Friday, April 17, 2015

O is for Organic Gardening

First off, what does organic gardening mean? Basically it means not using any synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.

I do use an organic fertilizer at times, but I am looking for other ways to feed the soil, like cover crops, grass clippings, chopped leaves and compost. We do have a compost pile as well.

I have never used any pesticides and never will. I have enough health problems and chemicals in my body that I don't need to eat them as well. I do read the labels on the products I buy in the store. I am mostly trying to stick with companies in the USA only and trying to avoid GMO's.

So, how do I keep my plants healthy? I rotate my crops at least every year, most every two years. If a plant has any disease, it gets taken out right away and thrown away, never in my compost pile. I keep a journal every year, so I know where I have planted what throughout the years.

I also practice companion planting. I make sure the veggies I plant are near others that are compatible with them. I also make sure that the plants that were there the year before are also compatible. My dad gets a kick out of me wanting to garden like the old timers. This is how my grandparents did it.

Throughout my veggie plants, you will see plenty of marigolds, nasturtiums and sunflowers. In combination with my companion planting, this helps keep bugs at bay and the plants healthy. Plus, who doesn't like looking at flowers. Not to mention it will draw in the bee's, butterflies and hummingbirds.

Now, don't get me wrong, I do have bugs in my garden, mostly beneficial though. I do get a ton of snails and slugs in my garden every year. It is a constant battle trying to keep them from getting to my veggies before I do. I have been playing around with a few different ways to ditch them, so we will see how it works this year.

So, I don't do anything special to keep my garden free from pesticides, I just listen to what my grandparents use to do.

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