Organic products have become very popular. Organic gardening can mean a lot of things but in this short organic gardening introduction we will use the term organic gardening meaning gardening using natural biological processes.
Like many other things, organic gardening needs a solid foundation. This means a healthy and fertile soil. You need to add organic materials, rather than using synthetic fertilizers. Compost is the normal source of organic matter. Manure is another popular source that has been used for ages.
A healthy soil is very much alive, it contains a lot of organisms which decompose organic matter and release nutrients. Soil may not be a very exciting topic but good soil is essential for successful gardening. Soil is made up of a lot of different materials, the main components are water, oxygen and minerals.
The term soil texture refers to the size of the particles that make up your soil and the relative amounts of these particles. Clay particles are the smallest soil particles. Slit particles are larger than clay particles but smaller than sand particles, which are the largest of three particles. Good soil for most plants is made up of about 40% sand, 40% silt and 20% clay. Too much clay and the soil contains less oxygen and becomes very hard when it is dry. Sandy soils are not very fertile and water drains quickly.
Soil structure refers to how the soil particles clump together. A loose structure allows water and air to penetrate the soil easily. Clay particles on the other hand clump together, making it difficult for water and oxygen to pass through. While you can’t do much about the texture of your soil, you can improve the soil structure. The most common ways of improving soil structure and maintaining a good structure is to add organic matter and tilling.
Organic gardening includes all kinds of plants. But you need to make sure that you choose plants that are suitable for your local conditions. This means that you need to pay attention to things such as sunshine, shady places, climate and soil structure. You want to create a balanced ecosystem in your garden. In order to achieve this you need a diversity of plants. By having a balanced set of plants you make sure that your garden survive pests and at the same time you keep the soil fertile. You can also let large plants provide shade for species that prefer shade.
One of the biggest differences between normal gardening and organic gardening is pest control. Using synthetic pesticides is not an option in organic gardening. This means that it is important to choose plants that are pest resistant. Nowadays, you have a lot of plants that are very good at repelling and surviving pests. But you also need to make sure that your garden is not a good place for pests. One simple way is to make sure that your plants are in good shape. Weak plants are more likely to be affected by pests than strong healthy plants. By cleaning up debris you make it more difficult for unhealthy organisms to stay in your garden. Additionally, frequent inspections of your plants will help you to quickly take action if problems arise. Note that some pesticides can be used also in organic gardening.