Organic gardening is a growing process where no synthetic pesticides or synthetic fertilizers are used. Instead, compost, grass clippings, and other types of organic matter are used to nurture and feed the soil to help plants and vegetables grow.
Organic gardening often involves a focus on the overall health of the natural system, including plants, animals, insects, people, soil, and water. This whole system approach allows the gardener to maintain the natural and harmonious balance of the land by replenishing resources that are depleted in the gardening process. Here are the basic considerations for organic gardening.
Organic matter helps soil hold and retain water and is critical to keeping the soil in your garden healthy. Organic matter can be mixed into soil or used as a top layer in your garden. By adding this to your garden, you’ll add important nutrients, encourage microbial activity, and influence soil structure.
Organic matter can be derived from compost—and you can make your own compost at home. Mushroom soil, peat moss, leaf mold, and manure are other alternative forms of organic matter that you can add to the soil in your garden.
This organic matter is often in the form of compost, which you can create yourself using leaf and grass clippings from your property, food scraps, decaying plants, manure, and more. Mushroom soil, peat moss, leaf mold, and manure are alternative forms of organic matter you can add to your garden. Mixing compost into your soil will help it retain moisture—and a top layer of mulch will reduce surface runoff.
Native plants are often easier to cultivate and require fewer resources than growing invasive species. As an added benefit, native plants attract pollinators to your garden. You can research native plants by searching online, reading, asking farmers or growers in your area, shopping for seeds and seedlings at a local farmers market, or using the USDA’s Plant Hardiness Zone Map.