Chemical free gardening is the only way to grow a sustainable garden and healthy food.
Starting a vegetable garden is a big job. Most gardeners today turn to the Internet for information on how to do it right. Unfortunately, the standard information you will find on the web is not necessarily sage advice. You may read that you need to apply an herbicide two to three months before planting, or that you need to apply soluble fertilizers to your plants to help them grow, or use “food safe” pesticides to get rid of bug problems. Many will suggest you use organic pest and weed control products. Still, not good.
These tips are based on greed, the need for speed in the garden, and the desire to eliminate as much of the physical effort in gardening as possible. The problem with these tips and any of these products is they disrupt nature’s balance in your garden. Any chemical, organic or synthetic, added to the soil or applied to plants disrupts the natural progression of your garden. Nature, for millions of years, has managed to take care of itself. People for millennia grew food without the use of any of these products. You can too.
Herbicides kill plants. Some are manufactured to target specific plants; others are broad spectrum. Using an herbicide to get a new vegetable patch ready is harmful in so many ways. Herbicides not only kill weeds and plants, they are toxic to animals, humans and insects. The weed killers marketed to prepare a planting area need to be applied, and the ground needs to be left fallow for several months so it is “safe” for growing food. That should be a great big, giant red flag for anyone.
Herbicides in the garden can runoff and harm wildlife, stunt or kill natural flora necessary for the ecosystem. They harm birds, wildlife, pets and children. Prolonged exposure can result in serious illness and reduced fertility in humans and animals. Weeds can also become resistant to herbicides, just as bacteria can develop resistance to antibiotics. Stronger and stronger chemicals are needed to keep the weeds under control.
It is far better, healthier and more responsible to take care of weeds and unwanted plants the old fashioned way. Work the soil, remove as many roots as you can and pull out those weeds by hand. Mulch will help control weeds in the garden as well, and it helps retain moisture in the soil. It will also help to keep the weeds out of your compost pile. Seeds may survive the composting process, and you’ll end up reseeding your garden with weeds.