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==== ==== Please check out The Organic Gardening Academy for great tips on Gardening Organically. ==== ====

When you are using organic gardening practices you are providing your family with food that is pesticide free. It is easy to understand and use techniques of organic gardening and this is a great advantage. One of the main factors of organic gardening is to make sure the soil has lots of nutrients in it. A healthy crop of vegetables requires a high concentration of microorganisms in the garden soil. Here is a very important guideline to follow: the gardener feeds the soil, the soil feeds the plants and the plants feed the gardener. This cycle is a basic principle for all organic gardeners. You can use your garden waste by placing it in your compost pile where it will decompose into organic matter that will enrich your garden soil with nutrients. Sunlight and water keeps this whole cycle moving. Soil contains minerals, organic matter and many microorganisms and is itself a living ecosystem. Taking care of the soil is the main task of the organic gardener. A gardener will always pay close attention to the condition of the soil because it is so important to the survival of the plants. Plants will thrive in healthy soil where minerals and organisms interact with water and other organic materials. The best conditions for plant growth depend on a basic understanding of this living ecosystem. Gardeners will usually have a very close relationship with the soil. The best advantage of organic gardening is that it works with nature not against it. Using organic techniques you can control your garden pests naturally. Natural predators that feed on pests can bring them under control. Ladybugs are one of these natural predators that feed on many common garden pests. There are a number of ways that you can get rid of insect pests. You need to make sure that your plants have vigorous healthy growth. Healthy plants are usually less likely to attract pests and they have more protection against disease. If you rotate your crops every year, this will also help to reduce pests. An effective method of keeping weeds from growing is to place plants close together. This is called intensive planting. With intensive planting the soil is protected from the sunlight so that weeds do not have a chance to germinate. Intensive planting has the advantage of reducing evaporation from the soil which helps plants to retain moisture. Organic gardening gives you another important advantage. The vegetables that you grow in your garden at home are more nutritious than the store bought variety because they contain more nutrients. Fruits and vegetables quickly lose nutrients after they are picked. Vegetables in your local store have lost some nutrients during shipping. Fresh organic vegetables picked from your garden are very tasty and enjoyable. More flavor and nutrition is retained in our food when we grow organically. People have grown

their food this way throughout history. People did not take food out of a box and reheat it, rather it was picked fresh from the garden. In the past people were more self sufficient. Even their bread was baked at home not bought from a store. In the summer and fall fruits and vegetables were preserved to be used later during the winter months. Today we can use some of these same methods to provide good food for our families.

There are many benefits of organic gardening []. See Julie Lyn's website [] for more.

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==== ==== Please check out The Organic Gardening Academy for great tips on Gardening Organically. ==== ====

Take the Guesswork out of Gardening Organically.