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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

29
votes
16answers
31k 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 ...
29
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 ...
29
votes
8answers
19k 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
2answers
14k 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 ...
21
votes
11answers
3k 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 ...
18
votes
4answers
9k 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
24k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
488 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
392 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
107 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
33 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
1answer
294 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
92 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
2answers
244 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
8k 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
3answers
709 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 ...
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

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. ...
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!
7
votes
2answers
359 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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
44 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 ...
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
54 views

I noticed spots being eaten from my rhubarb,what should I plant to prevent them from being eaten?

What is the organic way to prevent rhubarb leaves from having holes eaten from them?
6
votes
3answers
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
965 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
57 views

What are the natural predators of snails/slugs?

Trying to control snails/slugs organically in a very small garden but I don't want to kill them myself.
6
votes
1answer
221 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, ...
5
votes
3answers
57 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
2answers
101 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? ...
5
votes
3answers
551 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 ...
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
26 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. ...
5
votes
1answer
154 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
41 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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
131 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
84 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?
4
votes
2answers
111 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, ...
4
votes
1answer
226 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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
3answers
521 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
111 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
62 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
65 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
141 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
72 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.
3
votes
1answer
114 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 ...