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Is Your Gardening Harming The Environment?

Aug 17, 2007
You may find this hard to believe, but gardening, although it has an image of being organic and therefore good, can actually harm the environment! Why? Because a large quantity of carbon dioxide can be released through the tilling of the soil. This contributes towards global warming. When you cultivate and compact the soil, it destroys good fungi. Fertilizers such as nitrogen and manure often leak out of the soil and pollute the water you drink.

Global warming

Did you know that the biggest contributor to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the earth's soil? It gives off up to 10 times more than human activity produces. This comes from the pill bugs, microbes, fungi and worms when they breathe, digest food and then perish. Although in the past plants have been capable of absorbing carbon dioxide caused by small-scale tillages, this is no longer the case.
The increase in the globe's average temperature has occured because of the carbon dioxide the soil emits when tilled. The good thing is that, luckily, this cloud does have a silver lining, however, because tilling can be minimized by mulching or sheet composting.

Good Fungi

In untilled soil, there thrives a beneficial fungi known as the vesicular-arbuscular-mycorrhizae, or VAM for short. VAM actually forms a symbiotic relationship with plants. The filaments increase root hairs and thus provide nutrients to the plants which, in turn, give out zinc, copper, potassium and phosphorus. Plants provide carbohydrates for the fungi in return. It is possible to grow a garden without tilling the soil at all but by mulching heavily until the soil is soft and friable.

Surplus Nitrogen

A lot of gardeners waste nitrogen and manures whereas farmers do otherwise. Farmers only need a quarter to a third of nitrogen to mix with an inch of compost, horse, or cow manure. Kate Burroughs of Sebastopol California, uses the same rule for her home-grown lettuce and sweet corns. When it comes to broccoli and pear trees, farmers only need to use a small quantity. It is also true that gardeners apply larger amounts of compost and manure than do the majority of farmers. Obviously, they are not only wasting their fertilizer but they are also, in no uncertain terms, throwing money down the drain..

The best gardening advice that I can offer under the circumstances is to approach all things with a sense of moderation. Too much of something can be as damaging as too little.
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