Thinking Green: Creating a Chemical Free Garden
Looking towards chemical free gardening?
It. Starts. With. The. Soil.
Many gardeners use chemical fertilizers and treatments to combat pests and diseases that arise in the yard and garden. While it may be a quick convenience to grab the first fertilizer or treatment solution you see on the shelf, in the long run you may be hurting more than helping! Using chemical-induced soil amendments creates an unsafe environment for children or pets playing outside, and doesn’t necessarily help your garden as much as one would hope.
What if there was a way to avoid using chemical pesticides and fungicides and prevent pests and diseases at the source? The answer is in the soil.
Almost all pests and diseases seen in yards and gardens originate from unhealthy soil. Unhealthy soil lacks the proper soil life to combat these issues at the source of the problem. Chemicals in the garden destroy soil life, leaving plants unable to defend themselves. A common misconception by the home gardener is the need to use chemical fertilizer multiple times a year in order to speed up plant growth. While it is easy to find and fast acting, chemical fertilizers have a high salt content that actually damages soil. We know that quick doesn't always mean better!
A chemical fertilizer works because it directly injects plant nutrients into the plant, but in doing so destroys surrounding soil life. The first step to creating a chemical-free garden is to use an organic fertilizer, such as Nourish-Biosol. An organic fertilizer adds organic matter, including food and attractants for microbes. The soil life then creates nutrients for the plant. In this scenario, both the soil and the plant benefit.
When an organic fertilizer is applied and soil life begins to culminate, the soil life will eat/fight off pests and diseases that begin their life in the soil before reaching the plants themselves. This preventative measure leads to fewer chemical pesticides and fungicides used on plants. Also, there are organic options for pesticides, such as Enviro-Repel 40 and fungicides, such as Citral Blast which are effective and actually good for the soil. Eventually, when soil is healthy and booming with life, pesticides and fungicides can be removed from use completely as the plants have their own defense mechanism borne from soil life.
The goal of a chemical-free garden is easily obtainable by switching from chemical products that kill the soil to organic products that help both soil and plants flourish. The cheapest and most effective way to start building soil life is a combination of the organic fertilizer Nourish-Biosol, concentrated humus, calcium, and iron found in Optimize, and a blend of almost every mineral nutrient that occurs naturally in soil found in Maximize. These products, pre-mixed together into Blend for a single convenient topical application, deliver exactly what soil craves to be organic, self sufficient, and able to deliver both nutrients and a defense system to plants.