Organic gardening is a type of gardening which uses no chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Gardeners look for alternatives to achieve a healthy crop without resorting to spraying the plants with chemicals which can leech into the soil and harm others directly or indirectly. Organic gardening can be extremely difficult, mostly because there are various pests that can destroy your efforts-so this is how you can beat them.
How do Organic Gardens Stop Pests?
The biggest challenge when planning an organic garden is pest control. Most farmers report losing the majority of their crops to the many bugs and insects that will eat plants or produce. The best way to prevent losses is to use pest resistant plants. By diversifying crops and using companion planting, the pest-resistant plants will protect the surrounding plants as well.
Choose the Right Insects
While insects can be damaging to an organic garden, there are many beneficial insects which prevent damage. These insects include ladybugs, praying mantis, predatory mites, and lacewings to name just a few. These insects will eat the mites and other bugs which can damage crops, providing a natural and safe alternative. This is the way to use them. Organic supply companies sell these insects, and once placed in the garden, the insects tend to stay in the area. Some of the winged insects may fly a short distance, but usually won’t leave the garden.
In addition to help from other insects, there are several natural pesticides. These are created from natural substances and provide a safe way to prevent pests from destroying a garden. When using these pesticides, some bugs can build up a resistance, so it is recommended that gardeners rotate out the pesticides to prevent this problem. Organic pest control service companies will offer natural alternatives to chemical pesticides.
Fungicides are also allowed on organically certified farms, at least certain kinds. Natural fungicides such as Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus pumilus are effective at preventing pests from attacking the roots of plants. Caprylic acid, found in coconuts and milk, has antimicrobial activity and can be used safely in organic gardens.
Strategies for Organic Gardens
Planning ahead will reduce the stress of having a successful organic garden. First, make sure to rotate crops. Farmers discovered that by rotating the different crops grown each year, the soil didn’t lose nutrients and provided better yields. Even in a smaller garden, this is an effective strategy. Divide the area into sections and switch out the crops each year. Secondly, use animal manure. Make sure to use manure that has been aged and spread a thick layer over the plant beds. This will prevent both pests and weeds. After spreading the manure, ensure that the surface is even. Try to do this a week before planting so that the manure will have time to settle down and provide a fertile layer for plants. Thirdly, keeping weeds out of a garden is easier by using natural herbicides. These are usually made with pine oils and other plant extracts and are safe for humans and pets, while preventing weed growth. These are a few tips on growing an organic gardening. By following this advice, having a safe and natural garden is much easier, while avoiding using harsh and dangerous chemicals.