Creating Healthy SoilOrganic products are ideal for your landscape, because they feed the soil, creating a sustaining environment. Healthy soil leads to healthy plants.1 But when you garden organically, you do much more than nourish your plants.
As in nature, an organic soil alive with microbes and fungi releases nutrients slowly to plants. By enriching the soil with organic supplements and encouraging the growth of naturally occurring beneficial organisms, you give your plants the tools they need to access nutrients in the soil and the strength to protect themselves from harmful pathogens and pests. Take the natural approach and amend with soil conditioners, such as earthworm castings, which add organic matter, including humid acid, and desirable microorganisms to your garden soil. This helps make soil borne nutrients, such as iron, more available to plants.2
Gypsum is a soil additive that helps to loosen compacted soil and promote root growth while enriching the soil with calcium and sulfur. Gypsum also improves soil structure.3
Pennington Fast Acting Gypsum is a mined product but contains a synthetic polymer, so it is not an organic soil conditioner.
Nutritious “Food" for PlantsHigh-quality organic fertilizers are the products of natural decomposition and are easy for plants to digest. Made from natural sources, organic fertilizers provide garden plants with slow-release, consistent nourishment. Such a “health food" diet makes your plants strong and self-sustaining. Rather than depend on you for feeding them a steady supply of synthetic fertilizers, they find what they need in soil that has been fed with organic fertilizer.
Organic fertilizers that feed the soil and sustain plants include animal waste and byproducts, such as bird and bat guano, blood meal, bone meal and feather meal, as well as fish and kelp fertilizers. Certified organic products, such as Alaska Fish Fertilizer 5-1-1, and all natural products like Alaska by Pennington Pure Kelp Plant Food 0.13-0-0.60, provide plants with nutrient-rich sources of organic matter that breaks down and slowly feeds plants, making them strong and vigorous.
Organic Pest and Disease ManagementOrganic gardening takes a gentle approach to dealing with pests and diseases. This method includes taking steps to prevent pests and diseases before they occur, and using mild control methods and products.
One of the least invasive prevention and control methods for pests and diseases is inspecting plants for problems, and then physically removing any pests or diseased areas found. This works well when a plant has a limited amount of problem areas. Organic gardening also uses exclusion methods to keep pests and diseases at bay. This includes covering plants with lightweight, spunbonded fabrics known as row cover.1
ConclusionGardeners dedicated to organic gardening practices know that it's best to destroy as few insects as possible, as a large majority of insects are beneficial or benign. But when pest or disease invasions are extensive, they turn to organic pest control products. Such substances tend to break down quickly once applied, which means they have a lower likelihood of harming plants.
GardenTech Worry Free line of pesticide products gives the gardener a natural means of controlling trouble in the garden. Worry Free Brand Insecticide and Miticide contains a botanical derived from pyrethrins from chrysanthemum flowers and can be applied up to the day of harvest. However, it does not carry an OMRI or organic certification.