Does anyone out there "cheat" and use chemical fertilizers? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Just got in from spending several hours weeding and watering/feeding my garden. I feel a bit guilty, and confession is good for the soul, so here goes--I use the generic Miricle Grow. It is a water soluable 15-30-15 feeder that you can mix in a bucket or apply with a sprayer (I got my sprayer at a rummage sale). I started feeding last spring when I used an open polinated tomato seed to start my plants, and they had NO resistance to Fusarium (didn't know I even had it in my garden!). Fusarium blocks the veins inside the plants, and starves them to death. By the time I found out the reason for my sickly plants, it was too late to plant more, and I was desperate to have some tomatoes to can (remember the Y2K thing?). The gardening books said to pull them up, but I decided to FIGHT. I started using comercial plant food, and the little buggers just kept on producing, sick tho they were, and I had tomatoes until frost. Most folks in the county had dead plants by the first of August--we were in the middle of a drought, and I kept watering (and feeding), thanks to our ever running little creek.

No drought this year, but I feed every two weeks, and my garden is beautiful. We didn't get it in until the last of May, but my zucchini plants are HUGE and producing well (even they didn't do too well last year), and our first tomatoe is getting ripe, and the plants loaded with so many more that one branch broke off with the load. Onions, lettuce, herbs, peppers, flowers--all doing very well, with lots of mulch and weeding. I used hybrid plants this year, and made doubley sure they were resistant to Fusarium.

So it is gratifing to work in the garden agin, but I still feel a bit guilty, using the Miricle Grow. Anyone else out there, lurking with your sprayer attached to you hose?

-- Leann Banta (, July 27, 2000


I usually throw out granular triple 13. $5.00 per 50 lb bag. Its not "cheating" if you are not pretending otherwise.

-- charles (, July 27, 2000.

I use 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 (once during the growing season)! I don't use any pesticides or herbicides but I do use this!!!!!

-- Debbie T in N.C. (, July 27, 2000.

Not a chance! Using chemical fertilizer is a no-no! Shame! Shame! Just kidding...really though...the further you can get from it by increasing the health of your plants by organic measures....compost, mulch,companion planting...the more disease and fungus resistant they will become. This is my 8th year of strict organic measures and the only bug I have any trouble with is those pesky(and hungry)tomato hornworms...and those only slightly as I pick them off and feed to my bantams(they are hilarious to watch..they must taste pretty darn good!) I have thought about a bT treatment but haven't as of yet. I have some squash bugs on my cukes...a few on my cantalopes, but they don't seem to cause any probs.(I pick those off and squish them)I have had no fungus or mildew probs...and I live in humid North mold and fungus USA! It will really pay off in the just have to be firm and work a little harder at it.

-- Jason (, July 27, 2000.

as long as your adding compost to soil so soil is healthy . chemical fertilizers feed the plants but not the soil.

-- kathy h (, July 27, 2000.

I have goats, I have compost piles going year round, I can't even give all of it away! I have started spreading it out in the woods come fall! Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh (, July 27, 2000.

I use more chemicals than the Almighty allows to make production quotas on the farm. On the family garden he uses only rain and sunshine.

-- Joel Rosen (, July 27, 2000.

Of all the people I know that home gardens not farms, it runs about 65% chemicals to 35% organic. I'm organic. The old timers don't understand my ways. It's a lot harder and time consuming picking bugs off and mulching and composting, but I prefer it. Gardened that way before the chemical poisoning was diagnosed.

-- Cindy (, July 27, 2000.

OK- I confess too. I use Miracle Grow also on my tomatoes and peppers. I improve and maintain my soil with compost, rotted manure and other goodies, but in this short growing season, my tomatoes and peppers need all the help they can get to make it before frost and cold gets them in late summer.

-- Marci (, July 27, 2000.

No, but I'm gonna use Round-up on the weeds! We can't take it any more! We've been spending all our time weeding! This is the third year in the battle and we are weary.

-- Jean (, July 27, 2000.

How is it cheating? Non-organic fertilisers are natural - happens all the time. Think decomposing rock - what you get out of that are salts. Think blowing dust - much is decomposed rock. Think nitrates - lightning discharges oxidise nitrogen (I mean what is air except a marginally impure mixture of oxygen and nitrogen) - nitrous oxides dissolve in water and are carried to ground - natural acid rain - good for plants. Chinese market gardeners used to water by spraying water into the air - fine spray - maximum surface for air contact - natural nitrogenous fertiliser.

What isn't natural is too much of it. My impression is that we lost our wild field mushrooms when we started using LOTS of superphosphate fertiliser. Overcropping doesn't help, but the mushrooms were gone before that trend developed, when there was still a lot of grazing - just the fertiliser and the mushrooms changed.

-- Don Armstrong (, July 28, 2000.

I don't call it cheating. We do big time compost, turning it with a tractor loader, i plow in green trash but we are only in our second year on this place. Without a hit of Triple 13 or some such bagged fertilizer we would have a pretty poor crop, I could always go to the store and buy our produce and then get all the fertilizer, insectisides and herbicides. In the past I have used Mirilce Grow for foliage feeding and i have side dressed my corn. I think I would be cheating myself without something to get the plants going, I think it is more important to build up the soil with good humus and balance the ph.

-- Hendo (OR) (, July 28, 2000.

NOP,, get much better results with Organic stuff. Tastes better too. To me anyway. But it is up to you want you want to use.

-- Bergere (, July 28, 2000.

Don't worry about it. even horse cookies have chemicals (all the ones abody has) 13-13-13 will always have a place in my garden shed.

-- Jay Blair (, July 28, 2000.

It's true, almost everything you buy at the grocery store or produce market is loaded with chemicals. It's true that my garden is not weed or bug free. It's true I spend an awful lot of time picking bugs off my plants. I'll soon be without any squash, and I've tried everything organically everyone has suggested. It's true I'm not going to change minds. It's also true that most people don't have a clue what these chemicals are doing to the land, etc. the animals and to people. It takes time to build the soil naturally, look how many years people have been adding all those chemicals. Think of it this way, people are natural beings, not synthetic, why put any more synthetic chemicals in them than you have to? A lot of what people call disease is reaction to these chemicals. I'm sure you've heard of chronic fatigue syndrome, well you take all those symptoms and add migraine and skin burning, near asthma conditons, hyperactivity severe allergies and ridiculous itching then you have what I have. There's four others on the forum with this problem, I don't know if their symptoms are all the same, but they've learned some mighty uncomfortable lessons and patience, too.

-- Cindy (, July 28, 2000.

I would like to tell you folks some advice about any chemical treatments to your veg or flower garden. I work for a major chemical co.. Please be sure to read all the directions and WARNINGS . Some products might be ok for tomato and not for beans. Some are taken into the plant and fruit to fight disease or insects therefore proper application is for your safety. Call your coop. extention service for info. they can also perform soil sampling to recommend the proper fertilizer for your garden.

-- Dominic (, July 31, 2000.

I have to cheat to get rid of the D#$%$@##% japaneese beatles. Otherwise I am pretty natural.

-- Gary (, August 03, 2000.

We use no chemicals at all---because in my youngier days I was a cosmetologist & used up my immune system with chemicals/ so now I have no resistance-so don't think the use of chemicals can not effect YOU--only someone else as I thought! I want none of you to come close to looseing your life & immune system because of chemicals! Sonda in Ks.

-- Sonda (, August 03, 2000.

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