or even grass clippings from mowing the lawn.
- Compost made out of garden and kitchen waste proves as the best type of organic fertilizers. Through composting a lot of kitchen waste is recycled which otherwise would have been disposed off in the garbage bin.
Half of all the chemical pesticides used have carcinogenic effects. They prove to be effective for the purpose of removing pests but the long term effects of using synthetic chemicals cannot be ignored. They prove detrimental for human health as well as plants health. That is why one should immediately switch to organic pesticides. Organic pesticides have no adverse effects on humans or plants.
Types and examples of organic pesticides:
We can get rid of pest in a lot of natural ways. We can either get rid of them manually (by removing the effected parts of plants, spraying jets of water to dislodge pests etc) or we can take help of other mediums such as pest-eating predators (by attracting lady bug, spiders, praying mantis etc into the garden), neem extracts etc. By employing these well-known methods of pest-control we can minimize the population of pests and keep it within the threshold limit.
- Water conservation:
When we take up the responsibility of carrying out gardening in an organic way, we must also make sure we are not wasting water while watering the plants. Water is vital for both humans and plants.
The following guidelines of watering plants must be followed for conserving this precious resource, water.
- We should choose plants that are native to the area and require little or no water beyond what the nature provides
- Planting groundcovers will help in keeping the garden coo. Also, regular mulching locks the moisture in the soil.
- By using watering method such as Drip irrigation or soaker hoses which reduces evaporation of water. In drip irrigation technique we can deliver water directly to plant roots, where it seeps water in the soil slowly, one drop at a time. Thus minimizing loss of water due to surface runoff or evaporation. It saves time as well as effort.
- Rainwater harvesting is another method of water conservation for the purpose of gardening. Rainwater can be collected in rain barrels and stored for watering the plants in the garden. The water thus harvested is pure, soft and has neutral pH which makes it a perfect fit for gardening purposes.
- Growing native/local plants:
Growing plants that are native or local to a particular region has its own benefits. They tend to be resistant to all the conditions which are adverse in that particular region.
Like for example, Jasmine is native to India, which means growing and taking care of jasmine plant won’t be an exhaustive task. It can bloom on its own as long as it is grown in India or any other tropical country for that matter. Just the same way, if we bring in exotic plants which are native to other countries to India then we’ll need to put in extra effort for taking care of it, otherwise it’ll perish.
Hence, we see that local plants require less or no fertilisers, little water as they are mostly accustomed to the weather conditions of its native place. Local plants/crops require low maintenance as compared to other exotic, non-local plants.
Thus, organic gardening is considered to be a smart choice as it doesn’t harm the environment or the diversity. It in turn benefits us in so many amazing ways.