Worms, Garbage, and the Organic Garden

In recent years people have become increasingly aware of the chemicals used to produce our food, and many are finally starting to fight back by purchasing organic, and using organic production methods in their own gardens.

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How can you grow your own garden organically? Here are three things you can do to get a good start on growing your garden without chemicals.

1. Start your own compost pile. Fresh compost is a must for organic gardening. To create good, rich soil you need plenty of organic matter. Use your garbage (leaves, kitchen scraps, cow manure, grass clippings) to create life. Rich soil is one of the key ingredients to organic gardening. Poor soil will lead to poor plant health, and poor plant health will lead to disease. A soil rich in organic matter also encourages worms, and other subterranean creatures to dig in the soil around your plants. This will loosen, and aerate the soil, improving the root health of your plants. I’ll discuss composting in more detail in a future post.

2. Find a great organic fertilizer. Sometimes, especially when you are starting your organic garden mission, you need a little extra fertilizer to keep your plants in top shape. Try a fish, worm castings, or manure based product on your garden. Alfalfa pellets (found in pet stores, in the small animal section), can also be crumbled up around the base of plants, or soaked in water to create an alfalfa tea for your nutrient thirsty plants.

3. Use natural pest control methods. As mentioned in an earlier post, Gardens Alive is an excellent source for both organic fertilizers, and pest control supplies. Common dish soap, mixed with water, and put in a spray bottle ,is an excellent and effective insecticide. Fels-Naptha soap (a bar soap found with the laundry products at your local grocer), is great for shaving off, adding to water and spraying on plants. It helps deter many unwanted pests including aphids, but it doesn’t harm beneficial insects such as Praying Mantis, or Ladybugs.

Happy organic gardening!

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