There are many reasons to use organic methods in your garden, from cost and health concerns to respect for the environment. Organic gardening is simply growing plants without the use of chemicals. Organic gardeners encourage healthy plant growth by other means and harvest crops free of pesticides or other chemicals that may affect their health or the environment.
Composting is one of the main components in an organic gardening process. Wasted plants and vegetables are turned into compost, which feeds the plants and helps with soil texture. A compost pile or bin is a common sight in an organic gardener's yard.
Rather than using chemicals to control weeds in the garden, organic gardeners use mulch to cover the ground. The weed seeds below the surface can't get any sunlight, so they don't get a foothold in the garden rows. Mulch can be made of reusable black plastic or biodegradable cardboard or newspaper.
Organic gardeners find many creative ways to eradicate pests without resorting to the use of insecticide sprays. For plants with larger pests, such as tomatoes and broccoli with visible worms, hand picking will get rid of most of the problem. Insecticidal soap is a useful tool because it attacks the insects without harming the plant. Many gardeners import or encourage beneficial such as ladybugs or black wasps, which attack pest insect life in the garden.
Many plants have beneficial effects on other plants, and organic gardeners often take advantage of this work-free method of improving the garden. Tomatoes repel a certain moth that loves to eat cabbage; beans attract beneficial insects that help corn; and radishes attract leafminers, which might otherwise eat spinach. There are many companion plant pairs, and wise organic gardeners take advantage of many of them.
Gardeners who are adamantly and completely organic will want to know the source of their seeds to make sure they come from organic sources. These may be difficult to find or more expensive than other commercial seeds. Many organic gardeners save their seeds from any non-hybrid plants that they grow. These seeds will grow true to the parent plant without any odd mutations, and the organic gardener can be completely sure that there is no chemical additive on the seeds.