Reasons for Organic Gardening - dummies

By Ann Whitman, Suzanne DeJohn, The National Gardening Association

Part of Organic Gardening For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Besides the obvious reasons for organic gardening, like growing pesticide-free food and maintaining a landscape without synthetic fertilizers, here are just a few of the many other reasons to become an organic gardener:

  • Human health: Many pesticides harm people, causing illness when they’re consumed or when they make contact with exposed skin. Some pesticides can accumulate in the environment and contribute to illness long after application. Also, some studies show that organically grown fruits and vegetables have more nutrients than their conventionally grown counterparts.

  • Water pollution: Excess fertilizer washes into groundwater, streams, lakes, rivers, and coastal waters, where it contributes to the death and disruption of natural ecosystems. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, pesticides already contaminate groundwater in more than three quarters of the U.S. states.

  • Soil erosion and depletion: The urgent need to protect the world’s remaining agricultural land from erosion, development, pollution, and diminishing water resources has reached the state of a global crisis. The collective efforts of many organic gardeners do have an effect.

  • Ecological balance and diversity: Insect predators and prey keep one another in check, and plants grow best in a balanced environment. Organic gardeners respect all parts of the interconnected web of life and use practices that support it.

  • Future generations: Sustainable gardening, agriculture, and landscaping mean thinking about the future, using renewable resources wisely and efficiently, and taking only as much as nature can replace.

  • Cost savings: Prevention costs less than cure. Provide habitat for beneficial insects, and they will reduce the populations of bad bugs. Feed the soil organisms that make nutrients available, and your plants will flourish.