What is organic gardening
Organic gardening is a method of gardening that does not use man-made chemicals or fertilizers that are produced commercially. This is a method of gardening that develops a relationship between the gardener, the earth, and the crops that they grow. The goal is to grow fruits and vegetables that are free of harmful toxins, pesticides and heavy metals. The result is a healthy bounty of consumables that increase the benefits of a healthy diet and subtract the possibility of consuming cancer causing agents or toxins. To be clear, there are many cancer causing agents that occur naturally. An example is arsenic. So in the purest sense of the term, organic gardening, implies that the gardening process should be free of man-made chemicals, and it should avoid naturally occurring toxins and elements.
Why is organic gardening important?
There are many reasons why organic gardening is important. Perhaps the best reason is that is helps to reduce the amount of money that we spend each month on groceries. The cost savings factor is not the only reason though. There is the quality factor too. Fresh produced, picked at their optimum taste better than produce that is picked green and then allowed to ripen in the store. There is the health factor too. It is often healthier to grow your own food in an environment where you have control over what kinds of by-products impact what you consume. For families with children, allowing kids to help grow what they eat is a good way to overcome the fussy eating syndrome that kids often display. Kids are usually happy to eat what they grow.
The payback for spending time toiling in the hot sun is found in the bountiful harvest that rewards the organic gardener. Organic gardening gives the gardener two things. It gives usable items such as fruits and vegetables. It also provides an opportunity to compost items that can not be consumed, such as corn stalks, pumpkin vines, flowers and plants that have died, and other garden refuse that can be composted. Organic gardening is a no waste process because almost everything can be composted or consumed. The gifts of organic gardening are the crops we harvest and the waste we turn back into usable soil.
What is organic composting?
Organic composting is the act of recycling garden refuse into a usable soil or soil amendments that are organic. Organic composting is a fairly simple process. Find a spot, make a pile. Eventually, whatever is in that pile begins to breakdown and becomes usable compost. There are more sophisticated methods that produce organic compost without the nasty smell that can be associated with rotting food. The idea behind compost is to break-down left over garden waste without causing anaerobic bacteria to colonize. Anything that is left to accumulate outside will start to decompose. Sometimes that is a process that occurs on a chemical level and sometimes it is a bacterial or an enzyme reaction that causes decomposition. The goal of every organic “composter” should be to break down the garden waste in such a way that the end-result is a healthy mixture of organic compost that is ready to go straight into the garden.
Beginning with garden waste and ending with ready to use compost is a process. There are may different ways to compost organically. I am not going to argue the pro’s or cons of different methods of composting because there are so many unrelated factors that go into composting. Methods that may work well in one area may not work at all in another geographic location. The best advice that organic gardeners can use is to find out what works well in your area. It is fairly easy to check, with community gardens, and local backyard gardeners, to find out what methods they use. The goal of this article is to show that how the benefits of organic composting pay off.
Developing an organic composting system or routine
Okay, so you have decided to try composting. The hardest part is remembering to add garden refuse to the compost pile. Make the process as simple as possible. You set the rules for what is compostable or not compostable. Organic compost is often made up of all the stuff in your garden that you can not eat. Most organic composts make a habit of NOT adding weeds, or flowers with viable seeds. It is not uncommon in the spring to find things growing in your compost pile. Squash, tomatoes, basil, are few things that like to spring up in your compost pile. It is perfectly okay to replant those volunteers elsewhere. You want to avoid things like meat, bones, and those sorts of things because they usually need bacteria to break them down and that means nasty smells. Feel free to add clean dry leaves, lawn clippings, etc. when you have those items on hand.
Utilizing compost to increase crop yields
Organic compost is an amazingly rich, loamy substance that helps to maintain good soil quality. It can also be used a mulch in the fall and winter to help amend the soil slowly. For Sacramento gardeners, a thick layer of aged compost around your winter plants will help to warm up the cold winter soil enough that the plants will continue to grow despite the weather.
Compost can be used to help new seedlings and starters grow into healthy and productive plants. The better care we give our plants the better they produce. The point of organic gardening in conjunction with organic composting is to use compost as a means to increasing plant yield..