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

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7
votes
2answers
586 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. ...
4
votes
0answers
35 views

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 ...
22
votes
7answers
6k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
44 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 ...
26
votes
16answers
16k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
60 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
1answer
178 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
141 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, ...
4
votes
2answers
50 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, ...
26
votes
8answers
2k 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 ...
20
votes
10answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
103 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
75 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
125 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
47 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
95 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, ...
0
votes
2answers
43 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
96 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
305 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
317 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
3answers
287 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
154 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
74 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, ...
3
votes
2answers
259 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
332 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
809 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
324 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
15k 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
5k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
717 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
119 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
400 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
223 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 ...
21
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
321 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 ...
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 ...