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Organic gardening is the process of growing vegetables, fruits, flowers or other plants by not using synthetic products, including fertilizers and pesticides. Other names for organic gardening include natural gardening and chemical-free gardening. Organic gardening works to replenish the soil by feeding it with composted plants, or planting specific plants such as legumes, which add nitrogen to the soil. In summary, one could describe organic gardening as working in cooperation with nature. Gardening in a way that is as natural as possible, in harmony with nature. Organic gardening in generally done in a way to replenish any resources that the garden uses up. Therefore, many think of organic gardening as a part of a “whole system” within nature, rather than separate.

There are several methods of organic gardening - formal systems that adhere to specific techniques, and others that fit within more general standards. All methods strive to garden as naturally as possible by recycling organic matter for use as fertilizer and soil conditioner. Organic gardening is as much about what you don’t do as what you do. It begins with the soil. One should regularly add organic matter to the soil, such as lawn clippings, fall leaves, small twigs, woodchips, straw and vegetable and fruit scraps from the kitchen. These are considered the building blocks of an organic garden as they turn into compost, which is the ideal organic matter for a garden. Again, no synthetic, or artificial chemicals whatsoever are used in organic gardening. Next are the type of plants used in the garden. It’s best to grow plants that adapt to your climate and conditions, because they are able to thrive without a lot of attention. If you try to grow plants not suited to your area, you will probably have to boost its natural defenses to keep it productive and healthy. So look for plants that have adapted to your type of soil, temperature range and sun or shade exposure.

Other tips for organic gardening include using natural material such as fall leaves for mulch. Pine needles make a good mulch for acid-loving plants, as they will add acid to the soil as they decompose. If any of your plants have aphids, spray with stems, leaves and buds with a very diluted soapy water, then again with clear water. A good way to get rid of weeds naturally is to spray them with common full-strength household vinegar (preferably on a sunny day.)


 


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