Is organic gardening much more different that the traditional chemical gardening? To me, there is a big difference! When using chemicals like petroleum based products, you are feeding the plant. It is like your grass or garden being on steroids. You need to feed your plants regularly with fertilizers, and definitely you must use pesticides to control weeds. Once you stop using chemicals the whole system collapses.
Traditional gardening vs organic gardening
Chemicals feed the plant. That’s why you need the so called 5 step water soluble fertilizer program. Water soluble means you need water to decompose the product. And this is true for most chemical products being used on any yard. The main problem of using chemical fertilizers that require great amounts of water is that it will also be the cause for pesticide and fertilizer run-off.
In organic gardening it is common to talk about Cation Exchange Capacity (C.E.C.), which is a value given on a soil analysis report to indicate the ability of the soil to retain and release nutrients. Generally chemical lawns have a low C.E.C.. therefor the soil is not able to retain most of the nutrients provided by the bag of fertilizer. This happens because most new developments are very sandy. Rich topsoil is replaced by very low quality dirt and sand. Notice that I say dirt and not soil, because it is not uncommon to see glass, plastic, rocks, weeds, etc…,
Chemical fertilizers are not the best option for a garden or lawn because they are highly water soluble. Most of it is lost by just evaporation and by run-off. Then, some fertilizer in absorbed by the plant. In general, a great amount of product is simply wasted.
Ecological Gardens Are Beautiful Natural Landscapes
Fortunately there are ways to transform your garden. Use organic products because they feed the microbiology in the soil. This is why you hear the true organic landscapers and gardeners to feed the soil instead of the plant. The microbiology in the soil feed on the organic fertilizer like corn, soy, seaweed, kelp, grass clippings, leaves, etc… In return, the microorganisms produce available nutrients for the plant as byproduct of the digestion of the organic materials. Then, the plants take whatever they need. Same thing happens in nature. Trees loose the leaves in the Fall, weeds die back… All these plant material are eaten by billions and billions of microbes creating available nutrients for the plants.
I see on a daily basis the difference between both chemical and organic lawns and gardens. I see how after many years, most people still apply the same fertilizers and pesticides on their properties. Personally I do not have to deal with most typical garden diseases. The microbes in the soil are feeding my plants and they are also fighting diseases.
This Fall, or during the Spring, remember the big difference between chemical lawns and organic lawns… Chemical you feed the plant and organic you are feeding the soil.
A beautiful natural lawn and garden can be cheaper and easier to maintain if you work with nature. Give it a try, and have fun! Enjoy your garden, and spend time outside.