The World of Organic Gardening – A Singapore Gardeners viewpoint
Organic gardening isn’t without its controversies. On one hand, some claim that edible produce grown using organic methods are sweeter, healthier and much better for the land the crops are grown on. On the other hand, others say that whether it’s organic or not doesn’t make a difference to the taste of the crops grown or to the soil the plants grow on.
I’ve always preferred the idea of using the organic method over chemical, probably because I subscribe to the belief that plants absorb whatever chemicals are used on them, and if those plants happen to be grown as a food source, I don’t want to indirectly consume those chemicals anyway.
Furthermore, organic fertilizer can be easily made by anyone at home. You can easily create a compost bin by using an unused bucket with holes drilled in it, and composting green waste from your kitchen such as vegetable peels and newspaper shreds.
Vermicomposting is another method that is beginning to be used more and more by organic gardeners. Vermicomposting info.
Vermicast Green Tea is also produced using worms in the process.
The same kitchen waste can also be recycled and used in the creation of garbage enzyme, (Garbage Enzyme info) which works wonders as an organic pest control. All these can be made in the comfort of your home with minimum spend.
Yet another advantage of organic pest control is the fact that the balance of nature is maintained in your garden. Natural predators will be attracted to your plants if there is a supply of pests and your plants will be kept healthy without the need for chemical warfare in the garden. For me, organic pest control is essential. Biological pest control info.
However, organic gardening is not without its detriments. Organic soil usually contains nutrients which are released much more slowly over time and because there is no artificial boost to the soil’s nutrients, the yield for crops are usually smaller and less robust than those grown using the conventional fertilizing methods. Also, without chemical intervention, some of the organic food grown is usually also eaten by garden visitors who share the same palate as you do. But there are ways to boost natural ground nutrients – Green Manuring is a good example. Green Manure info.
Since you cannot use any of the quick and easy fixes throughout the gardening process, organic gardening is considered to be more labor and time intensive than the conventional method. Compost takes time to break down enough to be usable, crop rotation may be needed if you are growing on a plot of land and not in containers, and manual removal of diseased plants is needed. All of these add to the time and effort spent.
It is not hard to make the change to organic gardening, though. You don’t have to make a complete and radical change. One gardening tip is to adapt organic gardening in accordance to what is best for your household. The easiest way to make the change is simply to purchase organic seeds and organic soil and start your plants from those basic needs. Then, overtime make other organic complementary changes.
Another organic garden idea is to rent an allotment or other garden plot that is suitable and do larger-scale growing. But don’t rush into planting headfirst. Take it in stages, by first clearing any tall plants and weeds. Mulch such as straw, compost or even newspapers can be used to cover the allotment to prevent weeds from growing further as the soil is conditioned. Conditioning of the soil can be done by using mulch made from natural products such as grass clippings, or even burying green waste from the kitchen into the soil and letting it compost over a few months or just manuring in the conventional way with the various forms of farmyard manure. It may take a few months or as long as a few years to truly stabilize the conditioned soil into a fully organic patch.
When all is said and done, organic gardening, although needing slightly more effort, is much more satisfying and rewarding, since it creates a sustainable renewable cycle which helps to preserve the fragile state of our earth by not destroying it further.