Organic gardening is not complicated, it’s actually quite simple. It is the method of growing plants without using any type of chemicals, and it begins and ends with the soil.
Fertile, well-draining soil can support plant life. It will keep the plants well fed and at a consistent moisture level, both of which are vital for plant development and food production.
Amend the Soil
Incorporate 4-6 inches of compost into garden soil each spring prior to planting time. Compost is decomposed plant matter that is rich in nutrients and promotes beneficial microbial activity in the soil.
Compost also prevent the soil from compacting so tender plant roots are able to spread out further underground as they search for food and moisture.
The loose soil created by adding compost gets better air flow and drains quickly so plant roots will not drown during times of heavy rainfall. While promoting good drainage, the texture of compost also allows it to retain moisture so plants will have a source of hydration during times of drought.
A 2-4 inch layer of organic mulch on top of soil provides several benefits for an organic garden. Mulching eliminates the need to use chemical weed killers. Few weeds will be able to grow through the mulch, and those that do will be easy to pull up by hand.
Rough mulches, like wood ashes and pine bark, act as organic pest control. Cut worms, grubs and several other creeping garden pests will not travel over rough, crunchy surfaces to reach tender plants.
Organic mulches feed the soil as they decompose and eliminate the need for chemical fertilize in the garden. As the organic mulch decomposes, nutrients leach into the soil and feed the soil which in turn feeds the plants.
Moisture retention is another thing that mulch will do for an organic garden. A thick layer of organic mulch water usage in the garden. Mulch keep the soil cool so plant roots won’t scorch under the hot summer sun.
Types of Organic Mulch
Compost is an ideal mulch, however it does not have a rough surface. Top the compost layer off with a rough organic mulch so it will feed the soil and keep pests off garden plants.
Straw, hay, pine needles, nut hulls, tree bark, shredded leaves, grass clippings, animal manure, shredded newspaper, cocoa chips and small gravel are some types of organic mulch products that are beneficial for use in an organic garden.