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Natural and Sustainable Gardening

Garden Harvest What greater reward is there then eating the rewards of your hard work?

Natural moms and homesteaders as we know them today strive to live a more self sufficient life, a life that is not entirely dependent upon local grocers, storefronts, energy companies, and the like.  Among the many and varied interests of homesteaders and potential homesteaders are the following:

  • Gardening - Growing their own organic produce

  • Raising livestock

  • Food conservation and storage

  • Producing their own food - bread, cheese, milk, meat, etc.

  • Making their own clothing and household items

  • Conserving energy and using alternative energy

  • Using renewable and recyclable materials

  • Using homeopathic or natural remedies for illness

  • Living in harmony with nature

Of course natural moms love gardening just because it gives the whole family an opportunity to engage is some good, messy fun out and get some fresh air and exercise too. SO what exactly is organic and natural gardening?

Organic gardening means to plant and grow without using synthetic products, including pesticides and fertilizers. The organic gardener sees his garden as part of a living ecosystem and strives to work in harmony with natural systems in order to minimize and replenish the resources that his garden consumes.


Good Soil Produces Healthier Plants

Using native plants and ones that are adaptable to your soil conditions will grow healthier plants. Plants living in poor soil become weak and more susceptible to attack by microorganisms. Proper tending of the soil will encourage the presence of beneficial soil organisms, which will produce healthier plants.

A good soil for gardening will consist of the right mix of sand, silt, clay, and organic matter. In order to grow healthy plants you must also take into consideration the pH of the soil. The pH tells you whether the soil is alkaline or acidic. Soils that have a pH that is small are acidic while a larger pH represents an alkaline soil.

Although small adjustments can be made to the soil, an extreme difference to the requirements of the plant and the soil conditions could produce a weak plant, which will be susceptible to disease and pests. Test the soil regularly to ensure the conditions are right for the selected plants.

Maintain a Balance With Compost

Plants need certain elements to sustain growth. Water, sunlight, air, nutrients and soil must maintain a balance for the garden to produce healthy plants.

Composting will maintain the natural balance and restore needed nutrients to the soil. Composting aids in the soil's texture aerates the soil and improves the soil's ability to hold water. Fertilizing with compost stimulates healthy root growth in the plants. Organic matter provided in compost keeps healthy microorganisms feed, which in turn supply the soil with the needed nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.

Companion Planting

Organic gardeners also believe that certain plant combinations work together to help each other grow. Some plant combinations experience benefits unique to those combinations. Organic gardeners have found that by using companion planting, they can discourage harmful pests. Companion planting provides benefits from producing odors to ward off insects, to providing food to sustain beneficial insects,

In summation an organic gardener creates a living ecosystem that relies upon insects, birds, wildlife, sun, and all other facets of the living and functioning community, his garden.

 

Gardening Articles:

5 Ways to Gets Kids involved in Gardening

Creating A Children's Garden

Seed Suppliers List

Recipe for Canning Applesauce

Recipe for Apple Butter

Canning, Freezing, and Drying

Reasons to Garden Organically

Get Rid of Pests

Pick Your Own Farm Near You!

Composting & Organic Gardens

Interview with a woman farmer and CSA owner

Veggie Gardens

Herb Gardens

How to Store Garden Produce

Someone Stole My Rhubarb

Become a Farmer

Recycling Toilet Paper Rolls, Egg Shells, and Milk Jugs for the Garden

Picking a CSA

What To Put in Compost

Improving Your Soil