The term 'organic gardening' generally refers to the avoidance of chemicals, pollutants, and synthetics in the cultivation of plants. Specifically, it may describe either informal commitments by the individual or government certified and regulated practices by the grower. Contributors typically want to know about the different types of organic gardening, the many environments in which it is practiced, and the most likely costs and benefits.
Asked in Organic Gardening, Compost and Mulch
Where should people place compost bins?
Compost bins should be sited off to the side of the garden, in a flat area. A shady spot or partial shade is better than full sun. Consider the prevailing winds and proximity to living areas--both yours, and your neighbors--when siting a composting area. Avoid siting bins upwind of living areas, in case odor issues arise.
Asked in Agriculture, Organic Gardening
What is bad about inorganic farming?
Answer # 1 Inorganic farming uses chemicals to simplify ecosystems. It uses soil fumigants to sterilize soil, herbicides to kill weeds, chemical fertilizers to feed crops, pesticides to control insect pests, and fungicides to control fungal diseases. Most of these chemicals have effects far beyond their intended targets. Fungicides kill beneficial fungi that attack or compete with fungi that infect plants. Pesticides kill parasitoid wasps that control insect pests at low population densities, before they get out of hand, as well as predatory insects that help control pests when they do get out of hand. Chemicals reduce the biodiversity that organic farmers rely on to control pests and cycle nutrients in the soil. Inorganic farming is also extremely energy intensive. Petroleum is a feed stock in almost all agricultural chemicals. Whenever the price of oil goes up, the prices of agricultural chemicals, and the foods produced using them, also rise. Answer # 2 The above answer, while not patently false, is misleading in that the author assumes that all non-organic (i.e. commercial) farms use all of the methods described all of the time and that the general statements given apply to all of the materials listed. For example, many insecticides now being used are not intended to completely eradicate the targeted pest, only to suppress it to an economically acceptable threshold. Farmers who use fungicides know very well that they cannot absolutely eradicate any detrimental fungus, nor should they try, because of pesticide resistance issues. The phrase "pesticides to control insect pests" is also interesting in that it displays a lack of education as to exactly what constitutes a pesticide. Organic producers use pesticides, too, just ones approved for organic production. Modern commercial agriculture may well be petroleum-dependant, but not nearly to the degree implied. Organic producers should be commended for the hard work they put into their crops, and provide a valuable alternative. In time, commercial agriculture will most probably eventually move in this direction, just as modern corn, soybean, and wheat farmers are finding that no-till farming provides some very real benefits; they just have to learn new techniques.
Asked in Organic Gardening, Compost and Mulch
What is Another name for garden compost?
Another name could also garden compost, with a sustainable garden, which is a way of gardening that keep the entire ecosystem is bound to stay awake. one application of garden compost with good use of the seed at planting and plant care both of fertilizers and pesticides that do not harm the environment.
Asked in Organic Gardening, Gardening, Earthworms
What will happen if salt is sprinkled on earthworm?
Asked in Organic Gardening, Garden Insects
What is special about a caterpillar?
That it will become a butterfly or moth (Lepidoptera order) is what is special about a caterpillar. Specifically, the caterpillar represents the larval stage of a butterfly or moth. So it may be called a larva, or larvae if there are more than one being referred to. But those larvae that do not become butterflies or moths cannot be called caterpillars.
Asked in Organic Gardening, Compost and Mulch
Can sawdust be used in a compost pile?
Yes, sawdust can be used in compost. Anything organic can be composted, including you and other animals and paper. Cellulose is difficult to digest by your hardworking microbes so make sure to have lots of green nitrogen material mixed in with it, ie. grass clippings, manure & food waste. Make sure there is NO treated wood sawdust as this is all poisonous. HINT, but a garden fork and leave it in the compost pile at all times. this way you will automatically turn over your mix each time you visit it. This adds oxygen, as well as blending in the microbes with the materials. HINT 2, throw a few shovel fulls of topsoil or other compost as a starter. Keep the material damp like a wrung out sponge. Ray "the compost Guru".
What is the procedure and what materials are needed to make dried papaya leaves into organic mulch for tomato plants?
Take the Fresh or Semi-fresh leaves and bury them in about 1/2 ft. of fertilizer and sit inside in a window of direct sunlight for about 2-3 maybe 4 weeks. This method above will compost the leaves in your house. Normally, to use any type of leaf as effective fertilizer it will need to break down. You could put down a layer of the dried leaves on a day with little wind. Then I would recommend covering the dry leaves with a layer of Compost Mulch to prevent them from flying away. This is more effective over a wide area. So it depends on the size of your Garden. Dried Papaya leaves can be used as a base for an organic mulch for tomato plants by crushing and shredding the leaves and placing them above the topsoil and below the mulch. Tree leaves draw minerals up from deep in the subsoil, and deposit them on the surface when they fall, where microarthopod "shredders", bacteria, fungi, and red compost worms break them down so they can enter the soil again. They can be an excellant mulch for tomato plants, as long as you lay them down in thin layers--about 1"--with a dusting of manure or soil between layers. After you lay down the manure or soil, water each layer thoroughly. If you lay down one thick layer, they'll form a slimy mat that makes it harder for water to reach the roots of your tomato plants. Thin layers with soil or manure in between will prevent this. Do 2 or 3 one-inch layers, and put a thin layer of soil or manure on top, to keep the leaves from blowing away. Water thoroughly. WARNING: Do NOT use walnut leaves (they release jugones into the soil, which inhibit the growth of plants, especially nightshades like tomatoes. Also avoid aromatic leaves of herbs, and any poisonous leaves, like oliander leaves. Mulches help prevent the soil from drying out too much and eventually the mulch is broken down by soil organisms - worms etc - and become part of the soil organic matter. Dried leaves would provide nutrients - that are in the leaf - for the soil organisms. Papaya is a shortened way of referring to the papaya tree [Carica papaya]. Papaya leaves are the large, seven lobed individual shoots of green colored foliage on the woody branches of the papaya tree trunk. The leaves are allowed to dry out after they're picked off the branch, or from the ground when they fall. Organic refers to something that's naturally occurring, that isn't made in a laboratory. Mulch is a ground cover that's put on top of soil in order to stop weeds from growing, even out soil temperatures, and control moisture levels. The tomato [Solanum lycopersicum] is a vegetable that's seeded, orange to red in color, and high in vitamins. Plant is a non animal that may move in the sense of spreading by roots and seeds, but basically gets its food and grows by staying in place. A three-inch (7.62-centimeter) mulch of dried papaya leaves is considered an effective organic mulch for tomato plants. Specifically, organic mulch is applied to regulate moisture levels, temperature ranges and weedy growths. It typically is made from bark and leaves. It will be considered successful when desirable heights are attained by the stems and proper sizes are realized by foliage and fruits. That they're an organic mulch that affects soil pH and soil structure is the reason that dried papaya leaves are an effective choice in terms of tomato plants. Specifically, foods and soils may have a pH that's acidic, alkaline or neutral. Papaya is an alkalinizing foods. Its dried leaf mulch somewhat raises a soil pH. The result is a soil pH that's heading more towards the neutral range around 6-6.5 or 7. It's actually in that range that many plants prefer the soil pH to be Additionally, organic mulch contributes to soil structure. That means that the soil becomes better drained, healthier and more fertile through the breakdown of natural materials. Good drainage, fertility and health make for happier, healthier plants in general and tomatoes in this particular instance. Papayas and tomatoes have the same preferences for soil pH: 6.0-6.5. There are 16-18 nutrients in healthy soil. If the pH is incorrect, some nutrients may be present but unavailable to the plant. For tomatoes, lack of calcium or magnesium may be a problem. Specifically, lack of calcium is behind blossom-end rot. Dried leaves are sources of carbon. Organic matter improves soil structure and therefore fertility. The structure allows for the best pore space arrangements for air and water. Mulch keeps weeds from competing for nutrients and water. It holds moisture in the soil. And it evens out temperature extremes. No plant handles yo-yo moisture and temperature levels. It always helps to keep things simple. An organic mulch that's papaya based doesn't need sophisticated equipment, complicated procedures, or big budgets. All you need are the leaves and a place in which to dry them. It can be as simple as a container, or a space, in the basement or shed. The place needs to be protected from air, light, moisture and temperature extremes. Once dried, the leaves may be placed as is, or they may be crumbled up, by any means from manually to mechanically, as with a composter. Using organic mulch causes little to no damage to the soils and crops. The composition that enables dried papaya leaves to be used as an alternative organic mulch is three inches of thickness of the dried papaya leaves. The papaya leaves contain no papain enzymes and are large.
Asked in Organic Gardening, Compost and Mulch
How much water do you put in an earthworm compost?
Moisture needs to be at 60-85%. Compostable material shouldn't be soggy or sopping wet. A 21"x15"x16" container could hold a week's worth of newspapers and 3-5 lbs of kitchen scraps. It wouldn't need more than a quart-sized watering container. The material needs to be moist, not soggy or sopping wet.
Asked in Organic Gardening, Shrub Varieties
What shrub has pink featherlike bracts on the stems?
What creature has both male and female sex organs?
Asked in Organic Gardening, Compost and Mulch
Are coffee grinds good to put in compost?
Yes, they are excellent for adding to your compost, as well as grass clippings, shredded newsprint and vegetable waste. Coffee grounds are high in nitrogen but often can be acidic. Composting well before adding to the garden may be better, but small amounts can be added directly to the garden if needed. The coffee filters also decompose so you don't have to worry about scraping off the grounds. Many restaurants and coffee houses often throw away large amounts of coffee grounds. These places will often be willing to donate used coffee grounds for composting.
Asked in Organic Gardening, Herbal Medicine
What is the common name for Fragaria vesca?
'Wild [or woodland] strawberry' is a common name for 'Fragaria vesca'. The scientific name literally means 'fragrant little'. That's because the plant has a delicately pleasant fragrance, and it hugs the ground. Wild strawberry therefore is a fragrant, effective and attractive alternative to turf. It's a wise choice in the area of shrubs and trees. Specifically, it helps hold the soil together against erosion. But it doesn't need to be mowed. So shrubs and plants aren't threatened by the soil compaction and woody plant body part injuries that tend to be side effects of mowing.
Asked in Organic Gardening, Garden Weeds, Strawberries
How is wild strawberry as a ground cover?
Fragrant, effective and attractive is how wild strawberry ['Fragaria vesca'] is as a ground cover. The small, cone-shaped scarlet fruits are delicately fragrant. The plant's tiny brown seeds and runners ensure the spread of the plant across a space. Particularly attractive are the small, white flowers nestled within green leaves. It's a kinder, gentler cover than grass in terms of shrub- and tree-studded spaces. There's no mowing. So there's no compaction of the soil and no potentially repeated damage to woody plant body parts.
Asked in Organic Gardening
Is it hard to grow organically?
Answer 1 Growing organically on a commercial scale means a loss of 25% of your crop on average, shorter shelf life, and limited choise of pesticides or fungicides to use. They usually cost more too. Growing organically also requires more labor per acre, mostly 'cos there are no organic weed killers and weeding must be done by hand. (Sure you have some homebrew stuff for the garden but it isn't comercially viable.) Answer 2 Organic food means you have not used synthetic (or chemically manufactured) fertilizer or pesticide. The most successful organic farmers use a method called Permaculture where they carefully construct a sustainable ecosystem of plants and animals. In this way food contains fewer pesticides, requires far less machinery, therefore costs less, does not require irrigation, and is sustainable in the long run. Yields are often lower but over long periods of time a given hectare will produce more than current industrial methods, largely because industrial methods require water for irrigation from fossil aquafirs, fertilizer from natural gas (which is a fossil fuel where demand has nearly exceeded supply), and seriously damages the environment leading to less fertile ground and ultimately infertile ground. It is likely that in the future small permaculture farms will produce most of the food for people, but not enough to support 7 billion. Answer 3 Growing food organically is easy for home gardeners, but more challenging on a commercial scale. See discussion section for a clarification on Answer 2. Answer 4 The only reason it would be more challenging for a large corporation is because they lack the ability to suitably motivate their own people, and, they do not understand permaculture, ecosystems, the environment, or even organic agriculture. Also, it should be added that they do not understand the existing and future problems, and have no interest in anything more than a 3-5 year projected plan. The ROI period is beyond the vision of any corporation. This merely means that in the future farming will likely not be done by corporations (probably a good thing, considering the price of food that corporate farms produce versus small volume organic farms). It should not be forgotten that the food industry is the most profitable industry on the planet. Lastly, I think you will find that the discussion on the topic in the forums here is less than useful. You would do better to read about Permaculture from a text compiled by educated professionals. There are several good ones available. Try wikipedia and Amazon for additional information.
How do you kill bag-worms?
Are bag worms like tent worms? My grandfather and uncles used to pull the "tents" out of trees and douse them in gasoline in metal buckets. When they got all the tents with worms they could get, they had the land sprayed. It took care of it. Added by CassieMae: If your infestation is mild, you can pick off the tents in the late fall, winter, or early in the spring. This is when the eggs are inside the cocoons. By mid spring, the eggs begin to hatch and the infestation will continue if you have not gotten rid of them. They spend the spring and summer with their cocoon attached to their backside and the males will come out to seek females who will mate with them and lay their eggs by early fall. Burning the egg filled cocoons in a controlled burn will solve the infestation problem, though some states and localities have ordinances against this. Check with your local Department of Agriculture office for disposal recommendations and legal pesticides to deal with larger infestations.
Where can you purchase organic seeds?
Do organic insecticides have their limitations?
Yes, organic insecticides have their limitations since their generally low environmental impact, potency and toxicity may demand multiple treatments to control insect pests. For example, horticultural oils may involve a summer application and one or both of two dormant rates against insect eggs. Insecticidal soaps may require multiple treatment schedules against any stage in insect life cycles, except egg stages more effectively handled by horticultural oils.
Asked in Organic Gardening, Garden Weeds
What will kill the invasive cat's claw vine?
Answer The only way I know is to actually take to root ball out that lingers below where the vine enters the soil. I have success,by cutting the climbing vine,and immediatley applying a roundup type product. This will knock it back for a season or so,but it always comes back. Maybe the best way is to harvest it, grind it up as sell it as an Aphrodisiac I believe its marketable as a product. yep, do all that and scrape and paint as much of the bark area as you can and any little roots that break with roundup concentrate. use an applicator bottle when applying glyphosate so as to not waste it and not kill other stuff around it. before scraping and painting cut as much of it out as possible because any big bits are basically energy that it can use too reshoot.