How to make your garden organic or natural in a raised garden bed
Thinking about starting a garden? You may be wondering how to make your garden organic or even natural. These terms are used interchangeably, especially regarding food, even though they are not the same.
– Highly regulated by the USDA with rigorous standards for a food or product to be certified
– Growers must prove they are not using any synthetic chemicals on crops
– No regulating body determining what this means – more of a marketing or “buzz” word
– Usually labeled on food with little to no processing – keeping foods in their “natural” state
Now, these terms can mean different things to different people. Some people want everything they consume and use to be organic. This is a more expensive approach, but for people who feel organic is important, they will spend the money to shop for both food and products that are labeled organic.
Tip: When shopping for organic food, know that not all small farmers can afford USDA organic certification, but may be using organic practices when growing food. Talk to your farmer whenever possible to find out their growing methods. Shop at farmer’s markets or co-ops to find out where your food is coming from.
Other folks may want to eat healthier but can’t afford all organic food. Many items that are labeled “natural” can be healthy options—just be sure to read your food labels. If there are a lot of ingredients that you can’t pronounce, it may not be as clean as you were hoping. A great resource to find produce and other items that are clean is the Environmental Working Group website. They offer two printable lists for fruits and vegetables: the Clean Fifteen and the Dirty Dozen. You have a good chance of eating food in a more natural form, even if it is not organic, on the Clean Fifteen list. The site also offers tips on skincare and cleaning products and created an app to use on your smartphone.
When it comes to gardening, we at Eco Garden Systems believe that either approach is noble. Really, what could be more natural than gardening? When growing your own food, you are already getting vegetables and fruit that are more nutritious than any food at the grocery store!
Want to make your garden organic? Just start with organic peat moss and organic soil and, if you so desire, organic seeds/starter plants. It will be more expensive, but always a safe bet. Want to grow “natural?” Just pick a high-quality soil and peat moss and get growing! You can decide what type of fertilizer and pest control options to use – either way, it is a good idea to stay away from the synthetic stuff, both for your health and for the health of the planet.
Overall, the best gardening methods are sustainable, using time-tested practices like water conservation, the use of compost and manure, and companion planting. Our Eco Garden System Original Garden uses 65% less water, allows you to garden well into your later years with its elevated platform, and lets you decide what goes into your soil—you control the ecosystem of your garden. We believe that the most important thing is getting more people gardening, no matter the method!
Tell us: What’s your gardening method?