Organic Gardening Supplies for Children Ames IA
Groundcovers, Perennials, Plants, Shrubs, Trees
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Fort Madison, IA
West Burlington, IA
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Organic Garden Practices Checklist
Most people know that organic farmers avoid polluting ecosystems and our food supply with synthetic pesticides, but the underlying philosophy is much broader. Organic farming centers on using methods that strive towards balance in the production fields that mirrors relationships found in natural ecosystem. As a result, the benefits reach much further. Organic farming:maintains biological diversity replenishes soil fertility reduces the risk of contaminating the harvest with harmful chemicals supports small family farms contributes to vital communities
We all benefit from a healthy environment, but those of us who eat organically produced foods get an extra advantage: reduced risk of ingesting pesticide residues. This is even more important for kids, whose developing bodies are more susceptible to damage by chemical contaminants.
Here is a list of tips to help you implement organic practices in your home or school garden.
Invest time preparing your soil. Healthy soil is the foundation of a successful organic garden. Amend the soil with compost and organic matter such shredded leaves to build structure, manage moisture, and increase nutrient content. Or, start a lasagna garden.
Protect and build the soil.Grow groundcovers or spread mulch over exposed soil to manage erosion, moisture evaporation, soil temperatures, and weeds. Groundcovers and mulch also provide habitat and fodder for earthworms and microbes. As these creatures decompose organic materials, they build soil humus and nutrient stores. Plant cover crops (e.g., buckwheat, rye, clover) between growing seasons or plantings to further protect and regenerate the soil.
Choose the right plants. Choose species and varieties that are well adapted to your region's climate and soils, and that have natural resistance to pests. Native plants are a good option.
Monitor your garden daily. It's not just nice a nice habit that gets you outdoors, it's how you keep on top of pests, diseases, and weeds.Keep an eye out for pest infestations: hand-pick large ones (like tomato hornworms), and remove smaller pests such as aphids with a high-pressure water spray or by pruning damaged stems. For severe infestations, use pesticides approved for organic gardens -- and by your school district -- such as insecticidal soap. Pull weeds while they're small, before they blossom and spread seeds. Look for diseased plant parts. Remove infected plants or plant parts to prevent their spread.