Many of us spend a lot more on groceries than we would like - more than is even necessary. Especially in these troubled economic times, it'd be great to get a break, wouldn't it?
Organic gardening is one way to save money on your grocery bill - many organic gardeners save thousands of dollars on fresh fruit and vegetables each year. Better yet, eating organic produce protects your health. Even fruits and vegetables labeled as "organic" at the grocery store often aren't organic at all. If you grow your food yourself though, you know exactly what you're getting.
What are some benefits of organic gardening?
- When you buy produce, you aren't trying to buy chemicals. You want good, wholesome food. Eating fruits and vegetables is supposed to be good for your health - but the pesticides, fertilizers and coatings that many industry farmers use in their farming can be harmful to human health. Organic produce doesn't contain carcinogens and other dubious chemicals. Truly organic produce is just what it says it is. When you buy an apple, you get an apple - not an apple grown in chemicals.
- Since even the "organic" produce at the grocery mart is frequently not organic, you can't entirely trust anything you buy at a store. If you grow your fruits and vegetables, you know for certain that they are safe.
- Organic produce at the store often costs more than the standard produce. This is odd if you think about it - organic farming actually saves farmers money, and yet they charge you more just for the privilege of being able to (possibly) trust your food. Why pay more for your fruits and vegetables when you can grow them yourself for less?
It may be a little overwhelming at first to consider the prospect of starting your own organic garden. But organic gardening will not only save you money, it will save you time. Organic gardening is easy. You won't have to pay for pesticides or fertilizers, and you will be harnessing the power of Mother Nature to your advantage.
What are some basic organic gardening tips?
- The basic meaning of organic gardening is that you don't use any sort of synthesized chemical products. This means no pesticides and no fertilizers. Consider that what's bad for your health isn't healthy for your plants either. Not having to pay for chemicals also saves you money.
- If you don't use a fertilizer, how are you supposed to nourish your plants? This is the second aspect of what makes organic gardening truly organic. You will be using organic matter to feed your plants. In nature, it is decaying organic matter from dead plants and animals which nourishes the soil and in turn, the soil nourishes the living plants. You can even use rotten fruit and kitchen scraps to feed your plants. Instead of throwing old food away, you can use it to grow new food. You can also use decaying leaves, manure and compost.
- How can you protect your plants from pests without using pesticide? One idea is to buy some lady bugs; these eat aphids and protect your plants. If you see reptiles like grass snakes in your yard, don't chase them out; they also eat pests. Barriers like floating row covers can protect your plants from flying insects. Staggering your same-species crops and using companion planting and raised bed gardening can also help.
- If you absolutely must use a pesticide, there are organic pesticides you can buy. These usually target very specific parasites and don't harm other plants or animals or humans.
Organic gardening is beneficial to both your health and your wallet - and can save you a great deal of time. By choosing to work with nature, you make nature your ally. Instead of spending a lot of time addressing problems created by unnatural farming techniques, you can enjoy your garden as nature intended. Best of all, organic gardening is easy to learn and you can start one in only a couple of hours with minimal supplies!