Organic Gardening 101
By: Julie Day
Recycling is nature’s way of saying, “Life goes on.”
Rule #2: Recycle the Nutrients
Embrace the cycle of life by feeding your garden with nutrients recycled from other living things. Whether you recycle your shredded leaves or purchase an organic garden product, be sure the nutrients are coming from decaying organic matter or natural sources. Many commercial garden chemicals are manufactured from fossil fuels while others consist of highly processed mineral salts or synthetic compounds.
Here are some great ways to recycle nutrients:
- Start a compost pile to recycle plant debris and kitchen waste.
- Feed your garden with manure.
- Make your own nutritious mulch out of grass clippings, leaves, and wood chips.
When shopping for garden products, look for:
- Fertilizers made from manure, worm castings, seaweed, or other organic materials.
- Soil amendments such as kelp meal, cottonseed meal, bone meal, or blood meal. Make sure you understand and are comfortable with the manufacturing process of whatever you’re using – some are byproducts of the meat processing industry while other products can contain preservatives or involve additional processing.
- Mineral supplements from naturally occurring sources, such as greensand, wood ash, and granite dust.
- Fungicides, insecticides, and herbicides made from plant oils and natural elements.
- Products certified by OMRI (Organic Materials Research Institute).