Introduction to Organic Gardening
Introduction to True Living Organic Gardening/Farming
Let’s start off with the definition of what “organic farming” is.
“Organic crops. The organic seal verifies that irradiation, sewage sludge, synthetic fertilizers, prohibited pesticides, and genetically modified organisms were not used.” USDA
My definition: Only materials used are 100% natural from the earth in its natural state, ground down to a meal or flour. Bacteria’s in solution or powder must not have any synthetic components. THAT’S IT.
Now, with that said, in commercial organic farming there are still some approved pesticides, fungicides, and micronutrient supplements that are synthetic. This is something that has bothered me for years. This has given me the idea to try and educate the people and let them know that you can grow this organic food at home, at a low cost, only use organic materials, and know it’s safe for the earth and you and your family.
In organic farming, you do not feed the nutrients and minerals to the plants. You feed the nutrients and minerals to the soil. Healthy soil or Organic Living Soil is full of beneficial bacteria’s and fungi a.k.a. microbes, which break down organic matter and rock particles. Organic matter and rock particles a.k.a. Organic Amendments, are what is used to feed the soil.
These nutrient and mineral amendments can be anything from Seed Meals, Plant Meals, Marine Meals, rock flours, clays etc. A meal is basically a ground version of the original items. So, if you were to take kelp (seaweed) for instance, which is one of the most important amendments in organic farming, and washed it off and dried it, and then ground it up you would have a Kelp Meal.
If you took Basalt rock, which is a volcanic rock full of minerals and ground it down to a powder you would have a rock flour or dust. Each amendment has a different amount of nutrients and minerals, so it’s all about understanding what meal or stone flour has and trying to feed your soil what it needs to feed the plants.
These meals and flours are then either mixed with soils or put on the surface of the soil and scratched in. They are then broken down by those beneficial microbes. After that process has occurred, the microbes hold those nutrients and minerals and get consumed by other fungi in soil which are attached to the plants roots, who then transfer those nutrients to the plant. There are a lot of other beneficial microbes in the soil that I am not talking about at the moment to try and keep this as basic as possible. That is the idea behind real organic farming. Microbes eat organic matter, fungi eat microbes, and fungi feed roots. Simple.
Now, how do you create organic living soil which has the perfect amount of nutrients and minerals?
That’s the million dollar question. You have to understand what ingredients have what important nutrients and minerals.
The important ones for plant growth are:
Macro-nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium
Macro-minerals: calcium, magnesium
Micro-nutrients: boron, chlorine, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, silicon and zinc.
Your macronutrients and minerals are most important, followed by your micronutrients. Most meals or organic materials have your basic macronutrients in varying amounts, and then your rock flours will have your minerals and micronutrients. I suggest if you would like to make your own amendment blends you research what organic amendments have what nutrients and minerals and then create a very diverse blend.
Here at the Soil Makers, we have created our own tried and tested nutrient and mineral blend that works on most every plant or tree. This makes it easier for you to use our blend to make your own soil, or buy soil and add our blend and plant right into it. We have created a blend that will have enough nutrients and minerals for most plants to thrive throughout the whole growing season and some, but if you have a heavy feeding plant, or live in an area where plants grow year round outside, then you can always top dress, or put the amendments on top of the soils and scratch it into the surface then water through.
To create your own Organic living soil, you may need to add some beneficial microbes and enzymes. These microbes can teach the local microbes in your soil how to be more efficient cycling nutrients while helping them. Adding microbes and enzymes to the soils can help nutrients and minerals get to the plant roots for uptake.
Some ways to do this are to make a Compost tea. Basically, putting compost in water and stirring it. There are more advanced methods to make compost tea that I explain on my blog that can create a very diverse and concentrated tea that will add an amazing amount of nutrient cycling microbes to the soil that is very easy. We sell a compost tea kit, with amazing compost and worm castings that are teeming with life. In compost tea, what goes in, comes out, so if you start with a not so good compost, your tea will be as such.
A way to add enzymes to your soil, is to make an Effective Enzyme Tea. This means you use seeds, for example, alfalfa or barley seeds, and sprout them until the tail of the seed is as long as the seed itself, and then blend it in a blender with water and water into your soil. Sprouted seeds have amazing growth hormones and enzymes that encourage root growth and healthy plant growth for pennies. We sell organic alfalfa seeds and organic barley seeds on our website.
We also create an Organic Living soil for containers and raised bed gardens, and an Organic planting blend for in-ground gardens and for making your own soil at home.
Remember that Organic living soil is a soil that is teeming with microbes breaking down organic matter which in turn feeds the roots of the plant the essential nutrients and minerals to grow nutrient and mineral dense fruits and vegetables. When you use living organic methods, you cannot use conventional fertilizer products or any other liquid fertilizer that is not organic. This will kill any beneficial bacteria in your soil.
We have put together an Organic Growers starter kit for beginners to get the hang of good organic practices.
The Kit comes with instructions for every item, and all you need is a garden and a 5 gallon bucket.
If you have any questions, or find any of this information confusing, please email us and we would be happy to explain it to you so you can understand.
We are here to help everyone convert to organics to better their lives and health.