Organic Gardening

Ew! Worms. Dirt. Rotten food. Bugs. Cow poop? If this stuff sounds like fun to you, organic gardening may be just the way to have your kind of fun without your parents getting mad about it.

You don’t even have to be a farmer to enjoy organic gardening. The idea is to use the most natural ways available to make flowers, fruits, and vegetables grow. Even kids who live in the city can grow an organic garden in pots on their balconies, roof tops, or sunny door steps or window sills.

Organic gardening means growing plants by using only those things found in nature, just like the plant would grow if it didn’t have the helping hands of humans around. In nature, there are no bug sprays, chemical fertilizers, engineered seeds, or big machinery so these things are never used for organic gardening purposes.

Organic gardeners work almost as hard getting the soil right as they do planting the plants. Successful organic gardening relies on healthy soil so any time somebody says dirt isn’t healthy, tell them about organic gardening.

As worms work their way through the ground, they leave tunnels behind. These tunnels make it possible for the roots of a plant to get plenty of oxygen and water. There’s even a fancy name for working with worms this way. It’s vermiculture.

Use scraps of raw fruits and vegetables, even egg shells, to add vitamins and other nutrients to the dirt so your plants will grow up big and strong, just like kids do when they eat a healthy diet. As these food scraps decay, their nutrients are released into the soil.

Cow poop might get you in a bit of trouble but call it manure and no one will complain. Manure from cows and other farm animals adds nutrients to the soil just as rotting food scraps do. When working with manure, the older, dryer, and more crumbly it is, the better it is for your organic garden. Go for the old and never touch the wet, stinky, fresh stuff.

Think bugs are cool? So do organic gardeners. In organic gardening, good bugs, like lady bugs, are encouraged to live among the plants so they’ll eat the bad bugs that come along hoping to eat the plants. You can even buy a box full of lady bugs and have it delivered to your mailbox, right there beside all your parents’ bills.

Hmm. Dirty hands, cute bugs, busy worms, and healthy dirt. That sounds like fun. And it could be delicious fun when your plants are ready for harvest and there’s something really good to eat to reward you for all your hard work. Just don’t forget to share with your parents so they’ll let you keep on playing in the dirt this way.

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