Organic Gardening Guru

The Dirt on Growing Organically

Organic gardening once considered something only practiced by hippies and health-conscious people, has become a fad. Everybody is looking for our food to be healthy and safe for our families and our surroundings. The need for security and the desire to avoid harming our family members or the world is the primary reason we cultivate organically. The more we learn about chemical pesticides and herbicides, as we know about the harmful effects of synthetic fertilizers and genetically modified crops, the more we understand that we must protect ourselves from their products (see Clean Fifteen and The Dirty Dozen). Organic farming is a method to control your environment to ensure that your food is packed with the healthy things your family demands and free of things that do not. It’s a method to ensure that the spaces where your kids and pets play are as secure as possible. It’s a way to show respect for your human companions and the planet.

There is a belief that organic gardens aren’t practical, expensive, and odd. It’s not the reality. It’s how our ancestors tended their gardens and how food was grown for thousands of years before the invention, widespread usage, and deceitful marketing of chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. As you begin to cleanse your gardens and lawns of their toxic chemical dependence, it can cost more money. But over the long term, when you improve the soil’s quality, apply compost that you’ve created by yourself, and employ the most efficient, sustainable gardening practices, Your costs will be reduced. Organic gardening isn’t an issue. Done right, it yields healthier, more vigorous growth and more bountiful harvests than commercially-centered growth. Plus, the tranquility you’ll experience when you eliminate known carcinogens, hormone disrupters, petroleum byproducts, and mysterious and dangerous inert components from your landscapes and lawns? Priceless.

My decision going organic seemed like an easy decision. Traditional gardening is centered around chemicals that kill everything they touch, throwing Mother Nature off-balance and harming animals and plants within us. We then add many chemical compounds to our soils, artificially stimulating the growth potential but depriving the ground of its ability to maintain moisture levels and all the insects, beneficial worms, and other microbes that help make it a living. It was clear that this wasn’t an efficient system and that by continuing to grow in this manner, I probably caused more harm and a lot more harm than good.

Organic Gardening Supplies Available at Planet Natural

Natural Fertilizers

Garden Tools

Plant Grow Lights

Seed Starting Equipment

Beneficial Insects

Heirloom Garden Seeds

I began to be fascinated by organic growth around 20 years ago when I relocated from Bozeman, Montana, to New Hampshire, where I was born. While attending graduate school, I would wait tables in the evening to survive. While working during the day, I worked as a caretaker for various beneficial insects with a man who sold the insects to gardeners who were knowledgeable about organic solutions to garden pests. It was an exciting experience and allowed me to see how effective and beneficial insects can be. I was attracted to the helpful bug “bug.” Before I realized that, I brought up beneficial insects and used them in my garden.

My first attempts at gardening were not successful. The soil was a hard-packed clay, and I broke my arm while trying to break it down with a fork shovel. After gaining helpful advice from books and experienced gardeners, I created compost and added organic matter to my soil. I built it frenziedly using various natural materials (see Building Healthy Soil). My wife wasn’t happy with me throwing a few hundred kilograms of dead worms (they were cooked in transit and could not be sold) into my garden, but I was pleasantly surprised by how my garden flourished.

Then, I was blessed with abundant harvests of squash, lettuce and tomatoes, cucumbers, and tomatoes even herbs, which were the envy of my neighbors and friends. I’ve been hooked since then.

The neighbor who sprays chemical fertilizers onto his lawn and sprays pesticides in a flurry, and applies weed-and-feed, not to mention the countless amounts of water to his garden, might yield good but costly results, too. However, he will only be satisfied if the food he provides to his family is free of toxic residues and the place where his kids play. Pets’ play is free of substances that could harm their health, and the soil is growing naturally and isn’t surviving in a constant diet of synthetic substances. That’s the reason why there is a sense of happiness in gardening. Let’s get started!


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