Economical Organic Home Gardening

Is organic gardening really all that difficult, or costly?  We turned to our experts, Caitlin Blethlen of Growing Gardens and Mara Reynolds of Portland Community Gardens to see just how easy and inexpensive it can be to grow your own food organically.

GBG: In your opinion, are organic gardens more expensive to plant and maintain than those using pesticides and herbicides? 

Caitlin: No.  The basis of organic gardening is establishing healthy soil which can take time through using cover crops, and adding compost and creating a balanced eco system in your yard.

Mara:  As far as I know, with the exception of the initial cost of seeds, organic gardening is cheaper all across the board.  With proper planting techniques, composting, and soil amendments, you should be able to successfully garden organically with very little inputs.  (To be honest I’ve never gardened with pesticides or herbicides)

GBG:  Can you provide a few tools that people might use to control pests when gardening organically?

Caitlin: Starting off with good soil is one way to keep your plants healthy, if they receive enough nutrients and support from the soil, they are less likely to get disease or be attacked by pests. Also, remember that bio-diversity is very important in a garden! Encourage bugs and insects to visit your garden, rather than try to keep them away. A healthy garden will have a balance of both good and bad bugs. Consider doing a bug/insect inventory with your child to see who is living in your garden!

We’re glad you stopped by this Thrifty Green Thursday!  Please join our blog carnival this week by adding your link to the list below and then linking back to us in your post.  If you’re lost, click here for complete information on where to get started. 



  1. i agree–organic gardening isn’t any more expensive than regular gardening once you’ve got good soil.

  2. We have found organic gardening to be cheaper as well. I’m really enjoying your gardening series! I’m dying to get into garden, but it’s still to cold here.

  3. yes i would think in the long run it is cheaper and healthy for you. great post!!

  4. I think it just takes more time to develop compost, which is much better for soil and plants than synthetic fertilizers. But in the long run, I’d say it’s about the same cost.

  5. I’m glad for this post. We’re going to be part of a community garden this year and I’m a bit intimidated. I know many of us want to go organic and this is helpful.

  6. If you can use your own homemade compost, even better! (and more cost-savings, as well!) I really love doing worm composting with my five year-old. I can get my chores done in the garden, and ensure he’s having a good time assisting me.

  7. Does anyone have any home made or organic ideas for your lawns? I know there are fertilizers that are organic, but that can get really expensive. What do you guys use?

    Using regular fertilizer is just horrible for the earth and our families.


  8. If you factor in the long-term benefits of organic hardening, it will come out as the cheaper option, and the better one, too. And yes, I agree, a good soil is an important factor. And since everything is mostly organic, you can exercise some resourcefulness to come up with something that you need the DIY way. Lots of useful information out there to help you out.

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