Organic Gardening 101

By Bradley Frederick

Organic gardening is when a garden is maintained without the use of synthetic products. The practice has many health and environmental benefits, but it can be challenging for beginners who are unfamiliar with fertilisation and pest control methods that do not involve synthetic chemicals. Here’s our guide to get you started!  

Before starting it is important to assess the type and quality of your soil to know which types of plants will grow best in your region. Soils in Sydney and its surrounding suburbs generally consist of two main types – sandy soils, clay soils, or a mix of the two. To boost the health of your soil, consider skipping the nitrogen base chemical fertilisers, and opt for natural fertilisers such as compost or worm castings instead. You could even make your own, by setting up a home compost bin or worm farm as part of our Green Impact team!

Once you have decided on the foods you would like to grow, you then want to design for an interplanted garden. Interplanting involves planting different types of plants, flowers, herbs, trees, etc. together in one area. This is great for reducing the spread of disease in your garden, since plant viruses will have a more difficult time transmitting in a biodiverse area. Depending on the types of plants you select, interplanting can also repel common pests like flies, gnats, and mosquitoes while creating a sustainable habitat for bees, lady bugs, and other helpful insects.

There are also organic pesticides which can be used to address specific problems and are less harmful to the environment than synthetic pesticides. However, it is important to apply these as a reactive measure and not pre-emptively.

While your garden may not look as pristine as a nonorganic garden with all its plants separated out by species, organic gardening done correctly yields many benefits, such as producing healthier produce, eliminating chemical residue on your harvest, preventing groundwater pollution by pesticides, and saving you money on store bought organic produce.

Things to check out

Be sure to join Adithya and our special guests on The Producer’s Podcast: EncourageMINT on Spotify or Spreaker for more interesting facts, and wild stories about gardening adventures!

Are you passionate about the three four R’s my friend? Check out the Green Impact program, an easy and fun way to learn about how to become more sustainable and to meet other people with a passion for the environment. We’d love for you to join our team, Green beans: Sustainable Sprouts!

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