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Home Gardening The Organic Way  

Last Updated: Sep 14, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts
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The LuEsther T. Mertz Library 
The New York Botanical Garden
2900 Southern Blvd.
Bronx, NY 10458


Noteworthy Books on Organic Gardening

Cover Art
Edible Gardens - Elizabeth Tehle Peters (Editor); Elizabeth Ennis (Illustrator)
Call Number: SB475.9.E35 E36 2011
ISBN: 9781889538754
Publication Date: 2011-09-06

Cover Art
The Truth about Organic Gardening - Jeff Gillman
Call Number: SB453.5 .G54 2008
ISBN: 9780881928624
Publication Date: 2008-02-01

Cover Art
Teaming with Microbes - Wayne Lewis; Jeff Lowenfels
Call Number: S591 .L59 2010
ISBN: 9781604691139
Publication Date: 2010-02-24


Home Gardening the Organic Way

Interest in organic gardening is growing due to an upsurge in awareness among growers, gardeners and consumers of practices that respect the environment. Although pesticides have led to increased food production, less disease and lower food costs due to reduced labor, over the long term their use has had detrimental environmental consequences. The persistence of pesticides in the food chain and adverse health effects on non-target species are serious concerns. The organic methods we use for healthy plants and good soils help to restore and maintain ecological balance.

If you integrate the following cultural, biological and mechanical practices that foster cyclical use of resources, you will become an organic gardener.


  • Mulch to conserve moisture, reduce weeds, and minimize leaf diseases.
  • Rotate plantings to reduce disease pathogens.
  • Use disease-resistant plant varieties.
  • Return organic matter to the soil to increase fertility and improve structure.


  • Release or simply encourage beneficial insects and mites.
  • Use native plants, as they have developed the inherent ability to resist insects and diseases and will help to promote ecological balance.
  • Include a wide variety of plantings and habitats to promote biodiversity.


  • Prune away leaves and branches that are dead, diseased or pest infested.
  • Remove weeds before they compete with desirable plantings, but keep a natural area to sustain wildlife.
  • Many pests can be trapped, hand-picked or hosed off.
  • Barrier methods such as diatomaceous earth and hardware cloth keep out slugs and small animals.

Organic Solutions to Managing Plant Health

  • Insects and mites: sulfur, soaps, oils, sticky traps, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)
  • Disease: copper hydroxide, copper oxide, copper oxychloride, copper sulfate, hydrogen peroxide, lime sulfur, oils, potassium bicarbonate, sulfur
  • Herbicide: soap-based, corn gluten meal
  • Fertilizer: aquatic plant extracts, sulfur, humic acids, magnesium sulfate, micronutrients, boron, liquid fish, bone meal, well-rotted manure, wood ashes, compost tea

NYBG Garden Navigator

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  • NYBG Garden Navigator
    Use this resource to explore the NYBG grounds, including information about specific plants, bloom times, and garden features.
  • NYBG Garden Guides
    Guides from the Plant Information Office related to specific NYBG gardens, including their history, design, and current plantings.

Organic Gardening Video- Pest Control Techniques


Organic Gardening Video- Soil Amendment Techniques


Organic Gardening Video- Weed Control Techniques


Useful Websites

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