Saturday, July 7, 2012

Four Steps to Organic Chemical-Free Gardening

Every year, thousands of chemicals get into the environment and millions of gallons of water are needlessly wasted.  How?  One simple answer - by growing plants.  Yes, it's true, most of this is done by large agricultural producers, but some of it is also done in our smaller personal gardens.  Now that you know that, you can make a difference by changing your gardening practices.   Many agricultural producers  have done it, and you can use the same steps to help your own garden, and the planet.

Pick appropriate plants.  Not all plants are appropriate for the area where you live.  You can’t control the temperature, humidity, and rain conditions in your garden like you are able to do  inside your house .  By picking adaptable plants for your climate and zone, you may be able to avoid using fertilizers and save on water as well.  Do some research.  Find plants  that are native to your surrounding areas and try planting them in your own garden.  Like wildflowers, for instance.  They are just that - wild - and they can pretty much be left alone to thrive in most areas.

Pick natural repelling plants.  By selecting the right plants, you won't need to rely on poisons to keep away garden-ruining pests. Many plants produce chemicals that repel these animals naturally.  By putting them in or around your garden, you can keep your garden safe with little effort and no chemicals.  Plus, you can pick parts of these plants and use them to make homemade products to keep pests away from you, too.  I am all for using homemade solutions when at all possible! 

Even if you don’t want to plant natural repellents in your garden, you can still use them to spray your plants without  causing harm or adding artificial chemicals to your garden.  Try hot peppers, vanilla, and /or lavender to repel insects from your garden.

Pull weeds.  We’re all looking for a quick and easy way to safely get rid of weeds without chemicals, but the good old-fashioned way is still most effective.  It you take time every day to pull the weeds you can find, it will  only take a few minutes and seem like less work.  You can even get the kids involved.  Just be sure they know the weeds from the good stuff and that they don’t spread the weed seeds around.  There are even some common weeds that are edible,  just make sure there  no nasty pesticide residue on them.

Crop rotation. Farmers all over the world use crop rotation to naturally fertilize plants. The concept is to change what crop you’re putting in a certain field each year. Plants use different nutrients and put other nutrients back into the soil. If you rotate crops that replace the nutrients the other plants use, you will have to fertilize the soil less.  You can use this same concept in your garden by planting different plants every year, or just rotating where you put specific plants in the garden. 

Okay.  Now you’ve made all these changes and have a low-water, chemical-free garden.  Now what?   Well, there is one important thing yet to do: pass it on!  One garden can make a dent, but many gardens can make a huge difference.  Tell your friends, teach your kids, maybe even visit their school and teach your kid's friends!  Every little bit helps make a better world.

There's another giveaway going on at Green Living Thrifty Frog blog! Hop to it - enter to win "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Composting" book!

Book Giveaway 7/2-7/15
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Huge Green Hugs,


  1. Thanks for sharing your wisdom. We are not having a garden this year, but I hope to clean up the area before winter and be ready to go next spring. I haven't gotten the hang of composting, so I will hop over and sign up for the give a way now.

    1. Inger - I am in exactly the same garden and cleanup in order! Composting is proving to be easier than I thought. The book was very helpful!
      Huge green hugs,


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