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© 1981, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


Successful organic gardening requires consideration of many factors, including resistant cultivars, crop rotation, sanitation, incorporation of organic matter, garden location, and insect and disease control.

Organic gardening is growing in popularity. Although this technique traditionally has been limited to backyard gardens, commercial organic farms now exist in Nebraska. The phrase "organically grown" generally refers to produce grown and processed without the use of synthetic organic chemicals in pesticides, fertilizers, preservatives, or flavorings. The main arguments for organic gardening are that food is less likely to contain potentially harmful chemicals and that fewer chemicals are released into the environment. Arguments against it include possible lower yields and reduced quality produce.

For the home gardener, organic gardening is an attractive alternative to using synthetic pesticides. Organic gardening can be challenging, interesting and rewarding, even if only partially successful. However, growers may have to accept some damage and/or lower yields from disease or insects if they don't use pesticides.

Almost all growers use certain well established methods of organic gardening, such as resistant cultivars, crop rotation, sanitation and incorporation of organic matter. A discussion of these and other techniques follows.