Gardening has changed a bit in recent years as people's philosophy of gardening is starting to change to go back to more natural and organic methods. For those who have been gardening for a number of years, these new practices might be a bit hard to understand at first since the traditional ways of doing things is adding chemicals to the soil or plants to take care of problems and grow larger plants. Organic methods work a bit differently.
Traditional methods use chemical fertilizers to add nutrients to the soil. Organic methods use compost. This is organic matter and carbon matter mixed together. This would be things like fruit peels, vegetables, grass, hay, leaves, and other types of waste mixed together. Over time it breaks down into rich soil that doesn't need any fertilizer at all. A good compost is natural and doesn't require extra chemicals.
Pest control is a bit more difficult since you don't want to use chemicals on your plants that end up killing everything. There are a few methods to consider. You can use organic sprays that are more natural that will kill pests or repel them. You can get beneficial insects that will eat the pests that are causing problems. You can attract birds to your yard to help eat the pests on your plants.
One area that there isn't good solution to are weeds. Having soil that you make on your own without weeds in them first does help, but once weeds hit your plants, they can be hard to get rid of. For now many are using their hands to get rid of the weeds. Don't add these to your compost even though they have nutrients in them. This prevents weed problems.
While these methods might seem different than before, they are just a different way of doing the same things but are much more natural.