Organic or non-oragnic gardening : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Just wondering who gardens completely organically, and why? And those that garden using synthetic/chemicals, why?

-- Cindy (, July 12, 2000


As you probably already know, I am Big on organic. I try not to use any chemicals in my veggie gardens although I won't say I never have. I guess if it came down to losing something or using a chemical pesticide, I might use the least dangerous pesticide and only as little as possible. I try not to use any though because I don't feel the chemicals are good for us or the environment. I do not like chemical fertilizers for the same reason. I think it is better to feed the soil and not the plants although when you have poor soil as I do, this takes longer to get the soil built up.

-- barbara (, July 12, 2000.

100 percent organic. Good soil, healthier plants and less bugs. Have found thru the net alot of organic alternatives to chemicals. Was having a few fungus problems with a couple varities of tomatoes. Won't grow them next year. Read where cornmeal broadcast on soil will kill the bad bacteria that causes funguses. Also saw the same thing mentioned on Volunteer Gardener on PBS. Gave it a try and it seems to be working fine. Few months ago, had some holes in eggplant leaves. Left them alone and they're producing fine now. Usually if I grow plants that are suitable for my climate (zone 7) and don't try to force a plant to adapt, I don't have as many problems. Besides, if I'm taking the time to grow vegetables, so I don't have to eat the ones with chemicals at the store, I sure don't want to breathe and then eat the chemicals on the ones in my garden. Also, if you really pay attention to your garden, you learn to adjust to it and not the other way around. Found out I couldn't grow cabbage well in the spring. Catepillars loved it. So, I started growing it as a fall crop and it worked great. I try to go with the flow and not fight mother nature.

-- Annie (, July 12, 2000.

I think I pretty well covered my feelings regarding this in the how long? post. Yes I do grow organically. Tis a great question. I will be looking forward to the answers.

Little Bit Farm

-- Little bit Farm (, July 12, 2000.

We grow organic and have for almost 15 yrs now. Its the only way for us. I am in the process now of becomming certified organic. Its not only cost effective but healthy as well. I've used those fancy weed control and bug sprays, etc before and its just not pratical financially and healthwise. I like doing things the plain simple old fashioned way! Bernice

-- Bernice (, July 12, 2000.

100% organic! I'll destroy badly infested/infected plants before I'll use a hard chemical. I grew up in a cotton growing region in the South. Most of the things in Agent Orange were applied by crop dusters either as a pesticide or defoliant in the cotton culture. Then gin waste was burned and all that stuff plus the products of combustion were again put into the air. I have some problems with environmental illnesses and know a number of people who have died of cancer or had children with leukemia, birth defects, etc. I had a horse that lived the first 15 of his 23 years in the same area. He had liver cancer when we had to have him euthanized. I've also had goats and dogs with cancer and they are lower on the food web than I. To my way of thinking, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what all this stuff is doing to the environment at large, not to mention the individual ones we live in--our bodies.

I have found that the healthier my soil, the healthier the plants and the fewer pests they attract. A balanced ecosystem in the garden will keep pest damage in check without undue loss of harvest and an organic garden can withstand drought stress better than one under chemical culture. Gospel according to St. Marilyn!

-- marilyn (, July 12, 2000.

99% organic although I admit to starting my new seedlings with a dose of Miracle-gro and they are beautiful plants this year. However, once they are in the garden I only feed them manure tea and barn cleanings or compost. The worms don't seem to be abundant if chemical fertilizers are used and I encourage worms and also toads. Our only real pest problems are beetles (asparagus, potato, and cucumber) and cabbage worms (row covers for them). Tomatoes are affected by the various wilts but don't seem to have a problem this year.My biggest challenges are with apples and plums.

-- Peg (NW WI) (, July 12, 2000.

We are schyophrinic here and yes I have no idea how to spell it! :) We use 100% organic methods in our raised beds, beds are 12" high and filled with composted manure and bedding from the diary barn, yet we use chemicals (diazanon) around the outside edges of the beds to kill fireants. There is this great gardener on PBS and I use alot of the tobacco juice, mouthwash, dishsoap spray for bugs on the plants themselves, mostly because hormworms on the tomatoes are just to scary to pick up! and if I don't spray the corn after silking there will be no kernnels left for us! Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh (, July 12, 2000.

I grow organically for a few reasons, not the least of which being that things honestly taste better. I grow organically because chemical fertilizers lock up nitrogen and other minerals in the soil, which means your plants may starve, even though you keep pouring it on. my garden provides for me all the supplies I need to make my own compost, which allows me to fertilize my garden with no money, and the same effort I would have spent anyway, leaving the garden better and better year by year, the effects are cumulitive. I believe that by composting my weeds, spent vines, and veggie cleanings with cut grass, I am also giving back to the earth which gives so genoursly. It is the natural way of things. I garden organcically also because I like to eat my veggies fresh, or with little washing, and i can eat that pea, tomatoe, or little okra without fear, 10 seconds after picking it. This cuts down a lot on kitchen processing time. One good rinse verses three, and a special no-chemical veggie dip besides for non-organic veggies. I must say that with a little extra care when ordering seeds you certianly can prevent a lot of problems by selecting for tolerence to what needs tolerated, and resistence to what needs resistence. Pick correct, grow organic

-- Marty (, July 12, 2000.

100% organic - I think the whole reason behind growing your own food is to have good, SAFE food to eat. Our children can go into the garden and pick anything (mostly peas) and eat it right there without a fear of poisoning. When we started we were advised to plant some for us, some for the bugs, and some for the diseases. When you aren't worried about loosing Your harvest you can be more patient and wait things out - they usually correct themselves.

-- Vaughn (, July 12, 2000.

My garden is 100% organic, as well as the inside of my house :) Sue

-- Sue (, July 12, 2000.

Sue, good one!! We are 100% organic. I always lose a few plants but in a way, it's just statistics. We don't use chemicals growing things, mostly because we really don't need to...we have a mostly closed ecosystem going here and that really is what a lot of homesteading is, I think. And, I personally feel that the chemical companies and genetic engineering companies can probably make a living without my contribution to their bottom lines! We can do fine without them (so what if I only get 80% return on my seeding and the bugs get the other 20%?). If I was trying to feed the world, I would maybe see/do things differently...In that case, what is better: feeding starving people chemically treated food, or letting them starve "organically"? Hmmm...I doubt that the chemical companies really think about that question that much...unless they work in the advertising departments!

Guess I'm rambling. Thanks for "listening."

-- sheepish (, July 12, 2000.

Organanic.....99.9999999% I had no choice at al this year for the first time I had to use some fire ant killer and eat all of my words on it. They are the worst ever this year. I couldn't even stop to look at plants for more than 10 seconds without them running up my pants legs. I felt really bad about it, but even tho' I have paid great attention to biodiversity and healthy soil, etc. this year they are nuts.

-- Doreen (, July 12, 2000.

We are going as organic as possible. So far have not lost a whole lot-have used Rotenone when bugs were really bad.

Our main problem is the grasses we are fighting with. We are planning to sow our main gardens to buckweat shortly hopefully to smother the weedsand build the soil. But I admit that using some roundup first is a real temptation. We are going to see if the buckwheat helps and of course mulch...the grasses we are dealing with are perennial and stubborn as all get out!

If I could afford to I would build a couple of movable pens for all the garden spots and put hogs on them. But I gotta feed my family, so we will use that in the spot we want to plant our corn next year first and just move them around from year to year.

How do I deal with the weeds and grasses where I put my strawberries this year? I am really upset over them...I am tempted to just plow it all up and try again...but then I have to wait another year...Groan. Maybe I will make a berry patch next to my corn patch and just start agin for the followingyear. That pigweed is so bad.

any Ideas?


-- Sarah Cate (, July 13, 2000.

Strictly organic. Where we're at we don't have dirt. We have sand or rotten red granite so we've had to make dirt cause I couldn't afford to buy as much topsoil as we needed. Lotsa composting with lotsa leaves and grass clippings plus amendments like bonemeal, blood meal, wood ashes and of course, granite dust for potassium. This is the second year for the garden and so far, so good I'd say.

Why you ask. I'm more trustful of the methods used by nature since the beginning of time than I am of the chemical companies whos primary motivation is to make money. Plus I'll eventually end up with a rich fertile soil.

-- john leake (, July 13, 2000.

After 12 years in landscape mant and 5 years of college hort classes, 100 percent organic.Feed the soil and it will feed you.

-- kathy h (, July 13, 2000.

With two chemistry PhD's, we grow organic. Kim

-- kim (, July 13, 2000.

Almost 100% organic -- hubby has gotten impatient and sprayed some roundup in a couple of places -- not near food crops, though. And could have avoided that with more diligent mowing, but the mower has only been working intermitently. I agree with all the reasons given above. The only crops we've ever lost completely to bugs have been root crops (radishes, beets, turnips, etc.) to wire worms, and we'll get that one figured out someday!

-- Kathleen Sanderson (, July 14, 2000.

100% organic!!!!!! We use no chemicals!!!!! Our lives are chemical free--unless someone visits us! Sonda in Ks.

-- Sonda (, July 14, 2000.

Our vegetable garden is 100% organic. Bug control is courtesy of our wonderful guinea fowl. They do an outstanding job.

-- Liz Rhein (, July 17, 2000.

Fertilizer I use is organic, as are most weed and pest controls. I do use a few - very few - chemical sprays - Sevin and Diazenon. My respiratory system can't handle the sprays we used to use in the orchard - Malathion, Captan, Dikar, Imidan, etc... No more orchard, no more problem. No more apples and peaches either, though.

I'm putting out a few fruit trees next year, for family consumption. I imagine we'll use a dormant oil spray, doubt if we'll need much else, as my paring knife is sharp enough to cut out the bug bites and bad spots.

Strawberry lady - call the local cooperative extension service. You can use Poast on grasses in your berries and a form of 2-4 D (I think amine - but not sure - check first!) on broadleaves. They can get you the recomended amounts but you will have to do some figuring to get it right for a small area. You can put in on with a small hand pump-up sprayer. If you use the 2-4-D, you will also have to follow the recommendations for mowing off the tops of the berries, or kiss your berries goodbye, as the chemical kills by translocating from the leaves to the roots - moves slower in berries than other broadleaves, but will kill them eventually if not mown.

I used to be fanatically organic. I got over it. Now, I'll settle for the 90+% organic. I don't mind cutting out corn earworms, but I mind the heck out of Japanese beetles. I can pick a few tomato hornworms, but whatever those little black flies are that killed Unc's 'maters aren't getting all of mine. I'm sick of canning beans, so the bean beetles are welcome to them - on the compost pile, not in the garden.

-- Polly (, July 18, 2000.

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