Discussion Forums - Gardening

Topic: Organic?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Organic?
Date Posted: 1/22/2012 7:42 PM ET
Member Since: 11/10/2011
Posts: 17
Back To Top


My hubby and I are taking gardening classes.  We moved to Texas this last year and gardening here is a whole new ballgame from up north.  The area where we came from was all chemical...everyone used chemicals...farmers, gardeners, lawn people...etc.  So we chose to garden organic both at our community garden and also our patio container garden at home.  

A few recent books that I have read that has helped me stand firm in my decision for organic are:

Organic Manifesto, by Maria Rodale

Harmony: A New Way of Looking At Our World, by The Prince of Wales

Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living, by Rachel Kaplan and Judy K. Blume

Tons of books on permaculture...!



Are you an organic gardener or plan to be?  What made you decide to go against the flow and not use chemicals?  What books do you recommend to people that are interested in going organic?

Subject: Somewhat
Date Posted: 1/27/2012 6:03 PM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2006
Posts: 1,076
Back To Top

I buy seeds that are not organic but do not use  fertilizer only compost  etc. I spray only if there is a major problem. I have also found that if the soil is healthy there are fewer bugs. In plots that were used a lot there we more problems than in newly tilled soil. So we let some  areas go for a few years and let them build back up.

Last Edited on: 1/27/12 11:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/27/2012 11:47 PM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2006
Posts: 4,938
Back To Top

I stopped gardening a couple years ago when I had my little one but will try to get back into it this year.  I try to go organic and here in Oregon it's pretty easy to find organic products.  Plus we don't have a lot of bugs so that makes it easier.  I have to admit though that sometimes I lose the willpower and go back to chemicals, especially with non edibles like weeds.

Composting is really big here so that is what I usually use.  I really liked the compost tea but got weary of going back and back and back to the store for it.

Oh and to the question about why I consider going organic is I don't want more chemicials on my food and the groundwater runs directly into the river we get our water out of.

Subject: answer to why I decided not to use chemicals
Date Posted: 1/28/2012 12:06 AM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2006
Posts: 1,076
Back To Top

My garden started doing bad and the old man next door uses the same spot all the time. So i asked him and he said it was probably because we used spray on our trees. He said it will kill the small good bacteria in the soil. Kinda like taking antibiotics in a person . Then we have to take a probiotic after like pills or yogurt with bacteria. So we quit getting the trees sprayed . They do fine without spraying it does not seem to harm them we just did not like the aphids. After a few years the soil started to come back and things started to grow better.

Date Posted: 1/28/2012 8:54 AM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2007
Posts: 3,365
Back To Top

I garden organically, though I admit I don't have a huge garden and some years I run out of energy to keep chasing off the bugs and almost give up. lol I'm big on the natural predators - ladybugs, lacewings, preying mantids. Partly b/c my kids enjoy them. We've done composting, but hubby doesn't understand it and will dump waay to much dry grass in - we don't have the space to keep doing that and waiting.

I live in Texas and the seasons are definitely different down here than "up north." lol. If you want any "cool season" veggies you will have to plant pretty soon. What area are you in? I'm in Central Texas, but I grew up in West Texas - two entirely different areas as far as gardening goes.

Date Posted: 1/28/2012 7:58 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2011
Posts: 2,958
Back To Top

We've been gardening for the past 5 years or so and have always gone organic. I guess we're lucky, we just don't seem to get many bugs. There was something that was eating leaves a little bit last summer but it didn't seem to really bother anything so I just left them alone.

Date Posted: 1/28/2012 8:21 PM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2011
Posts: 2,353
Back To Top

I love growing things, but tend to get better results with flowers than I do vegetables.  Last year my tomatoes and strawberries were pitiful.  The herbs did great though.

Date Posted: 1/29/2012 11:53 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2009
Posts: 7,197
Back To Top

I am not organic, but try to avoid as many chemicals as I can.  I compost whatever I can.....it is always amazing to me that ten bags of leaves make about one bag of compost.  I garden in heavy clay and so I have brought in peat and bagged dirt, and I can't say I know the exact background of those things.  I use organic fertilizer.

This is St. Paul so I have a short season.

Date Posted: 1/29/2012 1:14 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,581
Back To Top

I garden organicly because it is safer, cheaper and easier.    We just don't let the bugs bother us.  I have a fea beetle problem but there is virtually no way to defeat them if you water everyday, as I have to.  After the plants get a little larger, the flea beatles go away for the season.  Eventually Ii will hear of some safe solutuion to them like the NoLo bait for grasshppers.  That stuff is a miracle. 

And we have to haul our own trash to the dump here, so it sure makes that a lot less gross to compost everything possible instead of having it rot in the trash cans. 

I don't worry about going crazy on it though.  I use manure from the neighbors who have animals: goats, chickens, horses, sheep and cows.  Someone is always ok with having us back up our little truck and shovel out some waste from their pile.  The best part is the two year cycle of our 6 huge compost bins.  We start shoveling out one every year and it is unbelievable the beautiful compost and worms that come out of there.   


Date Posted: 1/29/2012 4:38 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2011
Posts: 2,958
Back To Top

We do have a lot of toads around and in our garden, maybe that's why we don't have many bugs.

Date Posted: 3/5/2012 3:21 AM ET
Member Since: 1/16/2009
Posts: 112
Back To Top

I garden mostly organic.  The only non-organic pesticide I use is Round-up.   Finally realized that no matter how much pulling and digging I was going to do the poision oak would not give up.  I live in Northern California and bugs aren't a huge problem.  I think our very long, hot, dry, non-humid summers are a lot of the reason for that.  Also, I think that going organic makes my plants healthier so the bugs find them harder to deal with.  I have friends who love there pesticides, and have a lot more problem with bugs than I do.   And I went organic because I just have the feeling that if it kills living things, it isn't  good to have around another living thing - namely me. 

Last Edited on: 4/5/13 9:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 1