An Introduction To Organic Gardening
The term ‘organic‘ is simply defined as “any substance that, whether derived from the processes of life or not, contains carbon atoms arranged in a particular way”. Believe it or not, that includes plastic!
For most of us the term ‘organic‘ refers to something that is actually derived from ‘once-living’ matter, and which as a result is biodegradable. For example, grass clippings are an organic form of mulch; crushed rock or gravel is not. Blood and bone is an organic fertiliser, superphosphate is not.
A true ‘organic gardener’ will avoid using any products based on chemical compounds. They will use compost and manure to fertilise the soil and controlling pests and diseases with plant based sprays such as ‘tobacco water’ or ‘garlic spray’. The true reality however is that these alternative treatments are rarely as effective as the chemical based alternatives.
The basic philosophy behind organic gardening is quite sound. Fertilisers and pesticides are major polluters of the environment, and they can cause irreparable harm to the microscopic creatures on which the health of our soils so greatly rely on. Society as a whole is incredibly wasteful, discarding all manner of things that should be recycled for the benefit of the soil.
The greater portion of society as a whole is not purist in our approach. We make compost and prefer manure to chemical fertilisers but we are quick to reach for the pesticides and fungicides when needed. Now more than ever before this is becoming something of a last resort as we become more aware of the dangers and damage caused as a result of their use.
It has become a matter of personal temperament. If you are the type of person who can’t stand to see a bug in the garden or demand that every flower and leaf on your plants is perfect you are more likely to reach for the chemical solution.