For questions about organic gardening or when an organic solution is required.

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8
votes
1answer
29 views

How can I get rid of cutworms in my corn and pumpkin patches?

Our corn and pumpkin seedlings appear to have been decimated by cutworms. They're actually caterpillars, and quite destructive ones at that: We're interested in getting rid of them organically, ...
8
votes
2answers
95 views

Is there an organic way to remove wild strawberries from a lawn?

We have a variety of areas in our lawn where the wild strawberries are consistently killing our grass. Is there an organic way to control these? We have been fairly successful at tackling other weeds ...
5
votes
1answer
25 views

What is the name of the French pioneer of organic/sustainable farming?

I can't remember his name. I think he was active in the 50's to 70's. His techniques involved creating berms of fallen branches and twigs, and later incorporating the decayed matter into his soils. ...
8
votes
1answer
84 views

How should I care for my multi-variety apple and pear trees?

I am a novice gardener living in the San Francisco Bay Area. When I created my vegetable/fruit garden, the landscaper recommended grafted fruit trees (ones which produce 6 different varieties of ...
7
votes
1answer
40 views

What's the best way to care for and feed my strawberry plants?

Now that strawberry season is upon us, I wanted to be proactive to maximize the output of my 7-8 small strawberry plants. I have had these plants for 4 years now and the results have been mixed in ...
5
votes
3answers
55 views

I have a lot of green, How can I use it as fertilizer?

In my country I don't have fertilizer products, I know that I can get Nitrogen from any green. I already knew that I can soak them in water to make liquid fertilizer, but what if I want to make slow ...
5
votes
1answer
37 views

Do white butterfly decoys work against Pieris rapae?

I've seen various articles/posts to say that decoy artificial white butterflies, such as the one I just made, are effective in preventing attack of brassicas by the white butterfly Pieris rapae. The ...
2
votes
2answers
72 views

Which method of growing food crops leads to the healthiest plant with the highest nutrient density? [closed]

Plants can be fed organically ( avoiding the use of pesticides, using organic matter to provide nutrients), inorganically ( using chemical fertilizers ), or soilessly when the roots are fed by a ...
3
votes
2answers
61 views

Can hydroponic/aeroponic produce be organic?

Crop rotation, green manure and compost are quite irrelevant in hydroponics and aeroponics, and the "fertilizer" is synthesized too, no?
3
votes
1answer
67 views

How to Get Rid of white grubs?

I noticed that I have grubs in my garden. Is there anything Organic that I can use to get rid of them? These little things totally destroy my tomato and pepper plants.
2
votes
1answer
25 views

How do you use potassium bicarbonate to control powdery mildew?

This post describes using potassium bicarbonate to control powdery mildew, but doesn't give any more info. So I'm looking for the following: Efficacy? Mixing rate? Application rate? Application ...
2
votes
1answer
95 views

Is it possible to verify that my “organic” landscaper isn't sneaking synthetic fertilizers and/or pesticides onto my property?

A lot of companies offer "organic" programs for lawn and landscape care. I have listened to a lot of cynics say that all of them sneak prohibited chemicals onto the landscape to deliver results ...
5
votes
2answers
100 views

How were estate lawns cared for prior to the popularization of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides?

I'm interested in the following information, and will be happy to follow any leads to good resources for the info: How were they cut? Were they irrigated? Did they fertilize? Did they overseed? ...
3
votes
0answers
38 views

What sustainable and affordable way is there to control rose chafer beetles?

We are trying to establish a permaculture farm in NW New York. We have very sandy soil, and everything we grow is ideal food for the rose chafer beetle. We first noticed them last year and tried to ...
4
votes
1answer
82 views

How far do potatoes really need to be from tomatoes to prevent disease/blight?

How far do potatoes really need to be from tomatoes? Is ten feet with a row of peas in between sufficient? Also, do sweet potatoes count as potatoes?
7
votes
1answer
38 views

Does a floating row cover prevent wilt diseases on cantaloupes?

Every year my heirloom french cantaloupes look beautiful and then one morning you wake up and they are essentially dead - I've never gotten a harvest after three years. I am pretty sure this is ...
3
votes
1answer
110 views

How do I separate two lawns?

I live in the Seattle area. My neighbor has a very nice lawn -- it's unnaturally green, other-worldly thick, and chemical-dependent. I'm going to overseed my lawn with a nice mix of microclover, rye ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Will diatomaceous earth hurt the earthworms in my garden

I have an organic garden, and use diatomaceous earth to discourage slugs from eating my plants. Lately I have worried that the diatomaceous earth might hurt the earthworms in my soil. Does ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Get rid of weeds from my raised garden bed - without pesticides

I bought a house that came with a rather large (8' x 50') raised (well, raised only 4") garden bed. It is infested with weeds. Last summer I planted some vegetables in it but spent most of the time ...
4
votes
1answer
69 views

How do I change this to a butterfly garden?

My front yard has 2 flower beds. One small one is a rain garden with Turk's cap connected to the down spout from a roof gutter. The larger one has two rose bushes, 2 salvias, 1 dying dwarf Mexican ...
3
votes
1answer
61 views

Can bent grass be controlled without toxic chemicals?

Due to the large number of golf courses in our area, we have a problem with bent grass invading fescue and bluegrass lawns throughout the county. Next to crab grass, it is one of the things that ...
5
votes
3answers
380 views

How do I prune boxwoods to control for boxwood leaf miner?

Our boxwoods have a moderate infestation of boxwood leaf miners. Sources recommend pruning to help manage them, and mention that you should cut at a certain time in the pest's lifecycle. But they ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

What is the ideal state of symbiotic balance in soil called?

I have been looking into organic gardening recently and I remember seeing something that I found very interesting. It had to do with the soil being in perfect balance with bacteria, insects, and the ...
4
votes
1answer
108 views

Is this a good organic soil/fertilizer setup for container carrots?

I am growing 36 carrots in a 18" square container that is 14" deep. I know I have enough room for them but am more worried about whether there will be enough nutrition in the soil to carry them ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

What are good organic phosphorus sources for fruiting plants, other than rock phosphate or animal products?

I know the norm is to use rock phosphate or bone meal but I can't find rock phosphate in my area and it's expensive to ship because of the weight. I'm not able to use an animal product like bone or ...
4
votes
2answers
103 views

Best way to combat Rosemary Mites?

All of my rosemary plants are infected with rosemary mites, which are some kind of variety of spider mite. These invisibly tiny insects cause unsightly yellow mottling on the leaves of the rosemary, ...
5
votes
1answer
151 views

Can I use sweet potato leaves as a dynamic accumulator?

I have been thinking about growing Comfrey in my garden but I came across several articles mentioning that once it is in your garden, it is there forever because if you cut the roots, it grows like a ...
2
votes
2answers
263 views

How can I keep squirrels from digging in my pots and gardens?

I live in a wooded area which is home to many local squirrels. They are constantly digging up plants in my garden and in my pots. They never eat anything, they just dig holes everywhere. What is an ...
3
votes
2answers
61 views

One-off (organic?) aphids control

We need to ask a gardener to apply an insecticide to a CHERRY tree. Neighbours have complained about the tree being infested by insects. For reasons I cannot go into, there is no regular access to ...
2
votes
1answer
217 views

Organic method of helping a Manganese deficient lemon tree

My young lemon tree has yellow blotches on some of its leaves, even though the leaves are quite newly grown. This advice suggests that it's likely to be deficient in Manganese, rather than Magnesium, ...
1
vote
2answers
64 views

Portable Soil and Compost Testing Kit

I am growing vegetables. I need soil and compost testing kits for Soil Ph, SOil EC and compost nutrients test. Can any one suggest me, which instruments will be good with reasonable price. Thank ...
5
votes
1answer
109 views

What are the best components for producing compost which supply maximum nutrients?

People made compost from different components but they cannot realize about nutrient amount in the compost. So it is essential for selecting appropriate components. It is very important for organic ...
5
votes
1answer
130 views

Can I use ragwort tansy as an alternative pest control?

I am a well experienced gardener and farmer with a growing interest in alternative methods of using herbal plants instead of chemicals for pest management and have came across a notoriously bad rep ...
8
votes
1answer
285 views

Compost pile and bugs (2 questions)

First insect question: When I turned our compost pile yesterday, there was a lot of very rich smelling black soil, semi composted vegetables/plant/oak leaf matter, and a LOT of pill bugs. My wife ...
4
votes
3answers
499 views

Effective weed elimination along paved driveway

As a matter of principal we don't spray Glyphosate (Roundup) or other herbicides on our property. I'm well aware of its effectiveness as a non-selective herbicide but choose not to use it for a number ...
2
votes
2answers
102 views

Should I worry about cross-pollination from the sterile comfrey cultivar, “Bocking 14”?

I am looking at growing some comfrey, Bocking 14 maybe, but I see that this is a sterile hybrid to prevent the weed from growing out of control. My concern is: I save most seeds from what I grow, ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

How do you organically handle lubber grasshoppers that destroy gardens?

Last summer I had a problem with black grasshoppers with yellow stripes on them, which I identified as Lubbers. Now I grow everything organically and all my plants are heirloom varieties, so last year ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What's in eggshells that makes a good fertilizer?

I would like to know why eggshells are good for flowering plants!
6
votes
3answers
652 views

Is it safe to make a vegetable garden where there may have been lawn chemicals?

I moved into a new house (built 1979) this past fall and I would like to convert some of the grass area to a vegetable garden. I don't know how the previous owners took care of their lawn, but is ...
6
votes
1answer
219 views

Timeline for first organic garden in New England (Massachusetts)?

I am looking to start my first garden, and I'd like it to be organic. I have read a lot of articles which have all instructed me to start small the first year by planting easy plants like tomatoes, ...
3
votes
1answer
509 views

Can anyone give advice related to growing an Ayurvedic Herb Garden?

I'm currently growing a few herbs and spices in pots on my terrace using Natural/Organic gardening techniques. Turmeric, Basil (Tulsi), Lemon-Grass, Omum are few herbs. I'd like to transition to ...
3
votes
2answers
397 views

Nutsedge nightmare. Is there an organic solution that will rid my lawn of ever spreading nutsedge?

I have been battling purple nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus) and yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus) as long as I've had a lawn. These weeds grow from tubers. The tuber networks are connected by a baby ...
4
votes
1answer
223 views

Why can't you get organic fertilizers in powder form?

I'm just wondering why most of the organic fertilizer are in granules. Yes, fish emulsion is liquid but there are no organic fertilizer is in powder form. Wouldn't it be easier if they crush the ...
6
votes
1answer
953 views

How do I kill couch grass organically prior to sowing a lawn?

The area of yard I intend to sow as lawn is around 150sqm, and has just been levelled by machinery which removed much of the plant material. Most parts of it have just had a shallow layer scraped off ...
3
votes
1answer
137 views

What should I do before applying organic fertilizer to ensure no bugs or smell?

Does all organic fertilizer require decomposing? I would like to focus on fertilizer available in gardening shops instead of unprocessed urine or manure from mammals. As far as I know, decomposing of ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Which organic fertilizer should I use to encourage flower growth?

I heard that some plants need fertilizing every two weeks in order to encourage flowering. I prefer organic fertilizers because I feel they provide better nutrients, however they are in granules and ...
6
votes
3answers
7k views

How much fertilizer do I need for my vegetable garden?

Today I received the results for my garden soil test, which show that I have only 5 ppm of nitrogen. So my research (here, and elsewhere) has suggested that the best way to (organically) raise the ...
7
votes
2answers
243 views

What can I plant to attract butterflies and other pollinators in Minnesota?

A lot of plants can pollinate themselves. Fruits: Tomatoes, Strawberries Vegetables: Peppers, Eggplant, Snap Beans, Lima Beans, Lettuce, Endive, Peas, Cabbage, Broccoli, Beets, Kohlrabi ...
10
votes
1answer
386 views

Efficacy of “willow water” for improving propagation of cuttings

"Willow water" is a term for water that has had willow soaked in it to extract compounds that improve the chances of a cutting growing roots. Here's a fairly descriptive article on it. I tried it ...
7
votes
2answers
330 views

How do I prepare and sow a lawn organically?

Sowing a lawn organically seems to have 2 problems that need solving: Killing the weeds prior to sowing Avoiding weed growth after sowing Once the soil is levelled, I'm considering trying the ...