The benefits of eating organic food are countless but in today’s world, eating organic food is way more difficult than we think because the word “organic food” is usually used for advertisement. However, consuming organic fruits and vegetables is very important both for us and the environment. If you are thinking of starting to organic gardening at home, we are here to help you with this article in which we are going to talk about everything about organic gardening for beginners. Here we go.
Organic Gardening at Home
Before you start organic gardening at home, you should know the differences between organic gardening and conventional gardening. The main difference between the two of them is the fact that organic gardening is all about using the natural system and its materials while conventional gardening relies on synthetic fertilizers which are man-made. So, people who are interested in organic gardening believe that ecosystem is what is necessary to make a garden richer and healthier.
The plants that grow naturally in nature are able to survive without somebody fertilizing them and even watering them. The ecosystem is what makes this possible with a perfect balance between soil, plant, and beneficial insects. This is the main core of organic gardening. It means while you are practicing organic gardening at home, you shouldn’t act like a human being who has a garden but act like nature itself.
Planning your garden is the major key on this journey of organic gardening for beginners. Instead of trying and forcing a plant to grow in an environment that it isn’t used to, you should choose plants suited to the environment they are going to grow up and of course, climate.
Organic gardening at home is not as difficult as you think. The only thing you should do is to observe nature very closely and mimic it. This won’t only gain you a healthy lifestyle but also you will understand the mindset of the ecosystem.
Organic gardening is a beautiful way to connect to nature because while providing yourself fresh vegetables and food, you don’t harm any living creatures or the environment itself. It sounds like a good meditation, isn’t it?
What Are the Benefits of Organic Gardening?
We all know that eating organic food is more healthy because those plants don’t grow with chemicals. However, the benefits of organic gardening are not limited to this fact. Knowing these benefits are necessary for organic gardening for beginners, so you are going to have your own reasons why you want to start organic gardening.
The products of organic gardening aren’t only healthy. If you compare two products, one is organic and the other one is not, you can feel the differences between their taste heavily. Organic vegetables and fruits didn’t grow with the help of chemicals, so they have higher mineral and vitamin content. Since the gardeners don’t use any herbicides or pesticides, the vegetables and fruits are healthier, tastier, and even more colorful.
Another benefit of organic gardening just because the gardeners don’t use chemical pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers; the soil doesn’t wash up with chemicals. Thanks to that none of the animals, beneficial insects, or birds don’t get harmed. This keeps the ecosystem keeps working in its own natural way.
Organic Gardening Supplies
On your journey of organic gardening for beginners, one of the first things you should learn is, gardening supplies will be just like your hands. It means you are going to use them frequently. However, organic gardening is a little bit sensitive since you won’t force your plants to grow but you are only going to act like a part of nature. Both with the environment and the supplies, you should make the plants feel like home. Yes, home, for real. So, picking the right supplies in organic gardening is a key factor. What are these organic gardening supplies?
1. Feeds and Compost
The environment, especially the soil, is the backbone of organic gardening. You are going to want the soil to be healthy. If you keep it healthy, your plants will be healthy. But, what do we mean by “healthy”? It means to keep its nutrient levels balanced according to plants you are going to grow on it. Thankfully, feeds and composts will be there to help you.
2. Plant Protection Supplies
What makes organic gardening organic is the partnership between gardeners and the ecosystem. You are going to use nature’s cycle while growing plants. Because of this reason, you won’t use the typical methods that have been used in conventional gardening to keep your plants safe.
For example, if you don’t have a huge garden but still you want to practice organic gardening in pots, you are probably going to want to use greenhouses to protect your plants. With greenhouses, you are not only going to protect your plants from pests but also you will easily change their position according to the amount of sunlight they need.
3. Plant Supporter Supplies
In nature, the plants grow in their own way. The beans are great examples of this situation. While they are growing, they need something to wrap around. You can use bamboo canes for them to get wrapped around it.
So, another rule of organic gardening for beginners is you should support your plant with proper materials. This material changes plant to plant, of course. However, if you want your plant to grow happily just like it’s in nature, these are necessary. Just help your plant to follow its natural instincts.
4. Gardening Tools
Gardening life is much easier with the right tools. On your road to organic gardening for beginners, you won’t feel any pressure on you thanks to gardening tools. Even if you don’t have any experience with gardening, you already know you are going to use knives, rakes, trowels, draw hoes and etc. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or expert gardener, you are going to use these tools.
5. Gardening Gloves and Apron
Gardening is not a clean job, especially when you think that soil is going to be your best friend. Before any tools, you are going to use your hands to plant. Soil can be hard to get rid of, so to protect your hands and your clothes, you are going to need gardening gloves and apron. Like their name says, gardening gloves and aprons are made particularly for gardening. They are going to help you work without worrying about getting dirty.
Organic Gardening Pest Control
The organic gardeners don’t use chemical pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, or any kind of chemicals. This is rule number one for organic gardening for beginners. However, you need to manage pest control somehow, so you can keep producing fruits and vegetables. The question is, how are you going to do it if you are not going to use chemicals? In fact, most of the organic pest control methods are more effective than traditional ones. Still, it’s okay to wonder and we are here to tell you how.
1. Insecticidal Soap Method
If mealybugs, aphids, thrips, or any kind of small bugs have been attacking your garden, insecticidal soap is totally going to save you. Insecticidal soaps are very cheap and they are absolutely non-toxic.
It means by using insecticidal soap method as pest control won’t harm any animals, birds, and even beneficial insects. However, some plants can be sensitive to insecticidal soaps so do your research before you use it.
2. Floating Row Cover Method
Using floating row cover as pest control is one of the oldest methods. Floating row covers are very easy to use. The only thing you need to do is envelop the cover over your vegetables.
Since the covers are transparent, your crops will still take the sunlight they need. Plus, they will be protected from moths, worms, beetles, and any other pests along with birds, squirrels, and rabbits.
3. Neem Oil Method
The neem oil method is another popular method of organic gardening pest control. The method is used to protect your plants and their leaves from leaf-eating beetles such as bean beetles or potato beetles. When you apply neem oil to your plants, the insects will leave the leaf instead of dying there, since they lose interest in laying eggs on that leaf.
Also, just like in other methods we have mentioned, the beneficial insects won’t be affected by the neem oil method. So, it is both a safe and non-toxic method.
Organic Gardening Tips
Organic gardening for beginners might seem like a complex hobby to practice on but as soon as you see your first vegetable which is totally organic, you will feel amazing. Still, we want to give you some organic gardening tips to make things easier for you.
- Tip 1: If you don’t have any of the pest control methods we mentioned above, you can use onion or garlic. Bugs hate them.
- Tip 2: Every plant is unique. Before you plant them, make a good research on how much water they need, how frequently they need it, which pest control method you can use to protect them, etc.
- Tip 3: Before the day you plant them, soak your seeds in water. It will help them sprout faster.
- Tip 4: Choose the right plant which will suit the environment. Since you won’t be using any chemicals, they won’t grow otherwise.
Remember that organic gardening is a hobby that needs a lot of time, patience, and effort. But don’t worry, none of your efforts will go in vain. Just be patient and treat your plants as your children. It is worth it.
Nazlıcan Ay is a freelance writer for hire who creates original content for websites and blogs. She studies American Studies at university. When she is not working, she is reading poems and her biggest dream is to run her own boutique hotel one day.