What do you picture when you think about organic food? Maybe you envision fresh produce, dairy and meat from a small-time farmer who lives down a dirt path. In some cases, you’d be correct — but there’s more to this practice than most people know. That’s especially true if you want to plant your own organic garden at home.
Before you dive into this project, you should consider all sides. Here are a few pros and cons of organic gardening.
What Makes an Organic Garden Different?
A non-organic or traditional garden uses various practices to support plant life, mitigate weed growth and more. These methods aren’t often ideal for the planet. The fertilizers and pesticides that many people rely on for their gardens can cause detriment to the produce itself. They’re also harmful to nearby ecosystems. A standard garden often contributes to waste, too. Growers may overwater their plants or fail to use compost.
An organic garden prioritizes more sustainable habits. An organic crop can’t use various prohibited substances like most fertilizers and pesticides. Most organic home gardeners choose to compost their leftover food scraps for a natural fertilizer alternative instead. This choice creates healthier soil and tastier food as a result. These gardeners also must only use as much as they need.
In short, organic gardens are all about eco-friendly methods. But that doesn’t mean downsides don’t exist. It’s essential to note the pros and cons of organic gardening before you start. This way, you’ll know if it’s a smart project to undertake.
Pro: You’ll Grow Healthier Food
An organic garden tends to grow healthier fruits, vegetables and herbs. If you pick up a standard, non-organic tomato at your local supermarket, it’s likely laden with chemicals. In theory, you can eat those foods safely — but wouldn’t you rather eat a tomato that didn’t grow with pesticides? An organic garden can provide a healthier alternative to regular grocery store produce for you and your family.
A garden that uses compost creates more nutrient-dense produce due to its soil. Regular fertilizer doesn’t provide similar benefits. While some produce may not turn out healthier either way, it’s far more likely for an organic garden to grow more wholesome food. You can’t accurately detail the pros and cons of organic gardening if you don’t mention this aspect of it.
Con: You Can’t Control Weeds
Because organic gardens don’t use herbicides, it’s difficult to control weed growth. It’s nearly impossible to mitigate unwanted plants unless you use a product specifically designed to eradicate them. You can always use natural remedies like vinegar and water, but it’s hard to compete with products formulated for weeds. As a result, you’ll likely have to focus a lot more on weed removal and control if you plant an organic garden.
It’s important to consider how you’ll manage weeds before you start an organic garden. Those plants can spread rather quickly, so you should work out a plan that tackles weeds as naturally as possible. If you can’t dedicate time to maintenance, it’s best to hold off on this project.
Pro: You’ll Spend Less Money
While you’ll need initial supplies to start your organic garden, it won’t be long before your garden pays for itself. You won’t need to spend money on fertilizer, pesticides and other additional products to keep your garden vibrant. As long as you stick to a maintenance schedule, it’s easy to care for your plants without any excessive costs. You can even save your seeds to continue plant growth for years.
Remember that sustainability favors less consumption. An organic garden won’t require much more than you already have.
Con: You’ll Need Certain Conditions
It’s often impossible to plant and grow an organic garden if you don’t have access to certain conditions. You need a decently sized outdoor space to manage any garden effectively. It’s another consideration entirely to support produce without fertilizers and pesticides. If you don’t have room to create a healthy compost pile, it’s difficult to care for an organic garden at all.
You could always start a community garden if you don’t have a way to raise one at home. Ask your neighbors, friends and family who live nearby to pursue this initiative with you. As long as you have the means to focus time and energy on your garden, it’s a worthwhile, memorable project to try. You should make these considerations before you attempt to grow an organic garden on your balcony.
Organic Gardening Doesn’t Work for Everyone
It’s essential to consider the pros and cons of organic gardening if you want to start your own plot of land. An organic garden can create nutrient-dense food that supports a healthy ecosystem, but those advantages don’t come without a few downsides. You should think about each aspect so you can decide whether an organic garden would work for your lifestyle.