Recently the boundaries between ‘conventional’ and ‘organic’ gardening have become blurred as ‘conventional’ gardening adopts more of the sustainable principles of the organic way and ‘organic’ gardeners recognise that some of their practices are inconvenient and carry more risk to health and the environment – eg. some organic pesticides, and fertiliser concoctions.
Today we generally have two types of organic gardener—the disciplined 100% philosophical organic follower, (about 5% of gardeners) and the gardener we can describe as ‘organic light’, (about 30% of gardeners).
The philosophical organic disciple makes their own compost, saves seed, grows from cuttings, collects seaweed and animal manure, and has a worm farm.
The ‘organic light’ gardener, buys in compost, buys superior disease resistant seeds and plants, and buys heat processed sheep or chicken manure, or compound organic fertiliser, and uses organic pesticides. This gardener will also occasionally use a slow-release synthetic fertiliser, or a synthetic pesticide if there is a need and there is no alternative organic product.
Hence today’s natural organic gardeners are more likely to use all the science proven, good garden practices of composting, mulching, crop rotation, balanced nutrition, and watering. They also select hybrid disease resistant plants and varieties more suited to the soil, climate and season to ensure best results.
Key principles for success are—
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