People around the world have become more conscious of what they are putting in their bodies and where their food comes from in recent years. Non-GMO and organic foods are taking up more and more shelf space at grocery stores. In light of this trend, this post will explore what an organic garden is, what benefits they hold for consumers and the environment, and more.
An organic garden is essentially a garden that functions without using pesticides or other harsh chemicals. Gardening in this way has many benefits, including better flavor to food, preventing the death of insects and other animals, and water conservation.
Now, let’s dig deeper into organic gardening to see what it takes to start one, how to maintain it, and other related topics. Who knows—you may find yourself wanting to stretch your green thumb!
What is an Organic Garden?
In the average garden, the gardener or grower is only focused on getting their plants and herbs to grow as quickly as possible while still being healthy and high quality. However, organic gardeners also consider the environment they are going to grow their plants in. This means they take the time to make nutrient-rich soil for them, among other things.
Organic gardeners do all their work as naturally as possible. They do not use any factory-manufactured products or products containing a high number of chemicals, such as pesticides and herbicides. Other factors that set the two styles of gardening apart are:
- Time: organic gardening does not rely on any commercial products or machinery, so it is more time and labor-intensive than conventional gardening.
- Product: organic gardens yield less produce than traditional gardens as natural nutrition for plants makes them grow slower.
- Nutrition: foods grown in organic gardens have a higher nutrient content than those grown in traditional gardens.
Plants and Herbs Found in Organic Gardens
Any plant or herb you like can be grown organically, but with all the different types of plants that exist, how can you narrow down what you would like to grow when starting out? Some of the most common plants and herbs found in organic gardens across climates are:
- Lavender: pleasant scent and drought-resistant
- Thyme: easy to grow and used in cooking
- Garlic: flavorful and lasts a long time
- Blueberries: antioxidant-rich and can live in acidic soil
If you want to grow something that isn’t included on this list or need help on your plant growing journey, a guide for growing organic fruits and vegetables exists! Scroll through it to find advice on growing just about anything.
- Plant roots
- Fungi and bacteria
- Green manure
- Wood shavings, hay, straw
The purpose of organic matter is to improve the soil’s structure so that the plants can thrive in it for a more extended period. The insects and other microorganisms can eat the organic matter, and through this nourishment, they can enhance plant growth. Microorganisms help plants survive by feeding on harmful microbes that would kill them.
If the good microbes die, they drop off nutrients as they decompose, which further fortify the soil. Organic matter also creates acids that can break down the plant roots so that they can more readily take up water. Organic matter is essential for the sustainability of any garden.
Tip: It’s also worth noting that you will need to support your organic garden with proper watering in addition to organic matter and mulch. The more assistance you give your garden, the longer it will provide for you.
Benefits of an Organic Garden
Organic gardening is beneficial for many reasons. The top five benefits of growing an organic garden are:
- Freshness: you have high quality, fresh, great-tasting produce right at home.
- Wellbeing and Fitness: having pesticide-free produce means you avoid ingesting harmful chemicals, which promotes health. Gardening is also a workout, so you can improve physical fitness.
- Save Money: you no longer have to buy produce at the store.
- Relaxation: pulling weeds and doing other garden chores is relaxing and allows gardeners to think and meditate.
- Helps the Environment: organic gardens lack the toxic chemical runoff generated from pesticides, which leads to several good things for the planet.
Organic gardening has also been found to be helpful in other aspects, such as:
- Sustainability: organic gardens are sustainable for years because the nutrients from the compost and other organic matter feed back into the soil and keep it fertile. It also saves resources like fuel because pesticides and herbicides are not delivered.
- Grow Local: do not have to rely on produce grown all over the country.
- No GMOs: no extra DNA is added to the plants to improve characteristics like taste, so genetically modified organisms are not consumed.
- Ecosystem Protection: a healthy garden is a safe place for the insects and other animals that live there.
Clearly, organic gardens offer much to those who decide to invest in them and the larger ecosystem. But are they better than the conventional gardens people have been using for decades? Let’s find out.
Are Organic Gardens Better Than Traditional Gardens?
The answer to this question is based on personal opinion. Some gardeners tout that organic gardening is the best and encourage everyone to make the switch. Others believe that any attempt to begin gardening is better than none. There are either the organic lovers or the neutral; no one has fully condoned or the condemned traditional method.
Bottom Line: Based on the above, you should choose the method that works best for the life you lead. For example, if you have more time on your hands, maybe give organic a try. Gardening is supposed to be fun, so do not stress if you start out doing things the organic way but have to utilize more conventional methods later.
If you want, you can even combine traditional and organic gardening methods to get the best of both. Whichever way you get the job done, you will get fresh and flavorful food and reap the benefits of spending time in nature.
Hopefully, this post has given you a good idea of what organic gardening is all about and how it can benefit people. Some benefits include:
- It is a great way to stay healthy and help the environment by doing it.
- You can plant all kinds of products in a safe and chemical-free space that will provide you and your family and friends with high-quality and fresh ingredients.
- Gardening can also give you the means to save money. Growing things in your backyard mean fewer trips to the grocery store.
- Spending time in nature is good for the soul and can help one relax and clear the mind.
- Organic gardens are more sustainable because the nutrients in the compost and other organic matter used seep back into the soil to keep it fertile between harvests.
- You don’t have to worry about consuming GMOs.
Have you gotten a green thumb yet? Give organic gardening a try and see if it is something that sparks your interest!