Gardening is not as complicated as popular perception. In school at some juncture, we have all planted a seed in some earth, placed it in a cup or tub, given it water and beheld in amazement as it spurted. However, creating a garden that churns out flowers and fresh victuals is not extremely easy as well. Organic or ecological gardening requires diligence, dedication, motivation and hard slogging. However, the output is worth the effort.
Urban Organic gardening
Due to a lack of large fields and farms, urban gardens face space crunch. However, with the aid of some wary preparation and planning one can achieve the sheer pleasure of producing marvellous tasting organic veggies and fruits. The space limitation can be overcome with a method known as companion planting whereby plants are placed at close intervals. The lack of depth in soil can also be worked around by planting radishes and miniature varieties of carrots which grow nicely in shallow soil. The space issue can be further corrected by using water resistant mirrors and this also aids in redirecting sunlight to shaded zones.
An ecosystem comprising edible vegetation is known as an ecological garden. It is also called so as it imitates exactly, the natural habitat. Understanding the root habits of plants achieves prime importance as the soil profile is impacted by all plants. Ecological gardeners and ecologists divide the physical space into a number of layers. Each layer in the garden has its own role. The canopy, for instance is there to create a micro climate by absorbing major part of the sunlight. Rain drip is directed towards tree crown edges by branching angles and variety of tree shapes which facilitates growth through appropriate water distribution.
Bed making involves loosening the soil down at least three weeks before planting. When the soil is allowed to sit post raking, it brings out the weed seeds. Shallow furrows can be dug for seeds. Watering must be done lightly so as to moisten but not soak the soil. Watering if done prior to planting helps protect the seeds from getting washed up or swamped. The seed packets provide guidance as to how far apart planting must be done. Seeds can be sown in the trench or a couple maybe put in each planting hole. If planting is done too closely, it results in thinning. Soil covering must be done only about as much as the seed diameters. Till the seeds have sprout, the seed bed needs water sprinkling as and when the surface dries up.
Organic or ecological gardening is so designed, that the natural equilibrium of the planet is minimally stressed. It is thus, that ecological or organic farmers are drawn towards reduced tillage devices. The methods usually used by organic farmers to preserve cover for the soil for the most part of the year are:
– mulching and
– planting cover crops.
Organic gardening provides food which is rich in natural minerals and vitamins. The ideal ph level is 6.5 which can be adjusted with lime or sulphur, thus facilitating ecological vegetable gardening. Further, it saves the human body from ingestion of the lethal additives and detrimental growth hormones used in regular farming. Ecological gardening is also known as horticulture therapy since it provides a fabulous way of keeping physically and emotionally fit. This kind of activity helps diminish inactivity related health issues and instils an affirmative worldly outlook by making one care for the vegetables and fruits grown.
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