What is organic gardening, you ask? Simply stated, organic gardening is the natural method of growing plants, fruit, herbs and vegetables without the use of synthetic (man-made) chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Organic gardening is not a new concept. In fact, it has been around for thousands of years, but has only in the last decade or so, gained popularity and momentum – and for good reason.
Over the last 500 million years plants and beneficial soil microorganisms have developed a symbiotic relationship. When a plant photosynthesizes (that means when a plant uses the Sun to make food), it releases a carbon exudate into the soil, which microorganisms utilize as a food source. The microbes then surround the root to feed on the carbon and in return protect the plant roots, recycle nutrients, improve nutrient availability, improve nutrient absorption, minimize nutrient leaching and improve the soil structure over time. As you can see this truly is a “symbiotic relationship”.
Unfortunately, today many soils are grossly out of balance and are virtually devoid of beneficial microbial populations. This is due primarily to an over reliance on “quick fix” cultural practices, which rely on synthetic fertilizers and pesticides to manage turf. Studies have shown that most insect and disease infestation is actually brought on by pushing excessive plant growth with water – soluble inorganic fertilizers! This unnatural growth weakens the plant and makes it an opportunistic target for insects and disease. Pesticides are then applied to control these self- inflicted manifestations and they exacerbate the problem by killing non-target beneficial soil microorganisms. Once you start killing off the beneficial microbial populations, the vicious cycle begins. When the microbes are no longer there to protect the roots you are forced to apply more pesticides and the vicious cycle is perpetuated!
When you utilize organic gardening principles, you replenish the soil, thereby eliminating the build-up of chemical residues on your lawn, herbs, fruits or vegetables. That means healthier plants, which attract fewer insect pests. That also means you have a healthier lawn, which will crowd out weeds and resist insects and disease. And most important, it means healthier lives for you and your family
– Espoma is a leading supplier for Abby’s Parkside Nursery for a wide variety of plant foods for everything from evergreens to vegetables to roses and more. Click on the Espoma link to reach this informative site
– Organic Laboratories provides an organic insecticed/fungicide for use on turf, ornamentals and fruit trees. Organicide(TM) is a nature-safe organic insecticide and fungicide, effective on a wide variety of insects, mites, scales and certain fungal diseases.
The Organic Materials Review Institute provides a comprehensive list of products and standards for Organic products. Visit their site for more detailed information about organic products, their “approved” list and much more.