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What Does Organic Gardening Mean?

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mom. Organic Gardening. September 11th , 2017.

What is the definition of organic gardening? Chemically speaking, organic matter has carbon atoms in it’s naturally-occurring materials. Organic is the opposite of "synthetic", which often referred to materials produced in a laboratory, as opposed to in a living thing. So "Organic gardening" means literally to not use items which are produced synthetically in the garden.

Organic gardening has a definition broader than just gardening; it’s actually a movement. At the heart of it, there’s a philosophy that see a garden as not just a plot of land, but as a part of a larger ecosystem., whether the gardener has a view that way, or otherwise. A garden which is treated organically has more harmony with its surrounding. Every input is considered carefully, not only for their effects on the plant, but also on the environment nearby as a whole.

Gardening Naturally

The term "gardening naturally" has more descriptive explanation than "organic gardening." It describes actions taken in order to assist a garden so that it can exist in harmony with the surrounding ecosystem. Both gardening naturally and Organic gardening begins with the soil. It’s the most fundamental part to achieve success in gardening. Organic gardening requires a lot of time to add shredded leaves, grass clippings, and other organic matter-composts that will improve soil fertility and structure, and adds to it beneficial microorganisms.

It's the Soil and So Much More

Tending the soil is a start to achieve a great garden. In soil, there’s a combination of minerals, moisture, air spaces, macro & micro organisms, and organic matter. Applying natural methods of gardening will make your soil to stay healthy. Don’t forget, besides detrimental insects, there are also beneficial insects. A blanket treatment would not only control the detrimental ones, -but also the beneficial ones. If you left them alone, many bacterial and insect populations are able to stabilize themselves; this is an example of the philosophy of balance. If the soil below stays in good shape (has a good balance of nutrients, a proper pH, and an ideal population of beneficial macro & micro organisms), the plants above will be in a good shape as well. It’s worth to now that when you start to garden organically and notice that your soil is very much depleted, you might require to treat it with beneficial bacteria or humic acid to restore its balance.

Plants get Stressed, too

Just like humans and animals, plants can experience stress too. One of the points in organic gardening is to naturally reduce the stress level of plants, without have to give synthetic inputs. Stressed plants could stem from these conditions: they’re not getting enough nutrients and/or water, or aren’t planted in the correct place. That results in their weak growth that prone to pest and disease problems.

Mimicking the Natural World

A garden is a place for cultivating. The cultivating part is what sets the garden apart from natural ecosystems, in which they are better in maintaining equilibrium. We learn about "succession," that happens in the wild, as well as the process to reach a mature "climax community." Climax communities could change because of invasive species or climate change, but mostly they are stable. A reason why these ecological communities able to stay stable is because they have various types of species which work very well with each other. Just to name a few: shrubs, trees, fungi, herbaceous plants, insects, bacteria, birds, and mammals. Modern industrial agriculture, whether it’s organic or conventional, is founded based on the efficiency of a monoculture-acres, and plants the very same kinds of plants together. Because of that, when a particular disease or pest attacks, the entire field collaps.

On contrary, gardening, particularly on a small scale, gives the gardeners flexibility to do things in order to recreate a fully functioning ecosystem. Pests and diseases will always be problems, but field rotation, inter-cropping, strategic garden planning, healthy use of compost are appropriate ways to establish a more balanced system. To plant plants that can fix nitrogen (such as legumes) besides plants that need high amounts of nitrogen (such as tomatoes or corn) creates a functional relationship. To alternate plants in the cabage family with plants in the onion family will make insects to confuse.

Organic gardening is a State of Mind and a Practice

The term "organic" - however nice it sounds - does not always equal with "safe." Some naturally occurring compounds are equally or even more dangerous than their synthetically produced counterparts. Organic gardening is more about value and philosophy that allows gardeners to produce crops but with less negative impact on the earth.

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