Organic gardening is the term used to describe plants that are grown without using any chemicals. The plants can be Fruits, flowers, vegetables or grass, as long as they are produced without any synthetic substances added to the soil or applied to the plants. Seeds and plants must be non-GMO and un-treated, with heirloom varieties of the desired choices.
However there is a new generation of organic gardeners emerging and they are taking the eco-friendly gardening method to a whole new level. The next generation of organic gardeners are growing food without tilling the soil and planting crops in rows; they are developing food forests.
New Generation of Organic Gardeners
Organic Food Forest
A food forest is designed much like a natural forest – shorter plants grow under tall plants in a symbiotic relationship. Trees that produce fruits and nuts are surrounded by vegetable producing plants, garden fencing or other outdoor structures are covered with food and flower-producing vines, fallen leaves cover the soil as mulch and plant food, and volunteer plants that spring up from decomposing food are allowed to grow wherever they spring up.
Cycle of life
Food forests have minimal structure to them, unlike the straight-rowed,nearly-tilled traditional gardens. Native plants thrive in the organic environment, and pollinators are provided food and shelter among the plants.
The cycle of life in the next generation of organic gardens mimics that in a natural forest, plants grow voluntarily in the place that best suits them.
Backyard food forests can and should have some structure to the planting arrangement, and this can easily be achieved by transplanting volunteer plants to the best locations for them and you.
A footpath will be needed so you can tend to plants and harvest produce, and plants with similar needs should be grouped so that occasional transplanting will be required.
No Dig Organic Garden
The next generation of organic gardens requires no digging. Thick layers of organic mulch cover the soil where plants are not growing, so weed growth is inhibited, and the soil is kept fed and loosened. Compost and animal manure are also applied to the soil to keep it fertile.
As the organic mulch decomposes, it adds nutrients to the soil, helps retain soil moisture, improves soil structure, and prevents compaction.
Rough mulch, like tree bark, also prevents pest problems.
Read my article to learn more about No Dig Garden Method.
No Chemicals Needed
Just as a natural forest thrives without the use of chemicals, so does a food forest. The symbiotic relationship of the plants allows them to grow without synthetic fertilizer, pest control, weed control, or hormones.
What do you think about a new generation of organic gardening. Have you applied any methods to you garden?