Dr. Joy’s Myths Busters: Organic vs Non Organic Gardening 

 July 13, 2020

By  Dr. Joy Lasseter

We are so accustomed to reaching for a chemical product for cleaning, washing and gardening that we forget that these same chemicals can accumulate in our body and are stored in our body fat. There can be long term consequences of this accumulation. Chemicals can enter through contact with our skin, breathing in the spray, and ingesting produce that has been sprayed during growth or after harvest. I prefer to eat chemical free so I am careful about what I use as products in my home, kitchen and garden. 


To grow food organically only use organic fertilizer and no pesticides. Avoid chemical solutions to pest problems. Avoid glyphosate and other chemicals if you want organic crops. READ LABELS in the nursery and the grocers! Ask questions. You are what you eat!


Mother nature has provided us with natural pest solutions. They are called birds! My garden is bird friendly with nesting boxes, bird baths, drinking water, a variety of bird feeders containing millet, thistle, and black oil sunflower seeds as well as suet cakes. Birds find bugs and bring them to the nesting box to feed their young. I rarely have any problems with pests. And children will enjoy watching the parent birds raise their young! Teach children at an early age about nature and the natural cycles of the seasons, growth of plants, rearing of young animals, etc. Get them involved in planting and tending the vegetable garden. Want kids to eat their vegetables? If they grow them they will eat them!


Chemical, non-organic fertilizer contains 3 nutrients. Plants need over 20 nutrients to thrive. Healthy plants are pest resistant. Make sure your plants get what they need to thrive: water, sunshine and nutrients. For organic fertilizer you can use compost, manure, vermiculture or bagged organic fertilizer.


Contact Master Gardeners or your local college or university extension for more information about organic pest control.

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