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Questions tagged [organic]

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

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47 votes
3 answers
27k 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 ...
bstpierre's user avatar
  • 41.7k
39 votes
16 answers
63k 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 ...
Shpigford's user avatar
  • 523
38 votes
17 answers
12k 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 ...
Mongus Pong's user avatar
37 votes
10 answers
8k 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 ...
Michael Todd's user avatar
  • 2,312
36 votes
9 answers
49k 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 ...
David Oneill's user avatar
  • 1,511
21 votes
4 answers
23k 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 ...
neydroydrec's user avatar
  • 1,598
20 votes
6 answers
44k 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 ...
Lisa's user avatar
  • 4,972
14 votes
3 answers
792 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 ...
Gardening Directions's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
580 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 ...
Highly Irregular's user avatar
11 votes
4 answers
26k 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 ...
Cary Jensen's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
4k 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 ...
JStorage's user avatar
  • 7,944
10 votes
2 answers
7k 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 (...
David's user avatar
  • 233
9 votes
3 answers
14k 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 ...
Flimzy's user avatar
  • 1,200
9 votes
1 answer
2k 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 said,...
Mr. Anderson's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
4k 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. ...
Jonathan's user avatar
  • 1,907
9 votes
2 answers
485 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 false ...
Highly Irregular's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
2k 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 do to ...
Matt Rockwell's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
348 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?
black thumb's user avatar
  • 8,996
8 votes
5 answers
978 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?
Sparkler's user avatar
  • 585
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

What's in eggshells that makes a good fertilizer?

I would like to know why eggshells are good for flowering plants!
Jeannie's user avatar
  • 81
8 votes
1 answer
672 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, any ...
Aunty Rangi's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
181 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 ...
JStorage's user avatar
  • 7,944
8 votes
1 answer
5k views

What is happening to our potato plants? (going black, wilting)

We have a row of 3 different heirloom potato varieties, 50 originally, of which we've lost about 15 to a problem we'd like to identify. The following photos show the start of the issue, through to a ...
Lamar Latrell's user avatar
7 votes
5 answers
20k 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 ...
swinefeaster's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
117 views

Can I use greens, such as grass, as a fertilizer for tomatoes?

In my country I don't have fertilizer products, but I know that I can get nitrogen from any greens. I already knew that I can soak them in water to make liquid fertilizer, but what if I want to make ...
user2120121's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
5k 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 ...
TheSean's user avatar
  • 173
7 votes
5 answers
4k views

What's the best way to eliminate slugs on strawberries?

I am new to strawberries, but I have about 50 plants (maybe was too aggressive with my order)that have just started producing fruit. About one in five berries has a chunk missing - I'm assuming this ...
Megan Dorcey's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
6k 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 ...
Antonio's user avatar
  • 173
7 votes
1 answer
150 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 ...
Danger14's user avatar
  • 666
7 votes
1 answer
1k 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, ...
nicolefurlan's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
49 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 ...
Jonathan Wolfe's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
551 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?
Jonathan Wolfe's user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
59k 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 ...
recursive_acronym's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
8k views

Why are some of my pumpkin plants wilting, and showing what looks like stem rot?

Up to this date we have had a healthy crop of about 500 flowering pumpkin plants, however, over the last 3 days we have lost maybe 20 of them. They will simply wilt over 24hrs and then die: Closer ...
Lamar Latrell's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
60 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. ...
Jiminion's user avatar
  • 163
6 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
Highly Irregular's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
437 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.
Organic's user avatar
  • 544
6 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Graham Chiu's user avatar
  • 23.3k
6 votes
1 answer
494 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 ...
user3412's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
499 views

Can Nicotiana alata be used as an aphid "honeypot"?

I have a problem with aphids. Some of my plants are too weakened to be sprayed with a high-velocity hose to knock them off, and I really don't have the time to keep spraying with various insecticides,...
Graham Chiu's user avatar
  • 23.3k
6 votes
1 answer
257 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 ...
rob's user avatar
  • 61
5 votes
2 answers
121 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? ...
That Idiot's user avatar
  • 7,039
5 votes
3 answers
5k 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 don'...
That Idiot's user avatar
  • 7,039
5 votes
2 answers
2k 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, ...
FuzzyChef's user avatar
  • 727
5 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
itsmatt's user avatar
  • 5,202
5 votes
1 answer
139 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 ...
Alchemistbd's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Trevor's user avatar
  • 183
5 votes
1 answer
357 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 ...
That Idiot's user avatar
  • 7,039
5 votes
2 answers
676 views

Zucchini skin disease (holes)

For several years now the zucchini in my amateur garden have always failed in the same way. The fruits start to grow but stay in an arrested development state (their size never goes beyond 12cm, the ...
Ewan Delanoy's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
4k 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 ...
lamwaiman1988's user avatar