Organic methods work! And if you’re feeding your soil in every way you can — you’ll see better and better results with each passing season.
I’m not a scientist but I really enjoy learning about the intricate network of creatures (some microscopic and some not) that live and work in my garden.
I remember the first time I encountered the term “mycorrhizal fungi” on a package of grow mix. In my ignorance I exclaimed — “Oh no! they’ve added a chemical to my grow mix!”
The fact is mycorrhizal fungi is a beneficial fungi. It grows in and around plant roots. And you know what it does? It sends out growth to mine the subsoil for nutrients and water to share with your crops!
In addition, there are plenty of microorganisms that help prevent diseases in your garden and help your plants offer strong resistance to insect attacks.
In order for us to have ALL these microorganisms in our garden — we have to provide enough food for them. Otherwise — they won’t be there.
One of the best ways to provide food for the soil is through the roots of crops in the soil — both the ones producing food for us and cover crops. At the very least — we should have our soil mulched because organic mulches like leaves, grass clippings, etc. – in addition to everything else they do — feed our soil life.
The more you feed your soil life the less problems you’ll have with diseases and insects. The better your soil — the fewer problems you’re going to have. And that’s a fact in spite of the lies that conventional agriculture promotes.
Just recently I stumbled upon an article in Mother Earth News written by Doreen G. Howard in 2003. Ms. Howard wrote for the Old Farmer’s Almanac All-Season Garden Guide for many years.
In writing about feeding the soil life, she mentioned the fact that many diseases are prevented or slowed by beneficial fungi living in mulch.
I thought it particularly interesting that a North Carolina State University study (even back then) showed that only a tiny percent of tomatoes (3%) that had been mulched (with a composted organic mulch) became infected with Southern blight — compared to 66 % that became infected in the unmulched plants in the study.
As it turns out, the composted mulch was an ideal breeding ground for beneficial fungi which killed or prevented the blight. So although numerous disease-causing bacteria and fungi are in soil — a healthy soil (and thus a healthy soil life) allows beneficial microbes to control or eliminate those that cause problems.
Organic Gardening is easy, effective, efficient — and it’s a lot healthier.
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