Many of us spend a lot more on groceries than we would like – more than is even necessary. Especially in these troubled economic times, it’d be great to get a break, wouldn’t it?
Organic gardening is one way to save money on your grocery bill – many organic gardeners save thousands of dollars on fresh fruit and vegetables each year. Better yet, eating organic produce protects your health. Even fruits and vegetables labeled as “organic” at the grocery store often aren’t organic at all. If you grow your food yourself though, you know exactly what you’re getting.
What are some benefits of organic gardening?
When you buy produce, you aren’t trying to buy chemicals. You want good, wholesome food. Eating fruits and vegetables is supposed to be good for your health – but the pesticides, fertilizers and coatings that many industry farmers use in their farming can be harmful to human health. Organic produce doesn’t contain carcinogens and other dubious chemicals. Truly organic produce is just what it says it is. When you buy an apple, you get an apple – not an apple grown in chemicals.
Since even the “organic” produce at the grocery mart is frequently not organic, you can’t entirely trust anything you buy at a store. If you grow your fruits and vegetables, you know for certain that they are safe.
Organic produce at the store often costs more than the standard produce. This is odd if you think about it – organic farming actually saves farmers money, and yet they charge you more just for the privilege of being able to (possibly) trust your food. Why pay more for your fruits and vegetables when you can grow them yourself for less?
It may be a little overwhelming at first to consider the prospect of starting your own organic garden. But organic gardening will not only save you money, it will save you time. Organic gardening is easy. You won’t have to pay for pesticides or fertilizers, and you will be harnessing the power of Mother Nature to your advantage.
What are some basic organic gardening tips?
The basic meaning of organic gardening is that you don’t use any sort of synthesized chemical products. This means no pesticides and no fertilizers. Consider that what’s bad for your health isn’t healthy for your plants either. Not having to pay for chemicals also saves you money.
If you don’t use a fertilizer, how are you supposed to nourish your plants? This is the second aspect of what makes organic gardening truly organic. You will be using organic matter to feed your plants. In nature, it is decaying organic matter from dead plants and animals which nourishes the soil and in turn, the soil nourishes the living plants. You can even use rotten fruit and kitchen scraps to feed your plants. Instead of throwing old food away, you can use it to grow new food. You can also use decaying leaves, manure and compost.
How can you protect your plants from pests without using pesticide? One idea is to buy some lady bugs; these eat aphids and protect your plants. If you see reptiles like grass snakes in your yard, don’t chase them out; they also eat pests. Barriers like floating row covers can protect your plants from flying insects. Staggering your same-species crops and using companion planting and raised bed gardening can also help.
If you absolutely must use a pesticide, there are organic pesticides you can buy. These usually target very specific parasites and don’t harm other plants or animals or humans.
Organic gardening is beneficial to both your health and your wallet – and can save you a great deal of time. By choosing to work with nature, you make nature your ally. Instead of spending a lot of time addressing problems created by unnatural farming techniques, you can enjoy your garden as nature intended. Best of all, organic gardening is easy to learn and you can start one in only a couple of hours with minimal supplies!
Facts about Organic Container Gardening
It can be an expensive endeavor when purchasing vegetables that are fresh, nutritious and organic; container gardening, however, can provide foods with all of those qualities at a much lower cost even for those who have limited space with which to work.
Organic foods are touted as being better for us, and are defined as foods that are grown without the use of pesticides, fungicides, germicides or any other potentially hazardous elements. There can be no doubt that these items are harmful to our health, or that vegetables are much more nutritious without their use. However, the elevated costs often prohibit many from being able to purchase them. These higher prices are due to several factors; a faster spoilage rate of the product, is more labor intensive to grow than those treated with pesticides and there are fewer government subsidies available to the organic farmers. While many people would like to use the more nutritious organic vegetables, they simply cannot afford to do so.
One answer to this dilemma is to grow the produce yourself. By doing so, you can regulate how your vegetables are treated. Even those who have no yard space in which to plan a large scale garden can have their own fresh, healthy vegetables by learning the art of organic container gardening. Using as many containers as your space allows, vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, spinach, green beans, peas, carrots and more can grown and harvested with your own hands. The best part is that you control the methods of pest control, allowing you to be as organic as the vegetables found in stores but at a much lower cost.
Many natural methods of controlling pests can be employed in container gardening that are not possible in the large acreage of commercial organic farms. Using natural ingredients such as hot peppers, onions, baking soda and water, effective treatments can be applied to the leaves of plants as well as to the vegetables themselves with no adverse effects on our health. Even the simple act of picking off insects and pests is an easy matter when gardening in containers, leaving the harvest natural and nutritious.
For those individuals who seek a healthier yet economical answer to their vegetable consumption, organic vegetable gardening fits the bill. Using natural means of fertilization and pest control, anyone can enjoy a healthy harvest in the convenience of their own home while saving money on these delicious vegetables.