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Why Garden Naturally?

Don Trotter

Questions most often asked about Natural Gardening:

Q) Why should I use Natural/ organic gardening products and practices if there are so many effective chemicals available?

A) Natural gardening promotes the ecological balances that nature intended. Chemicals can be antagonistic to these balances and are often toxic materials with the potential to harm you and your environment. The toxins can enter into plants and cause food plants like fruits and vegetables to be less nutritious than is desirable.

Q) Natural/ organic plant foods seem to be more expensive to use than conventional chemical plant foods, is this true?

A) No this is a myth. Natural plant foods and fertilizers are often more expensive to buy but they last much longer and provide greater overall nutrition to plants. In the long run natural plant foods are actually less expensive to use.

Q) I have trouble growing a nice garden because my soil is so bad. Will natural gardening practices improve the quality of my soil?

A) Absolutely! Natural gardening is actually a technique of feeding the soil so the soil can feed the plants more effectively. This is the way that nature intended and when you use natural/ organic products in your garden you will see the quality of your soil improve each season. Your garden will soon be able to support an abundance of healthy plant life.

Q) I always have some kind of pest or disease problem on my garden plants, and I buy a lot of pesticides to control them. How can natural gardening control these problems when the chemicals can't?

A) Natural gardening techniques are able to control pests and diseases because they promote the presence of beneficial organisms that control these problems. Chemicals just kill everything. By enhancing the biological diversity in your garden with natural practices, you will be including the natural enemies of these pests. Soon after beginning the practice of natural gardening you will see more birds (they eat insects) and an abundance of new bugs that actually eat the pest insect species. In the soil, you will be promoting the vigor of billions of beneficial microscopic organisms that actually crowd out and sometimes-feed on disease causing microbes and pests that live in the soil.

Q) I hear so much about compost and mulch these days. Does this stuff really improve the health of my garden?

A) You bet! The addition of copious amounts of organic matter to the garden in the form of compost and mulch will improve the soil, save you money on watering, and will promote the growth of many natural garden helpers like earthworms and disease fighting microorganisms. Compost and mulch are also the very best way to form humus in the soil. Humus is the best possible material for improving soil quality.

Q) I have so many pests on my plants. Are there any natural sprays that I can apply to my garden that will control them?

A) Yes there are. As our knowledge of plants has grown, we have found many natural products that can function as insecticides. There are extracts of certain flowers and plants that are very effective at controlling numerous pests. This is called "least toxic" gardening and is often used by natural gardeners as a last resort to control pest and disease infestations and bring them back into balance so their natural enemies can take over.

Q) Are the farmers that produce our food using natural practices and techniques?

A) Farmers are making great strides in converting back to more natural food production practices. The number of natural/ organic farms has been growing steadily for years and some supermarkets actually have begun to sell naturally grown produce and meat products. Soon you will be able to find naturally produced food products as easily as conventional produce.

Q) I see so much advertising for chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Don't they work better than natural products for the garden?

A) Nope! These products are not better than natural gardening materials and products. Advertising is very expensive and many of these chemical companies are very large, so they can afford to advertise anywhere. Chemicals do not work better but often work faster. This appeals to our instant gratification desires but is often detrimental to the garden in the long run. When you feed your garden with some of these products, it is like giving them mega-doses of very strong coffee. They grow real fast for a short period of time then stop. This gardening practice actually can increase plant losses from stress and insects or disease.

Q) I am concerned about the health of my family. Is the food I produce in my natural garden more nutritious for my family to eat?

A) Positively! Your natural garden has no chemical residues to pollute your plants and soil. Your natural garden also has an abundance of beneficial organisms in it that help plants to absorb a broader spectrum of minerals that are very nutritious for your family to eat. You will be producing superior quality foods in your natural gardens that are very safe and good for you.

Q) I love my Roses! Can I care for them without the constant use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers?

A) Yes. Roses are one of the many garden plants that require large amounts of fertilizer in constant supply. Natural/ organic plant foods supply balanced food for your roses in a constant and reliable way. When your roses are fed this way they have fewer insect and disease problems. If infestations of pests or diseases do occur, there are many natural ways to control them that are very effective and very safe to use.

Q) My lawn has been a black hole for money. Can I care for my lawn naturally without mortgaging my house?

A) Beautiful lawns are wonderful, and can be cared for naturally for less money than is required when conventional chemicals are utilized. By feeding your lawn with natural materials, you will feed less often and your lawn will stay greener, longer. Pests and diseases can also be effectively controlled without the need for chemical pesticides. And there is no better way to control weeds than a healthy lawn. You will have a lush, emerald-green lawn with less work and fewer headaches.

Next time we will be getting ready for the thousand years in the garden. Happy New Year and I'll see you in the Garden!

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