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message 1: by Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (last edited Apr 08, 2008 09:21AM) (new)

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Do you go organic in any way in your gardening, whether it's flowers, veggies or a bit of everything? If so, what do you do that's organic? What does it mean to you to do things organically? How does it make you feel?




message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

i always went organic when i had big gardens
altho i started with sevin dust
but i found i didn't even need that
love horse manure in the northeast
i also found as i built the soil the need for fertilizers was less and less
compost is great but it's hard to get enough of it if you are only 1 or 2 in the household and you don't have lawn clippings etc (townhouse dwellers)
finally, i stuck to mostly easy plants that were well suited for my area
and lastly, (:) that's for donna) i also tried to stay away from the hybrids
i also found good local suppliers of organic seedlings


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

wow-that is so interesting
and i would have to say
they are no more prone to insects than other plants and there are natural plants that can be used as insect repellents
they are not "more difficult" in fact are easier because no dealing with chemicals
and take no differnt care than not organic


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) i want to start a small compost bin out back this year. have to make sure it's contained so it doesn't smell! doubt our tenant's would appreciate it!


message 5: by Tera (new)

Tera I had heard you can do compost in a way that it shouldnt stink or attract pests. I havent done it but want to. I heard that costco had the turning bins on sale for 60.00. (60.00 i dont have but still)


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

yah the no stink thing is just add more dirt and turn everyday
good compost shouldn't stink
if it's stinking it's not making real compost just rotting



message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

and today something is eating my plants
ironically i think it's snails
they've munched down a cucumber seedling, half a tomato seedling and almost a whole marigold seedling
i've never seen anything eat a marigold before
going to try some soapy water
also going to rake off the old cedar chips and try a little soil intervention and
go online and reasearch a little
donna, what do you suggest for snails?
the cuke looks like cutworm but the tomato and marigold don't


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

i forgot about the protective collar thanks
i don't think it's slugs but agree the beer will do them in
i really think it's snails and it's quite wet around the ones that got chewed so...will go to work on the problem tomorrow



message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

yah-i was actually surprised they got chewed because they are at least three inches tall
that's also why i think it's snails
the marigold does surprise me though
have you ever seen a marigold get eaten?
i haven't, they are the anit-pest plant
that's why they are there!


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

hmmm
i'll make both adjustments


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

i was cleaning house so didn't get to remove the mulch however i kicked it aside a bit and the soil isn't overly wet so...
an application of crushed chile peppers, garlic and onion boiled then mixed with a little dish soap was sprayed on all foiliage and the immediate ground area of all new seedlings
someone mentioned the little poodle's habit of nipping at the blooms
hmmmm
maybe
but the chile, garlic, onion application should safely repell her as well
the 3 plants that got chewed the worst were on the corners easily accessible to little doggie bites and the neighboring seedlings were untouched
could be


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

she was trying to get involved the day we planted and we kept shooing her away
i've seen her jump up and snap at the daylilies and today she nipped at Stella's ponytail end as she was sitting on my lap
by gum i think the poodle is my pest


message 13: by Marian (new)

Marian (gramma) | 24 comments At our old place we had 2 big vegetable gardens. We also had chickens & had several compost piles going with the chicken #2 as the most important ingredient. You can't put it directly on the plants, it has to age & we always mixed it with fallen leaves, pulled weeds, vegetable waste, ect.

Now at my new little place, I buy bags of composted cow manure at Walmart. i mix it with top soil for containers & add it when I set out tomato, pepper plants.


message 14: by Cheryl S. (new)

Cheryl S. | 3501 comments Since I live alone finding enough stuff to make my own compost is a problem, so I buy bags of mixed compost and cow manure. My soil is naturally medium weight sand. When I plant in the garden I use about 1/3 of a bag well mixed into the soil under each individual tomato, egg plant, cabbage etc. and I mix a generous amount down the rows for crops like kholrabi, peas and green beans. I've veg gardened on the same plot for many years and over time the soil has improved from these additions and I find I don't need any other fertilizer and I don't have any pests. I also rotate crops around every year to make sure I'm not exhausting the same nutriants from the same spot two years in a row.


message 15: by Randy (new)

Randy I grew up on the Grand Prairie of Arkansas the son of a "CropDuster" so after that exposure to petro-chemical madness, I have been an organic, open pollinated seed saving, composting maniac since...almost 20 years!

In the Ozarks where I live now, most of the ground is just layers of sandstone rock so I've built my soil by composting, both hot and cold; vermi-composted with worms; added topsoil, hard wood tree leaves, straw, hay and a variety of manures. Most of my moisture, fertility, grass, weed and bug issues have disappeared since I started following Ruth Stout's Year Round Mulch advice. See her books "The Ruth Stout No-Work Garden Book"; "Gardening Without Work: For the Aging, the Busy, and the Indolent"; "How to Have a Green Thumb Without an Aching Back"...REVOLUTIONARY! Also Organic Gardening and Mother Earth News have excellent short on-line articles on Ruth's method which are worth checking out...Yahoo or Goggle it.

For Vermi-Composting advice see Mary Appelhof's book "Worms Eat My Garbage".

Good Luck!



Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Randy wrote, "...I have been an organic, open pollinated seed saving, composting maniac since...almost 20 years!"

That's a fabulous statement! I love Ruth Stout's books and "The Ruth Stout No-Work Garden Book" is a fave of mine.


message 17: by Cheryl S. (new)

Cheryl S. | 3501 comments I'll have to look for these books. I love to have new gardening books on hand to read in the winter, helps with my daydreaming.


message 18: by Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (last edited Jul 13, 2009 05:15PM) (new)

Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) I've found them in the thrift shops! I don't know which are still in print and which aren't. She's entertaining!


message 19: by Cheryl S. (new)

Cheryl S. | 3501 comments I'll try Good Will and the used books on Amazon. Maybe Paperbackswap as well.


message 20: by Harvey (new)

Harvey | 252 comments Organic.... yes! It means to me using nature to make pest control.... companion planting, encouraging the 'right' insects/birds/plants... i.e. marigolds to discourage nematodes etc. I had a trial run in Oman and helped the soil along by recycling my charcoal and waste paper, mixing that with sheep manure... the result made the desert sand productive and my kitchen garden was a treat. My tomatoes, pak choi and lemon grass grew like wildfire! Also I am concentrating on heirloom varieties and growing various strains of basil and oregano etc... local and other varieties to be as diverse as possible.
Also important is that my crop tastes!


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) I couldn't agree more! When you use as many natural ways you can to feed and protect your garden, everything tastes incredible!


message 22: by Harvey (new)

Harvey | 252 comments In Mersa Matruh, Egypt, before Ramadan I ate carrots. I mean, not the supermarket stuff.... the LOCAL market carrots. They were WOW!!!!! Just so sweet! I have planted some Nantes carrot seed in a bag on my balcony, they are peeking out now. Hope they taste as good!


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) I haven't tried carrots in my containers (yet), let me know how they turn out!


message 24: by Harvey (new)

Harvey | 252 comments More poking their heads over the parapet! Just said hallo to them! Someone mentioned about growing potatoes in a bag, so that is what led me to think of using a bag of compost/potting soil for carrots. One variety, Carrot Tonda di Parigi should arrive next month. It is a Parisian heirloom, looking more like small globes, so that could work in a pot. They are coming from Nicky's Nursery in UK. Will keep you all posted!


message 25: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) I garden almost completely organic. In Texas, we have a LOT of bug problems, so I do use Neem oil spray. It works, but takes a lot of applications because it breaks down so quickly.

I am using turkey compost this year and do so whenever I can get my hands on it. We had to drive over an hour and bag it ourselves, but it is sooo worth it. I've used chicken compost in the past--best and biggest tomatoes ever!

So I'm really looking forward to this year--hoping to have a great garden (aren't we always???) So far the lettuce has been spectacular. I can't normally grow lettuce well here (it's a winter crop in Texas). In past years it's been all small and bolts in a week or so--nothing to brag about. This year I've had several pickings and it's going great. Keeping fingers crossed it lasts another few weeks until Mom comes to visit. She loves a good salad!!!

Ants are about the only thing I can't kill organically although I'm going to try cinnamon. I hear that is a deterrent (watch them crawl right over it and start storing it for food...)

Maria


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Ants are a problem I haven't found a good organic solution to either as of yet. We have a dirt crawl space down stairs (which I'd love to turn into a root cellar if I could get over the creepy ick factor of being down there lol) and so while we normalling get ants in the house in spring & fall, we often have them in the kitchen & bathroom during off and on during the winter months as well! I often have to move containers during the warm months because they'll build a home underneath & infect the plants soil. What I've done in some cases is to buy those ant trap things that are a little disk on a stake and put them in the planters - doesn't hurt the plant or affect the soil, kills any ants that go in the disk and seems to deter them from infesting the soil. We also keep ant traps in our kitchen cabinets in both homes as they like to make their way in there in spring and fall. (They're flat plastic things that are safe for that area).


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Oh and btw, my cousin and I have found the more fragrant a peony, the more ants love it! The soil, the petals - ick!!!


Petra bf in 2 days but I have lost my nerve (petra-x) I made an ant-deterrent last year. It doesn't kill them (I think) but they go away! I liquidised some scotch bonnet peppers (hot!) with some washing-up liquid and trickles in circles around where I didn't want them and sprayed around windows and doors to keep them away. It worked, but the cats didn't like it when they licked their paws hehehe.


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) I'll bet they didn't, lol!


message 30: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) We're able to keep them out of the house with those ant baits, but nothing seems to work in the garden. I've tried pepper sprays, but that doesn't seem to work outdoors. They're really hard cases.

(Diatamacious earth did not work at all for me. I tried that in very heavy applications. Didn't do a thing.)


message 31: by Sally (new)

Sally Pomeroy (sallypomeroy) I've used the sticky trap goo, sometimes called tanglefoot, on fungus gnats in the greenhouse, it's also recommended for ants, paint it in anything they will crawl across. Clean it up with Vaseline.


message 32: by Cristi (last edited Apr 24, 2011 04:26AM) (new)

Cristi (chrowan73) | 18 comments Tera wrote: "I had heard you can do compost in a way that it shouldnt stink or attract pests. I havent done it but want to. I heard that costco had the turning bins on sale for 60.00. (60.00 i dont have but ..."

I got a compost bin by looking on Craigslist for $25. Maybe try looking there.

I will be trying organic methods for the first time this year with my first veggie garden. With hubby gone (he loves chemicals) I can try this without a lot of fuss from him.


message 33: by Terri (new)

Terri | 480 comments Yes, I go organic! Otherwise, I might as well buy my veggies at the store. I started a vermicompost bin (the worms) last October. I've got four bins in various stages of decay. (Decay doesn't sound as nice as composting does it?) I'm going to use some of it this weekend on my new plantings.

I want to get a composting bin as well, but haven't gotten around to that yet. It's funny, now that I have the worms, I cringe when I have to throw out any veggie scraps. Yesterday I had to throw out carrot tops because the bin is already full of food. They get recycled through the city green bin, but still...That's the only complaint I have about the worms, They can't seem to keep up with my green waste. I never realized how much lettuce I throw out because we don't use it fast enough. I give it to them when I can, but they can only eat about 1-2 lbs. of food a week.


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) It's pretty easy to not use chemicals when gardening but not starting to use them to begin with and if you end up having a problem (with a bug infestation or something else) you can usually google all natural ways to solve the problems.


message 35: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) Terri wrote: "Yes, I go organic! Otherwise, I might as well buy my veggies at the store. I started a vermicompost bin (the worms) last October. I've got four bins in various stages of decay. (Decay doesn't s..."

Terry, maybe you need a horse for those greens???

Heh-heh.

Organic is easier in some parts of the country. Here in Texas I have to use Neem oil LONG before I see signs of bugs. There is no such thing as no bugs here. They are coming and if they get ahead of me, the garden can go "toast" in a hurry. So try to get something like neem to have on hand. It works well against many bugs and also some of the fungus problems.

Nothing works against ants. :>) Okay, nothing I've found is terribly affective.

I sure hope the tomatoes ripen soon. I *need* a big fat, from-my-garden tomato!


Petra bf in 2 days but I have lost my nerve (petra-x) Something I would really like some help on. I have a drive that is partly in shadow - the house forms one side of it and a retaining wall on the other side. The ground is covered with a thick layer of gravel. The part of the ground that is not in shade gets covered in weeds and grass very fast. Since I have cats I want something to keep all the weeds down but it must be organic. Has anyone got any ideas please?


Bloomin’Chick (Jo) aka The Eclectic Spoonie (bloominchick) Petra, you can spray equal parts water and white vinegar and it will get rid of the weeds & what not. If it doesn't work well at first, increase the white vinegar. Won't harm the kitties but they may not like the smell and not want to hang out there :-) Just be careful if there's anything you don't want to kill near the area - if you get any of the mixture on it, it will die too.


message 38: by Petra bf in 2 days but I have lost my nerve (last edited Apr 24, 2011 11:46AM) (new)

Petra bf in 2 days but I have lost my nerve (petra-x) Thanks Jo. I'll try that. I'll have to hope for a few days when it doesn't rain.


message 40: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) You can then mulch the area (heavily) with regular mulch or leaves. Leaves work quite well. I use a thick layer of leaves around my veggie garden because it's a raised bed and weed whacking it a lot of extra work!


message 41: by Petra bf in 2 days but I have lost my nerve (last edited Apr 24, 2011 01:59PM) (new)

Petra bf in 2 days but I have lost my nerve (petra-x) I can't mulch it, its where I walk to get to my house! There is also a very thick layer of gravel which hasn't done anything to suppress the growth. Some of the growth is of grasses with hooks and nasty little balls full of spikes that attach themselves to my trousers and thence my skin and I haven't found anyway of getting rid of them. We have a gardener every two or three months to slash everything to ground level but a couple of days later the growth starts.

There is an upside though. There are so many miniature wild flowers that grow too, and they are very pretty.

I'm going to try Jo's recipe of white vinegar and water and hope that kills off the rampant weeds.


message 42: by Cristi (new)

Cristi (chrowan73) | 18 comments Does anyone know what to do about moss growth? I have 2 large trees in front of my house so it is nicely shaded and from the time we bought the house 3 years ago moss has grown around the area of those trees. But since our spring has been so wet this year the moss is rapidly taking over the front yard. What to do? Should I just leave it to spread and give up on any lawn area in the front of the house? Kill it somehow? Or will it go away when it dries out here?


message 43: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Christina, you are accidently doing the newest trend! Lawns of moss are being featured in many gardening and landscaping books now.

Moss does grow where the soil is depleted of nutrients, so if you want a grass lawn back, you will need to add a lot of nutrients to the area. Trees often deplete the ground of all nutrients.

The moss will die back when it dries up some. If you want the moss lawn, keep it moist. Otherwise, add a heavy layer of compost and topsoil before reseeding the grass. Sprinkle shifted compost over the lawn regularly to keep the grass growing strong.

For those who want moss to grow, like on pots, you can mix moss with buttermilk in your blender, and paint the mixture where ever you want moss. Keep it moist, and voila! Moss!


message 44: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Petra, the grasses you are describing were called sand burrs (prickly ones) and goat heads (thorny ones) or devil's head in Idaho! They are nasty and can grow just about anywhere. Vinegar will not likely take care of them. This may be one area where you may have to forgo going organic, and use some herbicide. Otherwise, dig them up by the root.


message 45: by Cristi (new)

Cristi (chrowan73) | 18 comments Petra X, if you don't mind a little *heat* a Weed Dragon

http://www.flameengineering.com/Weed_...

Will kill the weeds as effectively as a traditional chemical weed killer.
You can also try a natural herbicide such as Burnout Weed Killer

http://www.planetnatural.com/site/bur...

It's made with clove oil, vinegar, and lemon juice. Although, I have not used it so I can only recommend what I have researched on the Internet.


message 46: by Sally (new)

Sally Pomeroy (sallypomeroy) I'm glad someone else is experiencing the same thing as me with the worms. I have four bins and they barely keep up with our scraps.
If you have space you can do in-ground composting. Take an area that you're not going to plant for a while and dig out one or two shovels full from a corner. Then put your compostables in the hole and turn the next shovels full over them, creating a new hole, which can wait until you have more stuff to compost. Keep doing this and you will have a bed of light, fluffly, rich soil without the composter.


message 47: by Cristi (new)

Cristi (chrowan73) | 18 comments Miriam wrote: "Christina, you are accidently doing the newest trend! Lawns of moss are being featured in many gardening and landscaping books now.

Moss does grow where the soil is depleted of nutrients, so if ..."


Wow! I'm accidentally in style? Hehe. Thanks for the advise, Miriam, I didn't know it was also poor soil conditions causing this problem.


Petra bf in 2 days but I have lost my nerve (petra-x) Cristiana wrote: "Petra X, if you don't mind a little *heat* a Weed Dragon

http://www.flameengineering.com/Weed_...

Will kill the weeds as effectively as a traditional chemical weed killer.
You can also tr..."


I do fancy the Weed Dragon. I would have to have it sent in from the US (20% duty, $55 ferry ride to island where my post box is) so it will have to wait for funds. I will suggest it to the landlady though as the weedeater the garder uses is totally inadequate.


message 49: by Maria (new)

Maria Schneider (bearmountainbooks) Cristiana wrote: "Does anyone know what to do about moss growth? I have 2 large trees in front of my house so it is nicely shaded and from the time we bought the house 3 years ago moss has grown around the area of ..."

I am not a moss expert, but I think it will go away as soon as it dries out. It might come back again in the spring or fall.

Shoot in texas people PAY for moss...


message 50: by Terri (new)

Terri | 480 comments Maria: LOL! My sister lives in San Antonio so I know about that! I'd love to have some of that in my backyard here in California as well. Too hot I guess.


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