Why I use the organic gardening method

I live on the east side of White Rock Lake in Little Forest Hills. I have lived in this neighborhood for over 30 years. I have resided in my current house for almost 12 years and lived in my previous home for 15 years.

I converted to organics after listening to Howard Garrett in 1998. Prior to that I used every kind of poison and chemical fertilizer that I could get on sale. When I tried to dig a hole to plant a tree on my property, it was like digging into concrete. I never noticed any earthworms, lizards, or toads on my property.

After going on a pond tour I became interested in gardening and with the help of lots of gardening books, I started to learn about organics and the concept of not nuking my property with chemicals. When people tell me they have a brown thumb or kill every plant they have ever loved I can empathize with them. However, I also know you can learn anything you really want to learn from books or people. One of the reasons I like gardening is because all gardeners are willing to teach you what they know. So if you have a brown thumb, pull it out of your, well I better not say that but I will say it is curable.

With my youngest son, Jordan’s help we made our first landscape bed, digging up the existing soil and adding compost, lava sand, dry molasses, and organic fertilizer. I started planting everything I could get my hands on and was then officially hooked on gardening.

During this conversion to organics my plants were attacked by every plant-eating bug in existence. The reason for that is because with all the chemicals I had been using I had killed all the beneficial insects, reptiles, and amphibians on my property. Plus I had destroyed the health of my soil. Unhealthy soil makes unhealthy plants which are what the plant eating insects like to attack.

Gradually with the use of the organic methods and with natural pesticides my plants started to thrive, the toads and lizards came back, and the lady bugs and other beneficial insects came home. When I sold this home my soil that previously was as hard as concrete had the consistency of chocolate cake and was full of earthworms.

My next home on San Benito in the same neighborhood is on a double lot. It was organic for the last 3 years before I purchased it by neglect. That means the owner did nothing to the yard. Which is actually what I preferred. I already had a population of anoles, toads, skinks, garden snakes, house geckos and beneficial insects. The first year I moved in I spread 20 yards of compost mixed with lava and green sand and spread dry molasses. I fertilize 2 times a year using a different fertilizer each time. My theory being that if I miss a nutrient with one product, I will hit it with another. The organic experts actually recommend that you fertilize 3 times a year, especially starting out.

I also keep chickens on my property that help with the insects and fertilization program, but will also eat the lizards and snakes. My population of aphid eating lady bugs is very high too. I also have veggie gardens and enjoy raising vegetables.

One of the most important things organic gardening will teach you is patience. You do not get immediate results. It does take some time to build up your population of beneficial insects and improve the health of your soil. It is ok to have some weeds in the yard. The lawn does not have to look perfect. In fact I would actually like to get rid of my entire lawn and just have planting beds on my property.

If you have any questions regarding organic gardening, please call or email me. I love to teach and discuss organic methods.
214-676-4326 or email me.

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