ORGANIC - SUSTAINABLE - PERMACULTURE
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
Sustainable gardening has been around for centuries, but it and permaculture are the latest buzz words these days.
Organic gardening, which people have talked about and practiced for years, has been a growing trend as well, but how does organic gardening differ from sustainable gardening and permaculture?
What are the best practices for you and your yard or garden? Well, let's discuss it because each technique is different, and you can mix and match them to best suit your purposes, here's how.
Simply means to grow food without the use of chemical pesticides, herbicides and inorganic fertilizers that pollute our soil and water. It relies on the use of beneficial insects, diversity of plants, and the use of compost to supply the soil with nutrients.
A sustainable garden works in harmony with nature. There are many techniques that can improve the health of your garden and minimize any negative impact on the environment. Most are easy and will save you time in the long run.
Sustainable gardening includes:
organic gardening, double digging, worm composting, backyard composting, integrated pest management, and more.
It is to live in such a way so that there are enough resources to live well and survive in a varied, and flourishing environment forever. It is using renewable resources properly.
Is more inclusive of everything, and is an entire way of living, not just gardening or growing things.
The word permaculture was coined by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren during the 1970s and includeds permanent agriculture as well as permanent culture.
It teaches us how build natural, energy-efficient homes, build waste water treatment systems, use recycling techniques, grow our own food, raise our own animals (chickens, cows, pigs, bees, etc.), restore diminished landscapes and ecosystems, catch rainwater, build communities, and much more.
Do What Works Best For You
As a gardener you will find your own way as you garden more, and try different and varied techniques. What works best for you may not work for someone else, so look around for ideas, try them, keep what works and toss out what doesn't.
The best thing is to try new techniques and have fun doing it!
Putting It All Together
Here are five basic ideas to get you thinking:
1. Compost Your Lawn: Instead of reaching for the chemical fertilizers to feed your lawn, compost your lawn instead. It works better, is longer lasting, and it is fast and easy to do. Choosing to use fewer chemical-based products is always the better option. Read this tutorial: How to compost your lawn
2. Use Neem and Other Organic Sprays: Companies like Bayer and Ortho have brainwashed a lot people into thinking you need to bomb disease and pests with heavy duty chemicals to rid your houseplants or garden of your problems. Actually there is a nice balance that can be reached, and using more natural based sprays like Neem Oil or Baking Powder Solutions can go a long way. They may not always entirely rid your plant of the problem, but most plants, if given optimal growing conditions and nutrients, can still grow and be productive as long as the disease or pests are kept at bay.
3. Double-Digging: This means to dig out the first 12 inches (30 cm) of topsoil, take a portion of it for your compost pile, then dig down another 12 inches (30 cm). This aerates 24 inches (61 cm) of your soil, improving its texture and ability to absorb and drain water and nutrients.
4. Worm Composting: a plastic bin with holes can house a family of red wiggler worms, who will eat your kitchen waste (eliminating it from the city waste stream), and they will make it into good, odor-free compost.
5. Backyard Composting: using a myrad of techniques, you can compost your yard waste, kitchen waste, and create nutrient rich organic matter to add back into your garden soil.