Organic Chemical Free Gardening

Organic Chemical Free Gardening

Each year, millions of pounds of chemicals are released into our environment and much water is wasted.  How? By growing plants. Most of this is done by agricultural producers, but a small amount of it is still done in our own gardens. So we have an opportunity to make a difference by changing our gardening habits. Here are some tricks to to help our gardens and the planet.

Native Plants

Pick appropriate plants. Not all plants are created equal. We can select plants that are appropriate for the areas we live in. When we pick native plants for our area, they are automatically  in tune with the temperature and rain conditions that already exist. These plants will not need the same level of fertilizer and water care that non-native plants do. To find which plants will work best research what plants are native to your surrounding areas and try them. Poke around in www.plantnative.org to get started.

Often native plants will have among them some species that are naturally repellent. These plants have developed around local conditions and local pests. Some may even repel animals naturally. For example, lavender is a naturally repellent plant although its not native to my area, I put it around my garden in pots to help repel insects from my other plants. Plus I love lavender, it might be my favorite plant.

Pull Weeds for Chemical Free Gardening

Sometimes the old-fashioned way is best. Pulling weeds is an effective way of getting rid of them, and doesn’t involve any chemicals. I pull a few every time I am in my garden, so it doesn’t seem like much work.

Crop Rotation

Farmers around the world use crop rotation to naturally fertilize plants. The concept is to change what crop we’re putting in a certain field each year. Plants use different nutrients and put other nutrients back into the soil. The result is that if crops are rotated, the nutrients are replaced and the soil needs less fertilizer. I personally don’t use this method because my plants grow all year round in Ecuador. But if you live in a climate with winter, and you plant new plants each year, then consider rotating where you put specific plants in your garden.

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Nature is the Best Playground for Kids

play outside

Each year we parents spend a lot of money on toys and activities for our kids. Many times, these things are great for keeping their minds and bodies engaged, but as eco friendly parents we have to ask ourselves if all this plastic we are buying for our kids is really necessary. Yes, our kids need structured play, but they also need free time, spent outside in the the world’s largest and best playground. So let’s let our kids play outside.

Stimulating and Educational

All the toys and books we buy our kids have been created and designed to be cool and entertaining for our kids, perhaps even educational. But nature is automatically stimulating and educational, as well as endlessly entertaining. It can even teach our kids a bit about specific topics like science, economics, beauty and creativity.

Nature can come at the right price, depending on where you live. Usually you can find a place where exploring is inexpensive, if not free. Consider your own backyard, the nearest park, even a nature center or state park. Instead of paying for expensive toys, which children can quickly become bored with and leave in the cornor, start thinking of nature as a source of stimulating and educational play.

Best Playground

Lately there has been in trend in child-based education towards inquiry based learning. Some findings indicate that if children explore and experiment to determine both questions and answers, they are going to learn more and retain their new learning longer. This type of learning also sets up children for developing the kind of skills that they will need later in life and helps them to retain their sense of curiosity. Nature allows for children of all ages to investigate the world around them.

Basis for Being Environmentally Friendly

Learning about nature leads to caring about nature which is the basis for being environmentally conscious. When we give our kids the gift of loving nature early, who knows how that sense of fun and curiosity might lead in terms of a career, or green invention.

Both structured and unstructured outdoor play can be fun for kids. Unstructured time allows for exploration that gives kids licenses to to just be kids. And many parks, zoos and museums offer kids classes around specific topics like trees or bugs. Often these types of classes are very affordable since they are generally not for profit.

Spending time in the outside world is so important for developing minds. It can also be a great escape for us adults as as well.

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