Jan 07 2011
Since most gardeners don’t sell the food they grow, they are not subject to organic certification requirements. Garden Organic’s guidelines represent a voluntary code of practice based on principles of organic agriculture applied to garden-scale growing. These principles are just as applicable to gardens in Kentucky as in the United Kingdom.
The color-coded guide is divided into sections on garden soil care, container growing, plant health, weed management, water use, wood use, and energy use. Each section identifies best organic practices, and practices that are unacceptable in organic gardens. Between these extremes are practices labeled ‘acceptable,’ and ‘acceptable, but not for regular use. ‘The guide does a good job of explaining the reasoning behind its ratings.
Gardeners who use this guide will become conversant with principles of organic agriculture. In many cases, the gardening guidelines are even more stringent than the requirements of national organic program standards. For example, the guide labels the use of copper-based fungicides, peat, and Chilean nitrate “never acceptable in an organic garden.” With some restrictions, these products are allowed for use on certified organic farms.