The primary question that gardeners wonder is that what exactly does organic gardening means. The answer to this is that organic gardening does not involve use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides on their plants. But gardening organically will involve proactive, techniques that maintain and enhance soil fertility, prevent soil erosion, respect the biological diversity, and minimize risk to human and animal health and natural resources. Many kinds of farm products are produced organically including vegetables, fruit, herbs, grains, fibres, and flowers while biological pest control is included to maintain soil productivity and control pests in the garden. Organic gardening excludes or strictly limits the use of manufactured fertilizers, pesticides (which include herbicides, insecticides and fungicides), plant growth regulators such as hormones and genetically modified organisms.
Organic gardening, firstly starts with attention to the soil. The fertility of the soil is key for good gardening.The soil has to treated as a living system. As well as the particles that make up the soil, it contains millions of different creatures. These creatures are very important for recycling nutrients. Feeding the soil with manure or compost feeds the inherant variety of life in the soil which then turns this material into food for proper plant growth. This also adds nutrients and organic matter to the soil. You can regularly add organic matter to the soil, using locally available resources wherever possible. And everyone has access to the raw ingredients of organic matter, because your lawn, garden and kitchen produce them everyday. Decaying plant wastes, such as grass clippings, fall leaves and leftovers from your kitchen, are the building blocks of compost, the ideal organic matter for your garden soil. When these compost are added to your soil, you’re ready to raise a beautiful, healthy garden organically.
SIMPLE METHODS OF GARDENING
This involves use of traditional means of agriculture which includes;
- Indigenous variety of seeds, instead of genetically modified varieties.
- Instead of chemical based fertilizers, cow dung based manures and vermicomposts are used.
- In place of chemical based pesticides, animal waste such as cow urine & neem leaved based pest repellants are applied.
- Make your bed. About three weeks before you are ready to plant, after the soil has dried so that it doesn’t clump when you pick up a fistful, sink a fork into the earth. Loosen it down to about 12 inches, add a half-inch layer of compost, and rake the surface of your garden until it has no weeds, dirt clumps, or big stones. Over the next three weeks, pull any weeds that come up. Raking and then letting the soil sit for a few weeks brings out weed seeds that were lurking in the soil.
- Dig a furrow—or not. If you like symmetry and order, carve out a shallow trench with a hoe or hand trowel. But you don’t have to plant in rows. You can organize your garden as a grid, with plants at the four corners of each square, or you can choose not to organize it at all. Whichever style you go with, dig shallow furrows or holes for the seeds.
- Water lightly. Moisten but don’t soak the soil. Watering before rather than after planting the seeds protects them from being swamped, or washed up and out of the soil.
- Sow the seeds. Spread the seeds through the trench or place two or three in each planting hole. The seed packet tells you how far apart to plant them. If you plant too closely, you can thin them after they come up and, in many cases, eat the thinnings.
- Cover with soil. As a rule of thumb, bury seeds only about as deep as their diameter. Sprinkle soil on top of the seeds, pressing gently to ensure they have contact with the soil. A few seeds, such as lettuce and dill, need light to sprout, so cover them sparingly. (Seed packets tell you if they need light to germinate.)
- Keep moist. Sprinkle water on the seedbed whenever the surface is dry until all the seeds have sprouted.
- Composting :Add compost to planting holes to improve the soil’s structure, provide slow-release nutrients, and activate the beneficial microbes in the soil. Earth worms are added to half decayed organic waste and left as it is. Within 15 days it gets converted into manure (Vermiculture).