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

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1
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1answer
71 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
93 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
27 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
74 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?
6
votes
1answer
33 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
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1answer
89 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
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3answers
1k 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 ...
4
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5answers
692 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
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1answer
61 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
45 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
168 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
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1answer
52 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
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1answer
78 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
126 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
79 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
107 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
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2answers
208 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
53 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
152 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
55 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
103 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
124 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
209 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
409 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
89 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, ...
5
votes
2answers
702 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
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2answers
931 views

What's in eggshells that makes a good fertilizer?

I would like to know why eggshells are good for flowering plants!
6
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3answers
511 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
173 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
440 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
357 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
209 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
830 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
135 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
2k 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
6k 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
232 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
363 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
321 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
448 views

What is the best way to grow vegetables without using chemical insecticide?

I am looking for tips and recommendations because I do not want to use any pesticides. I am in Jamaica where insects are a big problem. I am using a combination of dish soap and hot pepper. Any ...
13
votes
5answers
20k views

How to get rid of insects on basil while leaving the leaves safe to eat?

With reference to this question: Insect infestation on my pepper plant, what do I do? I have these insects in my indoor "kitchen window sill" basil and they do seem to be chewing it fast enough to ...
16
votes
3answers
6k views

How large a cultivation area to feed one person?

Consider a project like the Earthship. Supposing one would like to grow food (organic polyculture) indoors in such a habitat (i.e. in a green house). How many m² would be required to feed one person ...
23
votes
2answers
10k views

What's an organic way to discourage crabgrass from a large “lawn”?

I have a large area that's infested with crabgrass. I'd like to use organic methods to encourage the grass mix over the crabgrass. The fact that it's a large area means I can't afford to apply (nor ...
7
votes
2answers
802 views

Are there any bad effects in using nematodes in pest control?

I have a pest situation on my apricot tree caused by the beetle Capnodis tenebrionis (see this question). I am averse to using chemical pesticides, and I read that nematodes can be used to control C. ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I organically prevent green caterpillars from eating up my kale plants? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is an effective organic pesticide to use against aphids or cabbage loopers? So these little green caterpillars have been eating most of my kale plants. What can I ...
20
votes
11answers
2k views

What is the best organic way to defeat slugs?

Most of the seedlings I have planted out this year have been eaten by slugs within a day. I have my final two runner bean plants that need to go out. How can I prevent these from being the next ...
24
votes
7answers
11k views

What are some natural ways of killing ground ivy (creeping charlie)?

We have ground ivy (creeping charlie) that is trying to take over our back yard. We are against using pesticides, as we have a young son. Are there natural/organic ways of beating it (other than ...
27
votes
8answers
3k views

What is an effective organic pesticide to use against aphids or cabbage loopers?

I have a vegetable garden that bugs just love. Since my family is going to eat these vegetables (and I'd prefer that the bugs do not), what organic pesticide is most effective? The main culprits are ...
28
votes
16answers
24k views

Is it possible to kill a large area of weeds organically/naturally?

We've got a ~4500sq/ft back yard that's probably 90% weeds. Is there an organic/natural way to kill off all the weeds so we can start from scratch? With kids and dogs and a swimming pool right beside ...