It’s Not Easy Being Green: The Difficulty of Going Organic
As Kermit, the famous frog philosopher, once said, “It’s not easy being green!” While it’s doubtful that Kermit had organic gardening in mind when he made his statement, organic gardeners everywhere have probably echoed this sentiment at one time or another.
Organic Gardening Challenges
As with any worthwhile endeavor, success in organic gardening doesn’t always come easily. You’ll face many challenges on your way to your goal of having a bountiful organic garden from one year to the next. So we’ve compiled a list of common obstacles you’re likely to face, as well as the best solutions for overcoming them.
- My Compost Is Too Wet – Compost is the pile of naturally-decaying organic fertilization materials that serves as the lifeblood of the organic growing process. Compost that is too wet can promote the growth of harmful bacteria and lead to an influx of insects that are attracted to the moisture. Covering your compost pile with a loose tarp is a good way to keep rainwater and moisture out. You can also use a rake to turn and fluff the pile frequently to promote drying — and try adding water-absorbing materials, such as sawdust or shredded corn cobs, to act as drying agents.
- My Compost Is Too Dry – While dry compost is good, overly dry compost is not. Dry compost can deter the growth of beneficial bacteria that fosters plant growth. If you live in a dry, dusty climate, you may need to physically water your compost pile from time to time, but be sure to make it no wetter than a damp sponge. An excellent watering method is to place an oscillating sprinkler on top of the pile and let it run for about an hour. If your compost pile is completely dried out, you may need to tear it down and rebuild it from scratch.
- My Plants Keep Getting Diseases – Organic gardens certainly are not immune to a wide variety of common plant diseases. A properly maintained compost pile can prevent the onset of many types of plant diseases, but if you notice telltale disease signs such as blight, wilting or spotting, you’ll need to act quickly before the disease has a chance to spread to the rest of your garden. Products such as Safer® Brand Garden Fungicide provide a solution for stopping blight and preventing diseases such as black spot, rust, powdery mildew and many others.
- Pests Are Destroying My Plants – An insect invasion can ruin a thriving organic garden in no time. Using man-made pesticides is out of the question for organic gardeners, as these contain harmful chemicals that can pose a threat to humans, pets, and the environment. Safer® Brand End ALL™ Insect Killer consists of ingredients proven to eliminate 45 types of harmful insects, including aphids, beetles and caterpillars, without killing the beneficial insects that are essential for a healthy organic garden.
- Weeds Are Taking Over My Garden – Weeds are a constant problem in any garden and organic gardens are no different. Not only are weeds unsightly, but they can also invade your plants’ growing space and crowd out the plants you’ve been trying to grow. Safer® Brand Fast Acting Weed and Grass Killer is a registered pesticide under EPA product that will eliminate problem weeds, but will not travel through the soil or cause harm to nearby plants.
No matter what problem you’re facing, know that there is a solution — and the hard work you put into your organic garden will be worth it in the long run!