Why Organic Gardening is The ‘In’ Thing? No matter how advanced our world grows, a simple undeniable truth is that we can’t beat nature because Mother Nature knows best. This stands true even with the food we eat. While there’s tons of food produced each day, not all are safe. When farmers use herbicides, pesticides, and chemicals to promote plant growth or keep pests away, the results can be deadly. For instance, did you know that several types of cancer, autism, depression and brain damage result from chemicals? And ironically, additives that are created to make soil more fertile end up making humans infertile!
Interest in organic food and all things organic is at an all-time high in India and all over the world. It is obvious that to eat organic food, you have to grow organic as well, which means growing food in harmony with nature, without the use of fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides which in turn disturbs the environment.
Why do Organic Gardening?
Organic farmers and gardeners have a strong sense of commitment to their soil and that is why they choose to shun harmful chemicals. Organic gardening nurtures the soil and feeds the soil, not just the plants. It creates a rebirth in the life of the soil and brings in the vitality to its space.
Farmers find it hard to reject chemical pesticides which put plants and the health of our family at risk since nutrients are available to the plants immediately, improvement occurs within a few days and of course, is inexpensive. Through organic gardening at home, we can nurture the ground and environment so that we can live in a cleaner and healthier environment. So if you’ve got a kitchen garden, consider organic fertilizers and ways to grow your vegetables and fruits and your body and the universe will thank you.
Benefits of Organic Gardening
There are several benefits of organic gardening. Some of these are:
1. It prevents loss of the topsoil, toxic runoff, soil contamination, water pollution and poisoning, the death of birds, insects, and other organisms.
2. It also helps in eliminating pesticides, fungicides, herbicides residues left on the food.
3. Organic fruits and vegetables taste much better and are healthier than the ones purchased from the market.
Tips for Growing an Organic Garden in Steps
So now that you’re all pumped up about organic gardening, let me give you some tips on how you can grow your own nature’s garden.
1. Prepare the Soil
Healthy soil is key to strong and productive plants and it should have plenty of humus which is the organic matter. Add in compost, leaf/ grass clippings plus the manure.
You will need compost manure which should be organically and humanely raised. Read below how you can make compost manure.
2. Make the Compost
Every garden benefits from compost, which is basically microorganism and nutrient-rich soil made from the aerobic decomposition of organic matter.
To do organic gardening at home I usually search the garden for many of the ingredients to be used in compost, like grass, plant waste, fallen leaves.
I also add in my kitchen waste like vegetable/fruit scraps and peels, coffee grounds, egg-shells, but avoid dog or cat droppings as they may add pathogens to the soil.
Also, we know it sounds disgusting, but human urine is rich in nitrogen and urea and when poured around plants, rejuvenates the soil.
3. Choose your Plants
Carefully choose plants that will adjust to each spot where they are planted so that they will receive maximum light, moisture and drain well.
While buying seedlings, I always consider those raised without chemicals and so opt to buy them at the local farmers market.
4. Plant the Crops
Plants should be tightly grouped in beds as it reduces weeding and cuts down on water waste. Keep ample space between the plant rows to promote air circulation and this will also keep fungal attacks at bay.
5. Water Them Well
It is important to water the plants in the morning because it is cool and there is less loss of water due to evaporation as the winds are less strong, and less likely to be damaged by bacteria and fungus.
The healthiest plants have good living conditions so give your organic garden some extra love.
a) Practice rotation and change the location of your plants to prevent disease and pests.
b) Mulch well to prevent fungal disease spores and weeds from thriving.
c) Speaking about weeds, keep them under control to prevent plant disease. Besides, weeds eat up your plant’s precious nutrients and attract insects that can kill your garden.
d). Plant diseases thrive on dead foliage so keep your garden clean.
I was inspired by my mom to start eating organic food and decided to make use of my backyard for organic vegetable gardening.
It’s just not all about avoiding pesticides and fertilizers but to nurture and nourish the makeup of your soil and give it what it requires. If you could call anything a ‘rule’ in organic gardening, then it’s to feed the soil well, and not just the plant.
Organic Medicinal Garden
As a child, I remember my mother giving us herbal medicine as a remedy for common ailments and she would literally drill it into us that herbal medicine is the best for us.
We are blessed in India to have a rich heritage of Ayurveda and have imparted this knowledge to the whole world.
Dig up a small area in your garden and plant medicinal herbs in it, plants like thyme, basil, calendula are the best medicinal plants to start with.
Organic Gardening Fertilizers in India
Organic fertilizer is usually made from plant or animal waste or powdered minerals. Examples include manure and compost, cottonseed meal etc.
I found out that it was super-easy to purchase organic fertilizers through various online shopping networks which were of good quality as well as economical. I have tried each of these products and definitely, recommend you to try some of them.
1) ORGANIC FERTILIZERS:
Organic fertilizers are usually made up of decomposed plants and animals, human excreta and powdered minerals. They are processed at a minimal stage so that nutrients remain bounded inside them.
PROS OF ORGANIC FERTILIZERS:
Organic fertilizers usually break down to release nutrients and they enhance the ability of soil to hold water and nutrients. There is almost no risk of building up of toxic chemicals which are harmful to plants and they usually break down slowly to prevent over fertilization. As time passes by plants become healthy and strong by the influence of organic fertilizers
CONS OF ORGANIC FERTILIZERS:
Microorganisms break down and release nutrients into the soil under the warmth and moisture but the effect of organic fertilizers for immediate use is limited. Break down of nutrients is a slow process so it will take a couple of months to show its impact on plants.
Here are some organic fertilizers and pesticides reviews for you which I have personally tested, used and observed its effect on my home garden and have found worthy of mentioning on my blog.( Some of the links below are affiliate links which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you.)
Reviews and Recommendations of Some Top Organic Pesticides and Fertilizer
Natural fertilizer and Pest repellent from Coco garden, it is rich in essential plant nutrient. You need to apply neem cake powder when you prepare soil, 10-14 days before planting. Apply it around the root area and mix it well with soil. The recommended amount to be used is 25 gms pe
2. Casa De Amor Vermiculite for Gardening & Hydroponics, by Casa De Amor (1 KG)
Vermiculite is a soil conditioner and is to be mixed half and half with the soil, peat or compost. It helps in soil conditioning and aerating and increases the growth and promotes anchorage for young plants
It is made through 40 days of aerobic decomposition with a mix of 100% natural Cow dung, Goat Manure, Groundnut cake, Pungam Cake, Neem cake, Press Mud, Wood Ash, Steamed Bone Meal, Beneficial microbes like Azospirillum, Phosphobacteria, Pseudomonas, Trichoderma.
- It increases root mass.
- Promotes plant growth and is a disease, insect and drought resistant and other unfavorable conditions.
- It acts fast to improve root growth of seeds and new plantings.
- It’s OMRI listed from USDA and is a certified organic.
- The premeasured spikes make for a fast, easy and mess-free fertilizing experience.
- Extracted from a natural source of phosphorus and potassium.
- Aurora Innovation has distilled it into an easy-to-use product for home and professional gardener.
- It is processed at the minimal stage and preserves all the benefits and amazing synergistic qualities found in Roots organics’ exceptional ingredients.
- It is a concentrated fertilizer
- It contains worm castings and compost for rose planting, for lawns, vegetables, and fruits planting.
- It aids in the uptake of nutrients. Easy to germinate
Easy to manage and germinates effectively
2) Organic Pesticides
Organic pesticides are made from natural substances or man-made mixture from organic soaps or ethanol.
PROS OF ORGANIC PESTICIDE:-
- It is eco-friendly
- It does not cause any kind of resistance to the health and growth of the plant and its offsprings
- Its biodegradable
CONS OF ORGANIC PESTICIDE:-
- It is not economical and quite expensive compared to the chemical ones.
- The effects are not seen immediately.
- Household detergents and pyrethrin are the most common organic pesticides used in India still.
Raftar Organic Pesticide
- It’s environmental friendly
- It’s long-lasting and effective and it’s non-toxic.
- It’s cheap and easy to apply.
Neutron Neem pesticides
- It’s suitable for all types of crops, plants, and horticulture.
- It’s one of the best larva repellents of all times on any crops at any stage
- Sucking pest controllers
- It improves the fertility of the soil and is highly rated by customers.
3) ORGANIC FUNGICIDES:-
Organic fungicides are natural fungicides these are made from plants extracts to prevent microbial infection or attacks on plants.
Recure bio fungicides
- It is non-toxic and is useful for all types of infections like ring spot, downy mildew, and viral bacterial infection on all kinds of crop
LifeLine Bio fungicides
- It reduces the development of diseases by performing various mechanisms like antagonism, antibiosis, and enhanced nutrients uptake.
It is tested on different and various parameters to maintain its quality
- Appreciated for its reliable usage, cheap cost, for all types of fungus and for all types of crops
These are my top inputs on affordable organic pesticides, fertilizers, and fungicides. Most of these products are available in India.Hope I have convinced you to make the move to organic gardening?