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Poll

How organic are you (with regard to vegetables & fruit)

I obey all organic guidelines and never use artificials
I am pretty organic but sometimes use artificial fertilisers
I am pretty organic but often use artificial fertilisers and herbicides
I avoid using herbicides and pesticides unless I have to
I think organics is good in theory but not too practical
I think organics are nonsense and use whatever help I can get

Author Topic: Organic Gardener, Chemical Gardener or in between?  (Read 52173 times)

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John

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Organic Gardener, Chemical Gardener or in between?
« on: August 24, 2006, 01:28 »
Hi everyone,

It would be really helpful if you could answer my little poll - I know we're probably not a statistically representative sample or what have you - but I'd like to get a feel for how people think.

Be honest - your answers are anonymous :)

Thanks

John
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Heather_S

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« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2006, 10:11 »
I think I voted the right way... I don't use artifical fertiliser but I occasionally use weedkiller on the bad stuff (bindweed coming from the other plot  :roll: ) and poof the brassicas with derris dust to try to beat up the flea beetles, though I think the little black shiny ******s are just laughing at me while munching on their veggie delights.
wistfully hoping to one day be mostly organic gardener in North London.

milkman

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« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2006, 10:56 »
I've successfully managed to vote I think - as many of you have probably guessed by now I put myself in the true organic category - not so much as a slug pellet on my plots or garden, and I don't use any of the so-called "safe" products such as bordeaux mixture or derris or nematodes.  I haven't even got round to sprinkling blood fish and bone on my plot.  

For me, being organic is not so much about not using this artificial fertiliser or pesticide or that - it's all about taking care of the soil and encouraging beneficial wildlife, which in turn will take care of your plants and reward you with great fruit and veg.  I feel that reaching for the spray can at the first sign of trouble to achieve a quick fix (even if it is with a "safe" chemical) rather goes against this philosophy.  I always get some failures, which are generally the result of my lack of care and attention, but they are always far outweighed by my successes.  

Now for the confessional:
My "stuff ups" have been to dust some ant powder round a tomato plant in the greenhouse which was being decimated by ants this year before I had a chance to realise what I was doing, and to paint my shed a couple of years ago with some toxic wood preservative or other - this year I'm going to try vegetable oil...oh and I did use pressure treated wood for the bases of my greenhouses...oh and I haven't got round to sourcing a peat-free compost... - so still plenty of challenges to be met on the organic gardening learning curve!
Gardening organically on chalky, stony soil.

John

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« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2006, 12:30 »
Comments always welcome, milkman.

I'm hoping we'll get lots of votes on this -  I know it could have been drafted better but hey, I'm not a market researcher.

As some may know, I'm a member of the National Vegetable Society and have felt that the organic trend is under represented so something more concrete than 'I feel' will carry weight. Having said that - I'm not totally organic myself.

shaun

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« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2006, 22:35 »
i dont think there is a major problem with fertiliser.i use kemira growhow http://www.kemira-growhow.com/uk .you can buy it direct from the factory for £5.50 for a 50kg bag. but i dont like and will nether use weedkiller or pesticides .i would rather loose the crops and put up with a few weeds. slug pellets are another touchy subject are they classed as pesticide ?
feed the soil not the plants
organicish
you learn gardening by making mistakes

John

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« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2006, 23:25 »
I think there is a difference between slug pellets and systemic insecticide - I don't eat the pellets. Then again, I use wildlife friendly pellets.

Oliver

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100% organic or what
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2006, 09:19 »
Quote from: "john"
I think there is a difference between slug pellets and systemic insecticide - I don't eat the pellets. Then again, I use wildlife friendly pellets.

She uses wildlife friendly pellets if absolutely necessary (on the bush tomatoes, for example), and if the blackfly get out of hand on the broad beans she uses derris.
Nothing else. Certainly never weedkillers.
Nutrition for the soil: compost, manure (cattle and horse), chicken pellets. Sometimes blood, fish and bone.
In the greenhouse/poly - comfrey tea
Keep the plot cultivated, that's the best way to ensure its future.

stompy

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« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2006, 10:04 »
Oops, I use glyphosate as a one off on specific areas, this is to kill the masses of weeds that i'v got.

It works realy well, kills everything apart from the odd pirenial, then i just dig them out.

We have masses of couch grass, i tryed to dig it out but it just kept coming back, the old hands said i was fighting a loosing battle and to use glyphosate, they said that was the only way to beat it, otherwise i would end up pulling my hair out and not the grass.

Several people had tryed to beat it without weed killer, but had apparently all given their plots up in the end.

All i'm trying to say is, i feel ok using it at first but only for the first couple of seasons, to break the back of the pirenial weeds, the anuals are not a problem.

Then it's organic all the way.

A few seasons and the ground will be pure once again.


.

Oliver

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Couch and bindweed
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2006, 11:24 »
Quote from: "stompy"
A few seasons and the ground will be pure once again.
.

Sorry to be a party-pooper, Stompy, but couch and bindweed are the devils own to get rid of - all you can do is keep at it and it becomes progressively easier.

They have been working their plots for nearly 35 years now. They just kept at it and rid the plot of couch in the end (probably took 5 years), but if they turn their back for too long the couch creeps back from neighbouring plots at a rate of knots! Bindweed is still there, but not a problem. Ground elder comes back on the paths from time to time. Colt's foot has been eradicated completely.

In the years when neighbouring plots get overgrown and the Council does not strim them, then the grass seed and dandelions sprout up everywhere. it's a never ending battle! But not one to give up on - hoeing is very relaxing (for a cat to watch  :lol: ).

Beanzie

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« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2006, 20:19 »
Been organic 20+ years now. Only real recent problems have been mildew on onions.
Ah well ! There is always next year !

Judymac

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« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2006, 21:17 »
Sorry all organic for the last two years...

Make you own fertiliser from nettles and comfrey...my tomatoes are HUGE this year, gotta be good  :D

Pull all my weeds by hand, even the chickweed and couch grass are beginning to give up!

I do use soapy water for aphids, beer traps for slugs, hand picking for colorado beetle and caterpillars, plus of course the perennial swearing at flea beetles  :wink:

Bordeaux mix is allowed under organic regs, but I don't use it... yarrow leaves added to my home-made (very smelly) fertiliser generally keep mould clear.

Remember jam traps for the wasps so they don't scoff your toms...caught one at it today and the tomatoe was huge :evil:

Anyway must stop rambling on  :shock:

Judy

John

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« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2006, 22:00 »
Quote from: "Judymac"

Remember jam traps for the wasps so they don't scoff your toms...caught one at it today and the tomatoe was huge :evil:
Judy


So that's it  - I've been trying to work out what was nibbling my toms!

AS for this poll, interesting how it's shaping up, I've got great respect for anyone who can grow 100% organic but I wonder if we throw the baby out with the bathwater sometimes.

Judymac

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« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2006, 17:41 »
Well I think it's harder to be organic on an allotment site, after all everyone else could be spraying right next to you. I have an advantage living half way up a mountain, there are less insects...well so I'm told  :roll:  I just think they're bigger, survival of the fittest etc  :wink:

I'm a pottie not a lottie (maybe I am going slightly mad!?  :lol: ), and rent a piece of land opposite the house for my potager, 10 Euro a year for life, well that's got to be a good bargain!

When people say organic gardening is less time consuming than chemicals, I always have a good laugh, seems to me that I spend twice the time in my potager that I used to spend on my allotment back in the UK. This may have something to do with the brewing shed being out there...nah!  :wink:

Each to their own  :D

Judy

jaycee

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« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2006, 09:15 »
Quote from: "john"
I think there is a difference between slug pellets and systemic insecticide - I don't eat the pellets. Then again, I use wildlife friendly pellets.

Some years ago we had a lovely family of hedgehogs (one adult and 4 very small ones). We used to watch them come out and play during the day.
Then disaster I put down "friendly" slug pellets. You know the ones that claim not to harm wildlife. Imagine our horror when a couple of days later all our babies were dead.
Not used them since outside. Occasianally in the greenhouse under a cover to kill the odd slug that seems to get in there no matter what.

John

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« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2006, 09:57 »
That's worrying, jaycee. It's not just being 'green' to try and avoid killing the predators - it's self interest.

Besides, I don't like killing anything - even feel a shudder chopping through a slug.



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