31 Jul How to Garden Without Pesticides & Chemical Fertilisers
In the abstract, quelling bugs and diseases from your garden without utilising toxic poisons – or even regulating high quality produce without chemical fertilisers, may seem impossible.
Since these artificial solutions are manufactured chemicals; often conceived from hydrocarbons – surface runoff is a serious environmental concern because of its negative impact on water quality, wildlife and human health.
Whilst inorganic fertilisers have been responsible for vastly increased yields – causing an agricultural revolution after World War II; their impact on water systems has always been detrimental. Due to climate change, we are experiencing heavier rainfall during typically drier periods, as the excess chemicals stream from the land into lakes and rivers; causing eutrophication. This results in excess algae growth, depleting oxygen within the water system and promoting a rise of nitrate-nitrogen in drinking water – leading to methemoglobinemia and the subsequent death of aquatic wildlife.
Eco Friendly Alternatives!
Despite this, there are alternatives to gardening with aggressive chemicals; construct healthy soil from compost and mulch – without sufficient organic matter in soil, runoff ensues. Seek out ideal locations to plant; remembering how much sun a particular area receives, the moisture and angle of the ground all affect potential for growth. It’s always important to understand that strong and healthy plants spawn from quality soil – if the earth is deficient; so is the vegetation growing from it – thus attracting undesirable creatures.
Making your own environmentally-friendly fertiliser is also an excellent way to ignite garden prosperity. While there are many important micronutrients in good fertiliser – establishing a firm understanding of the “big three” is essential; Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K). Each element is integral to the health of your garden, and can be found individually in bananas, coffee grounds, egg shells, green tea, powdered milk and aquarium water. There are plenty of fantastic recipes online using these ingredients – just always remember that less is more; you don’t want to oversaturate your plants with fertiliser, as you may end up doing more harm than good!
Pesticides have been incredibly beneficial to society; by preventing specific insects from devouring crops; they have kept diseases at bay – despite these positives; the practice is one of the few activities where chemicals are dispersed into the environment to kill living organisms. Thus, when the chemicals are expelled into waters during surface runoff, they can cause an adverse effect on the wildlife; including potential cancers, reproductive failures, cellular and DNA damage, and in extreme cases – death.
Understanding your garden’s inhabitants is crucial when eradicating pesticides. Learning the difference between a rose slug and a ladybird larva is crucial, as we can harness nature’s response to pests by encouraging beneficial insects. Sometimes it can be sensible to leave small populations of pests, or grow specific plants to entice greater populations of hoverflies, butterflies, moths, ground beetles and of course – ladybirds.
Water Quality Month
Tomorrow marks the start of Water Quality Month – the ideal occasion to start thinking about cleansing the backyard of the aforementioned chemicals. Preventing the problem at its very source is always the ideal course of action; however, there is a way to resolve ponds, lakes and lagoons overtaken by algae – fed by excess fertiliser. By employing non-pathogenic bacteria, eco tabs digests sludge and eliminates algae – whilst increasing water pH/aerobic levels and eliminating odours – helping wildlife to once again thrive!
For more information on eco tabs, click here.