Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Organic Prinicples: The Living Soil

The Big Question:  What Do Plants Want!

Plants are very forgiving of our lack of knowledge and use of quick fix methods. Are you frustrated in not knowing why your garden plants are struggling?  The healthiest and best tasting harvests come from plants whose needs are fully met.  

  • Plants do best when their growth from germination to harvest is uninterrupted
  • We ensure uninterrupted growth by giving plants access to healthy soil structure , nutrients, moisture, light, and proper temperature.
  • We attempt to protect our crops from anything that hinders growth like pests, disease, weeds, or temperature and water fluctuations.

Plant Stress Factors

  • Lack of nutrients, disease, pests, fluctuations in water and temperature, wind, extreme weather, weeds, and the ignorant gardener can all be stress factors for plants.

Results of Stress on a Plant

  • Growth slows or stops
  • When a plant moves from "growth mode" to "stress mode" changes occur which affect the size and quality of the harvest
  • Leaves become tough, fibrous, and bitter
  • Roots and fruits lack sweetness
  • We get a poor yield on our investment of time and money
  • The gardener becomes stressed 

Goal of Organic Methods

The goal is to provide plants with what they need for uninterrupted growth.  Don't hinder nature but help her.

  •  Organic gardening methods are based on plant and soil biology
  • With a greater understanding of cells and microbes we have a greater understand of what a healthy plant needs and how plants react to stress
  • All your garden problems will start or end in the soil and your choice of gardening methods
    What does organic mean?
    There are some very complicated definitions of organic gardening. There are also some very intensive overly complication organic gardening methods which discourage the backyard grower.  You do not need a team of interns, acres of land or a homestead to grow organically.
    The truth is organic methods are very inexpensive and easy to implement in your garden, orchard, and landscape.
    Definition of Organic Gardening 
    The organic gardener chooses to garden without chemical fertilizers and pesticides.  
    It's all about your soil.  Basically you need a "brown thumb" not a "green thumb."  Healthy soils produce healthy plants.
    Organic methods focus on building your soil structure, the soil microbes, and soil food web. 
    The microbes and good soil structure then provide the plants with nutrients, disease resistance, pest resistance, and increased vigor. 

    Organic principles are based on soil and plant science not "old wives tales" and myths.
    If you let plants and soil biology do their job then your garden will feed you family and not your frustrations.

    The Living Soil
    Soil is teeming with life and if you team up with soil microbes then you become an organic gardener.
    Building soil structure and the soil food web are the goals of the organic gardener.
    Both of these are accomplished by adding organic matter, the food of microbes, in the form of compost and mulches to the soil.
    The goal every year is to return healthy organic matter to the soil.

     Interested in Learning More?

    Try the Growing Organic challenge. The reason I started this blog is to help those interested in organic gardening learn practical, affordable organic methods.
     I'm inviting first time gardeners to to start small and enjoy success while learning to grow organically.  

    I'm challenging the gardener still using synthetic, chemical crutches to try the organic method.
    I'm offering the frustrated organic gardener dabbling in a variety of online methods and still not having  success some concrete ideas based on soil biology and plant science that work!

    I will be posting more detailed info in further posts. Please leave a comment if you are willing to take the challenge and include any questions you may want me to answer.


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