Everyone wants their garden to be as healthy and beautiful as possible, but not everyone knows how to accomplish this without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. These harsh chemicals will contaminate your soil, plants, food, and therefore your body.
To protect your family and our planet from further exposure to harmful chemicals, an organic garden is an excellent first step. This will promote a cleaner environment for your family and pets, and healthier produce for their consumption.
There are plenty of natural ways to provide nutrients and protection for your garden. Here are some great tips for starting or maintaining an organic garden of your own!
1. Use organic fertilizers such as horse manure, bat guano, fish emulsion and kelp meal. These natural fertilizers help your soil stay moist and aerated, promote microbiotic activity, and keep roots healthy.
2. Make your own fertilizer by starting a compost pile for food scraps such as fruit peels, uneaten vegetables, egg shells, coffee grounds, or yard waste and paper items.
3. Get your soil tested by your local Cooperative Extension (a service provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture). They can let you know which natural additives will be beneficial for replenishing your garden soil.
4. Companion planting is the practice of raising different plants in pairs that encourage each other’s growth and discourage harmful insects. Do some research on what would pair well with your favorite plants, and incorporate them in your garden.
5. Plant rotation is very important for keeping your soil replenished with nutrients and for discouraging soil-borne disease. Keep track of which plants you have in a plot and grow something else in its place the following season.
6. Beneficial insects should be welcomed into your garden with open arms. Earthworms are wonderful for aerating your soil and bees are phenomenal pollinators. Predatory insects such as ladybugs and praying mantises are the perfect solution to problems with plant-consuming bugs, without the use of pesticides!
7. If you are trying to deter animals such as deer and rabbits from your garden, do not poison or kill them. There are many repellents that are made from natural ingredients — like garlic, predator urine, and pepper — which will work wonders!
8. For fungus and mildew issues there are a variety of home remedies that can be used in place of harsh anti-fungal sprays. A small amount of baking soda mixed into water can make a great anti-fungal spray for your plants.
Now there is no excuse for using toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, because there are so many natural and organic options for garden care!