Organic Gardening 101

If you ask a group of gardeners for a definition of “organic gardening,” you’ll likely get many different answers. Instead of using synthetic or toxic chemicals, organic gardeners create a garden ecosystem that sustains itself. Some will use only commercial products approved as USDA Organic or listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI).

Others will go a step further and not use any commercial or manufactured products at all, choosing only natural composts, manures, and plant oils. Still other organic gardeners embrace the idea of permaculture, bringing in nothing from outside and cultivating a garden using only the resources of their own land.

In short, regardless of the degree to which it’s taken, organic gardens give more to the earth than they take away. More than anything else, organic gardening requires altering your mindset about gardening. Once you change the way you approach gardening, it will be easy to change what you do.

Read on for three basic concepts to get you started on the path to organic gardening.


  1. I live in Fairhope, AL. Where can I purchase large quantities of cotton meal? I have a lot of citrus plant and hydrangeas that would benefit from it. Thanks!
    Lisa Guarino

  2. I made a homemade fungiside one tablespoon of baking soda, one t of dish soap, and one t of cooking oil. What do you think, will it work?


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