Organic gardening has evolved a long way since it became widely used more than 50 years ago. So many more organic and natural products have been developed over the last few years that it has become a more practical choice. There is no question in my mind that avoiding exposure to chemical pesticides is a healthier choice. Whenever possible, I opt for natural organic pesticides (or no pesticides). Neem Oil, a natural extract from the Neem tree, has become my favorite pesticide because it controls such a wide range of insects and plant diseases.

Weed control is one area where chemical pesticides greatly reduce the work of physical weed removal. However, chemical herbicides can have negative consequences for growth of desirable plants. Cultivation and hand weeding are definitely healthier choices, especially with food crops such as vegetables and fruits.

There are positive reasons for choosing organic fertilizers, even though chemical fertilizers do not have the same negative exposure problems as chemical pesticides. Organic fertilizers naturally contain small quantities of micronutrients which are seldom added to chemical fertilizers. Although plants use small quantities of micro nutrients, they are essential to plant growth. Organic fertilizers and other organic amendments and mulches such as compost, bark and peat moss also improve the physical properties of soil.