Chemical-Free Gardening for a Better World
The garden and lawn market is currently worth more than $26.3 billion according to data released by Allied Market Research. Although gardening is proven to be of great physical and mental benefit to those engaging in it, the chemicals often used while creating beautiful and functional gardens are not of any benefit to the environment. There are countless reasons to make your gardening efforts chemical-free. Apart from decreasing the number of chemicals you consume, steering clear of chemicals also helps protect the environment and, in particular, the fish and bird populations. Here are a few chemical-free gardening techniques that will contribute towards a natural garden and healthy environment.
Shift the Focus to Your Soil
Healthy soil lies at the foundation of every healthy, organic garden. When making the shift to chemical-free gardening, have your soil tested by a technician to learn more about its composition and to decide what natural method of fertilization will be most beneficial. Some of the top organic fertilizers to consider include homemade compost which consists of decomposed organic material such as vegetable scraps, leaves, and grass, bone meal, and animal manure. Worm castings can also be used with great success to fertilize your garden without chemicals. They are among the most nutrient and mineral-dense natural fertilizers available and can contribute greatly towards healthy, strong plants.
Invest in Natural Pest Solutions
Chemical-laden herbicides and pesticides can cause immense harm to the environment. If you need to rid your garden of pests, consider investing in organic products such as horticultural oils and insecticidal soaps. These effectively control everything from crickets and fleas to aphids and caterpillars. Do not, however, use them in the presence of bees. You can also use physical barriers like row covers, nets, and metal cans without lids to deter insects from invading your garden. Coffee grounds placed around plants are known to deter slugs while cayenne pepper has a reputation for effectively getting rid of an array of other common garden pests. Try to attract good bugs like aphid-eating ladybugs into your garden by planting dill, tansy, coriander, scented geraniums, cosmos, and other plants that can offer food and protection.
Support the Health of Your Plants
The healthier your plants are, the less reliant they will be on pest and disease remedies that may contain harmful chemicals. There are a number of things you can do to help ensure your plants remain healthy. By planting with the seasons, your plants have a greater chance to flourish. If you plant too early or too late, however, they are bound to struggle and will be more prone to pests and disease. Planting cover crops will help prevent weeds from growing and will also improve the overall health of the soil. Mulching is also very beneficial as it keeps the soil moist and helps to keep it warm. Your plants will also benefit from being planted in the right area as there is little chance of sun-loving plants flourishing in the shade and vice-versa.
Shifting to chemical-free gardening can benefit the environment in many ways. Steering clear of chemicals can also reduce the number of chemicals you consume at home while saving you a lot of money as many organic gardening aids can be cheaply made at home.