- Instead of Fertilizer: For bigger fruits and yields, we use compost - either homemade in our compost bin or organic compost at the store. To be completely honest, we do have Miracle Grow in a small jar under the shelf...but it's used very sparingly, and only for potted flowers. Nothing edible.
- Instead of poison: Our property is a safe-having for living things. Don't get me wrong. But once a mouse is in the house, it's game on. We never use poisons that contaminate the mouse, who leaves the house, who in turn, kills a hungry hawk or playful cat. Victor traps are the old-fashioned, but truly, most humane method of mouse disposal.
- Instead of herbicide: We let 'em grow. Dandelions, violets, the whole gamut. If you ask me, they're just "freebies" - flowers you don't have to toil for!
- Instead of RAID. (Not that it isn't tempting). But we know that valuable honeybees - even beautiful Monarch butterflies are on the decline and the last thing we want to is to release more pesticide into the environment. When we find a nest that has to go, we bust out a spray hose and a pair of running shoes.
- Instead of pest spray: Come summer, we'll water our garden in the morning. By the time the sun goes down, the garden will be dry and not a magnet for humidity loving slugs. Also, we know the importance of regular weeding and keeping grass short near the garden. (I'm still not real good about this as a 9 to 5er). But it's obvious nonetheless that low grass and a weeded garden keeps the pests away.
- Instead of a gas mower: We just bought a manual lawnmower. No gasoline. No emissions. Doesn't even use electricity. Keep reading for posts about Fiskars Momentum Mower.
All in all, you don't need a degree in ecology, and you don't need to take on organic living all at once. Take baby steps. The more you integrate chemical free practices into your gardening hobby, the more "natural" it will become!