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Organic Gardening

Some people find that they think organic gardening fertilizer does not work as well as some of the other types of fertilizers on the market, but that point is not to have the largest tomatoes on the block. The point is to have a safe source of vegetables that you feel good serving to your family. You may not get quite the yield, but the health benefits far outweigh having to plant a few more plants to get the same amount. Chemicals are great for some things, but they are best left out of your dinner plans. There are some commercially made types of organic gardening fertilizer out there that you can try. You have to be your own health advocate in this case though, as the word 'organic' is not really regulated in any way. What one company may call organic is not what you would think of as safe for your family to ingest. Therefore, before you buy organic fertilizers, read the instructions for use and make a full list of the ingredients so you can check them out before you use them in your garden. Be your own detective before you buy. If you have a garden at home, you may be growing your own vegetables because you are concerned about the freshness and also the safeness of the ones that you can get at your local store. It should not come as a surprise that chemicals are used on fruits and vegetables that you may not think are safe for your family. Some brands and types are safe because they do not soak into the produce, but you cannot always count on that for sure. You can grow your own vegetables, but you may need help with growth. In that case, to stay safe, you can use organic gardening fertilizer. There are a few ways you can go about this. You certainly have the option of coming up with your own organic gardening fertilizer if you wish, or getting more simpler things that you can buy that may do the same job. Animal waste is one of the best fertilizers out there. This is why dairy farmers tend to spread cow manure on their own fields rather than disposing of it. Not only does this recycle the manure, it helps the crops that will be grown in the field to be fertilized cheaply, quickly and safely. They have been doing it for hundreds of years and so can you. You can buy this type of organic gardening fertilizer in many places, though your best sources may be local farmers who sell it. They may have it mixed with something like mulch that will also help you keep the weeds out of your organic garden. There are different animal waste types that each farmer may sell, but most should do the job. Just make sure you are handling it correctly. The last thing you want to do is to bring traces of it into your home. It [...]

Making an Organic Lawn Possible When you're faced with a barren patch where you envision a lawn, it is admittedly not an easy job getting started. As with anything that's worth doing, your first steps putting down an organic lawn tend to be the hardest. With a bit of the groundwork laid in, most of the rest of your plan can pretty much coast along. As for those difficult first steps, the thing that inspires those people to keep on going is the thought that they are laying the groundwork for something that their family and other people will enjoy for years to come. An organic lawn allows people to enjoy what nature is capable of, in the traditional way. No longer do you have to worry about how eating a blade of grass or chewing on a flower petal will sicken your children. No longer do you have to fear for the health of your pet as it rolls about on the grass. With a good bit of common sense and patience, all of this is easily possible. To those who are used to having a lawn behaving a certain way, it can take a little while to understand how an organic lawn behaves while you are growing it. The best way to go about it the first time around is usually to not try to cover your whole lawn all at once. Before you even begin to think of planting those grass seeds, you need to think about where your composting pit will be. That's an important part of what makes your lawn organic. You need to set aside a 30 square-foot part of your lawn for the purpose and build a kind of wooden bracket for the area. Any time you cut grass or sweep up leaves; this is where they end up. Planting your lawn every fall, you need to understand that an organic lawn needs to be planted far more densely than a regular lawn. About 10 pounds of grass seed for every thousand square feet of lawn is what you need to begin with. You could add in an extra 5 pounds every fall just to keep the growth up. Overseeding like this is a great way of keeping weeds out. Since this is an organic lawn that doesn’t use pesticides, planting in this way makes for an important part of your strategy. The compost that your composting area comes up with happens to be the most important part of your lawn’s survival. A lawn doesn't need much more. A mere 2 pounds for every 1000 square feet should do twice a year. For weeds that grow every year, corn gluten meal is a great weed killer. For regular perennial weeds, picking them off by hand should be the best way to go about it.

Organic gardening is the exact same as regular gardening except that no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides are used. This can make certain aspects difficult, such as controlling disease, insects, and weeds. Organic gardening also requires more attention to the soil and the many needs of plants. Organic gardening starts with the soil. Gardeners must add organic matter to the soil regularly in order to keep the soil productive. In fact, compost is essential to the healthiness and well-being of plants grown organically. Compost can be made from leaves, dead flowers, vegetable scraps, fruit rinds, grass clippings, manure, and many other things. The ideal soil has a dark color, sweet smell, and is full of earthworms. Some soil may need more natural additives than regular compost can give, such as bonemeal, rock phosphates, or greensand. A simple soil test will tell you the pH balance and which nutrients you will need to use. One thing that makes even gardeners that are very serious about organic gardening reach for pesticides is insects on their plants. The best way to defend plants against insects is to take preventative measures. One thing that can be done is to make sure plants are healthy and not too wet or dry because insects usually attack unhealthy plants and if healthy, they can often outgrow minor insect damage. A variety of plant types is a good idea to keep pests of a particular plant type from taking out the entire garden. Perhaps the best way to defend against insects is to make your garden enticing to insect predators, such as ladybugs, birds, frogs and lizards. You can do this by keeping a water source nearby or by growing plants that attract insects who feed on nectar. Other ideas are sticky traps, barriers, and plant collars. Some household items prevent against insects too, like insecticidal soaps, garlic, and hot pepper. To avoid plant disease in organic gardening, choose disease resistant plants and plant them in their prime conditions. Many diseases will spread because of constant moisture and bad air circulation, so the site of your garden and the way it is watered can help ensure against diseases. Weeds can be an annoying and frustrating part of organic gardening. Organic mulch can act as a weed barrier, but for even better protection put a layer of newspaper, construction paper, or cardboard under the mulch. Corn meal gluten will slow the growth of weeds if spread early in the season before planting, as does solarization. There’s also the old-fashioned art of hoeing and hand pulling that always works. Your best bet in weed prevention is persistence. Mulch well, pull and hoe what you can. After a few seasons, you can beat the weeds for good. Organic gardening is an excellent way to assure that your plants will be free and clear of all pesticides and, if taken care of properly, will be as healthy as possible. Organic gardening may take a little more time and care than regular gardening, but [...]

Could Farms that Grow Organic Feed the World? Does organic food have to be trendy, upscale and precious? Does it always have to be about taking your BMW down to Whole Foods for something as unlikely sounding as artisan fromage for money that could essentially feed your family for a whole day? I once happened to be driving past a farming district near Detroit and I saw this beautifully healthy looking organic farm; not very large it was either - just a couple of acres. I visit the farm to ask the farmer how much produce he could put out of his land every year - and he said something like 20 tons. That could keep about 50 families in organic heaven for a whole year, couldn't it? Why does it then always have to be so expensive and complicated to buy organic? If a small-time farmer like this one can feed 50 families on his little plot of land, what on earth are we doing with industrial farming complexes that pollute the land with tons of fertilizer and huge machines? There's actually been a study done called “Organic Agriculture and the Global Food Supply” that's followed the problem for years and found that there is no reason why it can't be done. It tells us what we always knew - small-time small-town farmers who farm their own land, care about the environmental consequences of what they do can, all put together, feed more people than the disruptive practices of industrial agriculture. We don't need genetically engineered crops for large-scale production. We certainly don't need tons of fertilizer, pesticides and machines to keep the world from going hungry and starving. To grow organic and to grow it well, we only need the dedication and the clarity that only the small farmer can bring to the table. If it's as simple as that, why is it that we've all these years come to believe we need the massive organized agricultural system to keep the world fed? Well, apparently all that is just the scaremongering of the good folks over at the industrial farming industry. For instance, when they refer to organic food in their arguments against it, they try their best not to speak of the sensitive and knowledgeable farming techniques practiced today in this country by small farmers. They look at the low tech, poor quality farming practices of the Third World and try to point out how without lots of fertilizer and pesticides those uninitiated farmers couldn't achieve anything. The organic farming of the Michigan farmer involves a great deal of science, just no chemicals. Farmers like him try to understand the soil, the ecology of the local environment, use help from other plants, natural manure, friendly animals and organisms to keep their soil rich, and their plants pest free. To grow organic is a scientific endeavour. In the better parts of the world, educated farmers, more than 10 million of them, have been moving away from industrial farming [...]

Maintaining a Compost Heap Many people who maintain gardens have a large amount of organic waste, from grass clippings to leaves and dead plants. Unfortunately, many waste money and time having these wastes transported to a landfill. It isn’t just a waste of good compost; it’s a waste of everything that goes into the process of transporting it (the garbage man’s time, the money you pay for the removal, etc). It is truly a travesty. All this garbage that people are trying to get rid of can be a better supplement for your garden than any fertilizer or chemical. If you properly facilitate the decomposition of all of the garbage, it will alter chemically until it is in such a state that it can be nothing but beneficial nutrition for other plants. Therefore, you can turn all the stuff you would have thrown away into top grade fertilizer for your garden. Usually compost is maintained in a pile somewhere in your backyard. The thought of a compost heap brings disturbing thoughts to ones mind; heaps of rotten garbage emitting a horrid odour. However, if you maintain it correctly you’ll be able to produce great compost without an offensive odour. When I first began my compost pile in an effort to improve environmental health, I made several major errors. These included preventing the pile from having the oxygen it truly needed, and keeping it to dry. It ended up decomposing in a very non-beneficial way and producing an odour so foul that I had government agents knocking at my door. When you are choosing your spot where you will be starting your compost heap, aim for a place where you can have it raised above land. Having a deep pile of compost is not a good idea because the deeper sections won’t be exposed to anything that is required for the process to work. It is better to spread it all out over a large area. A compost heap can consist of any organic garbage from your yard, garden or kitchen. This includes leaves, grass, any leftover food that won’t be eaten, or newspaper (no more than a fifth of your pile should consist of newspaper, due to it having a longer time composting with the rest). Usually if you have a barrel devoted to storing all of these things, it will fill up within several weeks. It is quite easy to obtain compost, but the hard part truly comes in getting it to compost. When you have a reasonably sized compost heap, you should moisten the whole pile. This encourages the process of composting. Chop branches or large material into the smallest pieces possible to speed up the process. As the materials start to compress and meld together as they decompose, frequently head outside and aerate the pile – at least twice a week. This is the trick to prevent unpleasant odours. You can use a shovel to mix it all up, or an aeration tool to poke tiny holes [...]