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Organic Gardening 101: Sustainable Agriculture Principles

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mom. Organic Gardening. January 11th , 2018.

"Organic" can be defined chemically as a compound which has carbon as an element. Organic compounds are sourced from living organisms, like animals or plants. However, from a chemist perspection, organic compounds don’t necessarily come from living organisms only; they can also be synthesized in laboratories. From the horticultural point of view, "organic" is a system of sustainable agriculture which includes avoiding the practice of applying synthetic pesticides or fertilizers into the plants or soil. Wait a second – I thought you said earlier that organic compounds could be either synthetic-based or life-based, so why you now insist "organic gardening" should not incorporate synthetic measures? OK, this could get confusing, so I’ll explain.

The first use of the term "organic farming" was in 1940, in Lord Northbourne’s book "Look to the Land". The term was philosophical actually, it implies the state of interdependence of living things among other living things. Now the term can be referred to a particular gardening practice.

Let's begin our explanation with a mentioned term - "sustainable agriculture". The term is commonly used together with the definition of Organic gardening. Sustainable agriculture has its purpose to replenish the soil because nutrients will eventually get depleted in order the soil and plants could become self-sustaining. This very principle of rebuilding the soil is the foundation of organic gardening. Stronger soil will produce stronger plants. Stronger plants can resist more against disease, drought, or pest damage.

A way of soil building is by adding organic amendments to improve soil tilth. This will prevent soil compaction to happen by creating an ideal environment for earthworms to live and also by increasing the microbial activity inside. If you’re actually not a big fan of earthworms, you should reconsider your believe, as earthworms assist your soil to loosen a bit of its density. The loosen of the soil assists the movement of water and air into the soil. Earthworms also give nutrients into the soil with their poop. Worm poop is an excellent source of organic nutrients that greatly benefits your plantings.

Composting is also a key component in organic gardening and in soil building. Simply by reusing kitchen wastes (beside meat products); such as, eggshells, coffee grounds or vegetable peelings by placing them in a compost pile or bin, you will be compensated with plenty of humus supply. Other good adding you could add into the compost pile are grass and leaves clippings from your garden. Remember to keep the pile to be always moist, but not too soggy, and mix or turn it occasionally.

If your purpose now is to build your soil for your plants get better support, you’re on the right track in practicing Sustainable agricultural principles. And when your Organic gardening skills are advance enough, you can implement additional measures into your garden. Beside composting and worm castings, other methods include crop rotationing, planting cover crops, and conservation tillage. These Organic gardening 101 methods will give benefits to your garden and will reward you with healthy vegetable crops.

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