Chemical free gardening is easier said than done. However, all potential organic gardeners should keep in mind that there is no truly “chemical free” garden, but a garden can be free of pesticides, herbicides and so forth. In fact, some of the most basic organic recipes do involve the use of chemicals―they’re just “natural” rather than “chemical.”
But, that being said―don’t let that deter you. It isn’t nearly as complicated or difficult as it sounds. In fact, anyone, anywhere; can partake in organic gardening. Here are a few basic tips on how to create a chemical-free, organic garden.
Much like a growing child, a garden can’t grow without proper nutrients. So how does one fertilize without the use of fertilizer? Well, you don’t; it just isn’t possible. But, the type of fertilizer you choose can make all the difference.
You can create your own fertilizer by composting. You can use leftover dinners, grass clippings and other yard “waste” to create a compost that can be used as fertilizer.
The Natural Resources and Conservation Service, available through the United States Department of Agriculture, has a plethora of informative and useful information regarding composting. They’ve even got tips for hot weather and cold weather composting, so you can learn to compost whether you live in Michigan or in Arizona.
For those willing to go the extra mile, did you know that you can also fertilize your garden with the use of urine? That’s right, urine. Urine is chock-full of nutrients that is being released from your body. Plus, urine is sterile, so it’s actually a pretty safe process; contrary to popular belief. Just make sure you dilute your urine, otherwise you could do damage rather than benefit your plants.
Rain barrels are a must have for individuals who are looking to partake in organic or chemical-free gardening. It is basic knowledge that there are several chemicals that are added to water before it is sent through the pipes and into your tap.
Plus, rain barrels are easy to use. Simply keep an eye on the weather forecast and should any chance of rain occur―place the barrels in various areas around the yard to collect water. After the rain, store the barrels and seal them until they are needed. Sealing the barrels off is important, though they don’t need to be airtight. Just tight enough to keep bugs, such as mosquitoes, from taking advantage.
Always choose local, native plants. Bringing in plants from out of the country (and this includes ordering bulbs and seeds from catalogs or online (unless of course, you know your company is local or regional)) is simply a no-no in terms of an organic garden. It isn’t truly organic if your plant is from China and isn’t meant to be grown in Alaska or Arizona.
Plus, native plants tend to be hardier and can withstand the weather―and the local pests.
Do Your Research
Always do your research before buying into the latest and greatest. For example, a lot of online chemical free, organic recipes for gardening include products like baking soda. But, did you know that technically, baking soda isn’t “organic” and it comes from a non-renewable resource? Of course, this kind of extensive research is only beneficial for those who are willing to go the extra mile when it comes to their garden.
So whatever choices you make when it comes to your garden, you’ve already made a difference simply in reading this article and weighing in all of your options. Sure, maybe you’ll use baking soda in one of your organic gardens; but at least you aren’t using harmful herbicides or pesticides.
USDA: Natural Resources Conservation Services: Composting Tips and Information
How to Do Things: How to Use Urine as a Fertilizer