Organic Gardening 101:
Simple, Non-Toxic Tips and How-Tos
It almost irritates me to have to clarify it as "Organic" Gardening 101...after all, it's what we did for countless years before the agricultural revolution. I think anything else should have to clarify itself..."chemical gardening" or "toxic gardening" or "really flipping expensive gardening". (Because it is.) But organic gardening is just gardening; working with Nature's designs to create something wonderful, instead of working against it to create something short-term and harmful. Nature has a way of keeping things in balance itself, without a lot of funky stuff from us. (Or at least it did. We've been messing with that balance just a bit.)
That's not to say I don't think there is ever a time or place for pesticides or fertilizers. On the contrary, they can be extremely helpful...when they are organic. (See what I did there?) When they're not...well, we might be fixing a short-term problem, but we inevitably create an even bigger long-term one. (If you haven't already, you can read "Why Organic Gardening?" to understand these issues better.)
The purpose of this section is to introduce you the strategies for beginner's gardening. The basic things you'll want to know. The topics you can't walk two feet into a gardening convention without hearing about.
Some of these things will likely be familiar, or you might already be doing them. But I'd encourage you to read the articles anyway. There are many lesser-known tips and strategies nestled within each article that can help you make the most of your own efforts.
More than anything, enjoy yourself. If you're not enjoying yourself, try something new. Some people find they love digging in the dirt and they end up taking their Gardening 101 to a whole new level. Others find that a particular subset of gardening is their personal fave (like herb gardening or growing exclusively tomatoes, or only what will save them the most money at the grocery store). And some people find the creative flare is what calls to them. You don't have to be into gardening to go green. Remember, it's about creating a life you actually want to sustain, too.
The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses. - Hanna Rion
The Importance of Compost
Composting your "waste" is the probably the most important Organic Gardening 101 tip you'll get. Learn what can be composted, how and where to compost, and what to do with it all once you have it (even if you think you have no use for it!).
Read More: Home Composting
Why and How to Mulch
Learning the basics of mulch is a very important part of gardening organically. There are many different types available, depending on your needs and budget, as well as things to avoid like the plague.
Read More: How To Mulch
Sustainable Organic Fertilizers
Chemical fertilizers pose many risks, are expensive, and are absolutely unnecessary. Amending your lawn and garden with sustainable and organic fertilizer is easy, safe, inexpensive, and often even free.
Read More: Sustainable and Organic Fertilizers
Organic Pest Control
Gardening 101 would not be complete without talking about pests. Learn to manage pests without chemicals, including preventative measures, healthy ecosystems, and with non-toxic, organic pesticides only when absolutely necessary.
Read More: Pest Control for Organic Gardening
Don't go squashing or preventing bugs without first knowing which are beneficial insects hard at work for you. Learn to identify the good guys and discover how to attract them into your garden by creating the right kind of habitat.
Read More: Identifying & Attracting Beneficial Insects
Many more articles on their way...
This growing section has some big expansion plans. Some of the upcoming articles include:
- Knowing (or Correcting) Your Soil Type
- Respecting Your Plant Zone
- Organic Weed Killer
- Community Gardening
- Guerilla Gardening
Which would you like to see first? Leave a comment below to let me know!