Water is wasted and chemicals are poured into the environment by large agricultural producers and small home gardeners every year. Incorporating organic gardening methods is not as hard or expensive at it may seem.
Here are some tips that you can use to help your own garden, and the planet by avoiding the use of fertilizers and pesticides.
Native plants. Not all plants are appropriate for where you live so be sure to research and plan accordingly. Growing plants that are native to your area might help you to avoid using fertilizers and save on water as well. Hardy plants are more resistant and healthy.
Weeds. We’re all looking for a quick and easy way to safely get rid of weeds without chemicals, but the good old fashioned way is still very effective, pull them.
If you make time for gardening every day to pull the weeds you find it will only take a few minutes. Depending on what time of the day it is you can make this a time to begin your day with positive thoughts and feelings or reflect on your blessings at the end of the day.
Being in nature has the ability to improve our thoughts and emotions.
Using mulch is another option for weed control and plant protection, but be sure to read more about mulch types to be sure you aren't causing issues by using one that has seeds like hay or creating an acidic environment with pine needles.
Crop rotation. Farmers use crop rotation to naturally fertilize plants. Plants use different nutrients and put other nutrients back into the soil. If you rotate crops that replace the nutrients the other plants use, you will have to fertilize the soil less.
You can use this same concept in your garden by planting different plants every year, or just rotating where you put specific plants in the garden. You might be surprised to see an abundance in your veggie harvest by making one small change
Natural repelling plants. You don’t need to rely on poisons to keep away garden ruining insects and pests. Many plants produce chemicals that repel pests naturally and some even bring more flavor to certain vegetables. By putting repelling plants in or around you garden, you can keep your garden safe with little effort and no chemicals. I love to see gardens bordered by flowers with purpose and beauty.
Lavender, basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, catnip, citronella and marigolds are some common pest repelling plants to place near or in your garden.
BONUS- you can pick parts of these plants and use them to make products to keep insects away from the garden and away from yourself while working in the garden!
To create a bug repellant spray for your garden, soak leaves or plant parts in a bucket of water overnight then strain and place in a large spray bottle. Or, dilute essential oils with water and make a spray.
Here is one of the essential oil blends I use to repel bugs, but there are so many to choose from depending on which type of insects or bugs you need to repel.
Tea Tree, Eucalyptus and Citronella are inexpensive and I usually have all three of these on hand.
Always use be sure you
- use oils that are skin safe and properly diluted if you plan on spraying your body.
-research child safe essential oils before using on kids under 12
-refrain from using certain citrus oils on the skin with sun exposure to prevent a phototoxicity burn
No matter how small your garden is you can make a difference by making changes towards organic gardening practices. Teach your kids and tell your neighbors! Every little bit helps make it a better, safer, healthier world.