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Organic horticulture has been growing in popularity among large scale agriculturists and home gardeners alike. Though the process of organic certification can seem daunting for some growers, it’s easy to incorporate healthy practices with the food you grow! With the focus being taken off fertilizer and brought down to ground level, we can see why organic growing has become an easy way to grow incredible produce, as well as decrease our impact on the planet. There are many ways growers can integrate organic methods and inputs, without necessarily making the change to organic. The benefits of healthy growing are universal.
It’s no secret that organic produce is colorful and delicious, but what’s the real difference between organic and conventionally grown? Plants need a diverse selection of macro and micronutrients that are present in healthy soil. Though most conventional fertilizers focus on Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium, there are other nutrients that plants need to take in the complete spectrum of nutrients. Growing with organic inputs, such as Purple Cow Organics products, provides a diverse range of minerals and nutrients to your plants that are naturally derived and can fill deficiencies that you didn’t even know your plants had!
When you follow organic processes, whether you grow organically or conventionally, you can positively impact the way that your soil takes in nutrients. Healthy soil does more than grow delicious produce and gorgeous flowers, it can also improve the health of the planet. On a larger scale, healthy soil that has a rich population of microbial life can hold up to 18-20 times its weight in water, helping to prevent flooding and erosion. Healthy soil also supports healthy plants, which can pull large amounts of carbon out of the atmosphere and sequester it in the soil. On a smaller scale, using natural inputs decreases the number of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides that can end up in waterways, helping to support fresh, clean water.
Organic horticulture pulls the focus away from adding fertilizer to your plants and works towards adding nutrients to your soil. Plants require a diverse collection of minerals from different sources. When you add conventional fertilizers, you feed your plants, but your soil can become tired and drained of nutrients and microbiology. Soil that’s lost its vitality is hard to grow in and can take years to recover. When growing in trays or raised bed containers, it can mean completely replacing your growing media, which becomes expensive over time. Adding nutrients to your soil works with the way that plants process nutrients and allows those inputs to be cycled and held in the soil, rather than washing out easily. Diverse biology is important to that process because the more species of beneficial bacteria and fungi that are present in your soil, the more nutrients are available to your plants, and can be held in the soil until needed.
So, how do we do it? There’s more to growing with organic processes than dropping conventional growing and gaining an organic certification. Many growers who are looking to use natural inputs, might rely on conventional methods or inputs due to the nature of their operation. The common denominator to growing better produce, whether conventional or organic, is biology. Working with the biology in your soil is a natural way to help your plants develop stronger root systems, increase their vitality, and can even allow you to use less inputs on your crops.
There are different ways you can introduce biology into your growing system. If your growing media needs fresh organic material, try adding Activated Compost. Activated Compost is a plant-based compost, rich in organic material, and complete with diverse beneficial biology. If you’re looking to add a boost of biology to your soil, try adding, Purple Cow CX-1! Purple Cow CX-1 is a concentrated dose of diverse biological species, perfect for rebuilding the life in your soil. We recommend activating Purple Cow CX-1 with our BioActive Vegetable Supercharger, a complex of kelp, humates, and mycorrhizal fungi, adding a complex of microbiology and nutrition. Growing with biology allows you to make the most of the inputs you apply, meaning you can apply less. The best method for boosting the biology in your soil, is up to you!
Looking for more information on Activated Compost, CX-1, or how to grow with biology? Contact us here to learn more information!