GARDEN TRENDS AND PICKS - Organic Gardens
It’s no secret that the world is changing at warp speed and it’s easy to feel that many of the changes aren’t necessarily better for the better. However, I see a glimmer of hope to be found in certain gardening trends. At the front of this optimism, is the fact that organics are clearly taking over. Today, more and more people are discovering that they do not have to use chemicals or synthetics (RoundUp or Miracle Gro are two examples), because it simply isn’t necessary.
Now, there are so many organic and natural solutions to choose from that it is becoming the norm for gardeners to understand that it very irresponsible to use chemicals in your garden or yard. In the past, most of us poisoned our environment, putting ourselves, our kids, our pets, our neighbors and our community at risk — thankfully for many now, that is no longer acceptable.
So for those gardeners who haven’t made the leap to organic gardening, a great start is to understand what organic gardening is really all about. When you think about organic gardening, one word comes to mind in terms of describing it “natural.” It’s all about practicing Mother Nature’s circle of life, and not upsetting that balance. You simply minimize doing anything that is “un-natural” and work with nature — not against it.
You start by understanding and paying attention to your soil. You add natural organic matter, you stay local with anything you bring into your garden. You grow what is native and natural to your particular local location— exotic plants from other regions will simply have requirements that you can’t meet without doing something “un-natural.”
Going Organic In A Lovely Garden
In mega agriculture, farmers are supposed to practice something called “best management practices.” This government speak, simply means they have an official rule book for each crop that agribusinesses are supposed to follow. Now, if you truly want an organic garden, there are also simple rules to follow are also in place, and almost all of them have to do with one topic — weeds!
Keeping after the weeds
— Mulch to keep weeds down to a minimum. Be sure that your mulch is also organic, meaning straw, grass clippings, leaves, and the like, as they nourish the soil while decomposing. You can also combine the use of grocery bags, newspaper, and cardboard under these natural mulches. Also, don’t forget about making proper use of that old-fashioned man-made tool — the hoe for lopping off the heads of any offending weed.
Then, there is the old-fashioned organic ways to control weeds, and the modern. Gardeners of the past, had a lot to teach us. One of the organic methods they used to keep weeds at bay, was the oldest organic technique of all — hand pulling weeds. It is still the most efficient manner of all weed controls.
Now, before you start groaning and complaining about your aching back, consider this — Has anyone ever taught you the correct way to pull weeds? Don’t laugh — just like everything else in life — there is a right way to pull weeds.
- Hands in front.
- Thumbs up, with palms in front of yourself.
- Place one hand in front of the other.
- Roll your hands (you can even sing, “This old man goes rolling home.“ if you need a prompt.)
- Squeeze your forefinger and thumb together, while tracing the outside of an imaginary circle.
- At the same time, move your arms to the side as you roll your hands.
- Apply this to pulling the weeds in front of you and you’ll quickly find that your weed pulling will cease to be a chore.
Outside of pulling weeds, another tried and true method for controlling weeds is a more modern one and that is the one used by big agri-businesses — the sun. Prior to planting time, you will often drive by farms taking advantage of Mother Nature’s furnace. They will cover freshly cleared soil with heavy clear plastic, being sure to weight down the edges of the plastic or bury them — and simply wait for the sun to bake any remaining weeds from ever sprouting.
Other Organic Gardening Tips For The Beginner
- Grow companion plants for pest control
- Make your own compost
- Use a soaker hose as it’s more efficient
- Reuse rainwater with these barrels made from trash cans or purchased rain barrels. Such barrels located under downspouts, not only conserve water, but also save money by catching rain runoff from the roof. Note: (Try to get ones with a spigot for attaching your hose if purchasing one. If you make one, realize that you can also buy pumps to do the same thing).
My Prediction For An Organic Garden Revolution
With ever escalating prices and some distressed cities now reporting that they no longer have grocery stores operating in some neighborhoods that sell fresh produce, there is a growing number of people now considering and actually raising some or most of their own vegetables. Even for those who cannot do so, they are now demanding more fruits and vegetables be available too. It’s time to realize what our grandparents knew — that if you grow your own fruits and vegetables — you control the quality of what you eat and the amount of money escaping from your wallet.