Millions of home gardeners all over the world use organic methods to grow fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers and various other botanicals without the use of pesticides. There are many reasons to "go organic" in your backyard garden; you'll decrease your family's exposure to potentially dangerous pesticides and chemicals, enhance the wholesomeness of your food and improve the environment.
Vegetable gardening is perhaps the most popular application for organic methods, because so many people are concerned about pesticide residue on their food. If you're new to organic gardening methods, you may not realize that the key to pest prevention in organic vegetable gardens is to ensure that your soil is in top-notch condition.
Many soil conditioners and fertilizers contain non-organic materials, so consult an organic gardening book if you need help selecting the right substances to use. Some favorites include fertilizers containing fish, crab, bone or blood meal, bat guano, or manure. If these organic gardening supplies sound too icky, there are plant-, seaweed- and mineral-based fertilizers that also work well, without the smell or ick-factor.
In addition to these options, you may be interested in learning more about the organic gardening tip of composting, which involves saving certain kinds of household scraps. Over time, these scraps turn into a nutritious soil-like substance that plants love.
The big question on many people's minds when they first contemplate organic gardening is how they will control pests. It turns out that chemical pesticides are truly unnecessary in gardens because there are so many natural pest control agents available.
The simplest organic pest control substances to use are multi-purpose organic sprays. These sprays, which contain a mix of herbs, oils and minerals, are formulated to work on most common pest species. However, if you are facing a moderate to severe infestation, it makes sense to determine what type(s) of pests are at work and select organic pesticides to specifically target them. In addition, you can purchase helpful insects that eat destructive pests. Live insects used in pest control include ladybugs, mantises, lacewings and organic gardening beetles. These insects are available both live and as larvae, and are easy to introduce to your organic garden.
It can also be quite effective to deter pests like squirrels from entering your yard in the first place; brick fences, shrubs and hedges can all make it harder or impossible for them to gain access to your garden.