Every year, thousand of chemicals are poured into the environment and millions of gallons of water are needlessly wasted. How? By growing plants. Sure, most of this is done by large agricultural producers, but some of it is still done in personal gardens. And that means that you can make a difference by changing your gardening practices. There are many agricultural producers who have done it, and you can use the same tricks to help your own garden, and the planet.
Pick appropriate plants. Not all plants are appropriate for the area you live in. While you might be able to control the temperature, humidity, and other conditions inside your house, you can’t do it out in the garden. If you pick appropriate plants for your area, you may be able to avoid using chemicals fertilizers and save on water too. Research what plants are native to your surrounding areas and try planting them in your own garden. Wildflowers are just that — they can pretty much be left alone and will thrive in most areas.
Pick naturally pest-repellent plants. You don’t need to rely on poisons to keep away garden pests. Many plants produce chemicals that repel these animals naturally. By putting them in or around your garden, you can keep your garden safe with little effort and no chemicals. Plus, you can pick parts of these plants and use them to make products to keep those critters away from you too!
If you don’t want to plant natural repellents in your garden, you can use them to spray your plants without harming them or adding artificial chemicals to your garden. Many herbs like hot pepper, vanilla, and lavender can help repel insects from your garden.
Pull weeds. We’re all looking for a quick and easy way to safely get rid of weeds without chemicals, but the good old fashioned way is still very effective. It you take just a small amount of time every day to pull the weeds you can find, you’ll only take a few minutes so it doesn’t seem like a lot of work, and the garden will never get overgrown. You can even get the kids involved — just be sure to do it properly so you don’t spread the seeds around. There are even some common weeds that are edible, just make sure there are no pesticides that could have gotten on them.
Practice crop rotation. Farmers all over the world use crop rotation to naturally fertilize plants, and also give soil a break, and diminish pests. The concept is to change what crop you’re putting in a certain field each year. Plants use different nutrients and put other nutrients back into the soil. If you rotate crops that replace the nutrients the other plants use, you will have to fertilize the soil less.
You can use this same concept in your garden by planting different plants every year, or just rotating where you put specific plants in the garden. This can also cut down on garden pests, as you won’t grow the same crop in the same area the next year, so remaining pests from the previous year won’t have their favorite food to feed on, and will hopefully die out.
So, you’ve made all these changes and have planted a low-water, chemical free garden? Now it’s time for the most important thing: pass it on! One garden can make a dent, but more can make a bigger difference. Tell your friends, teach your kids, you can even visit their school and teach your kids friends! Every little bit helps make a better world.
For more on reducing toxins in your environment, visit our Toxic Load blog!
Related articles on Organic Gardening:
- 5 Quick and Easy Organic Garden Tips for Beginner Gardeners (hbb2obm.com)
- What Is An Organic Garden? (hbb2obm.com)
- Crop Rotation in the Vegetable Garden (brighthub.com)
- Growing Organic Foods the Natural Way (rawlivingfoods.typepad.com)