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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 52164 times)

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John

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Organic Gardener, Chemical Gardener or in between?
« Reply #30 on: September 28, 2006, 10:33 »
Sorry if the poll was tricky - I am just trying to get a feel for how people feel if that makes sense.
Ideal would have been to get a survey expert to draft the questions, but I didn't have a few grand spare :)

What I think we can say is that the majority of those who voted are on the green side of the scale.

Nitrogen run off into the water is one of the by products of chemical farming rather than the relatively small amounts even the most chemical gardener would use.  Having said that, good compost and manure has to be better for plants than pure NPK fertilisers because of all the trace elements if nothing else.
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Aidy

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« Reply #31 on: October 03, 2006, 16:21 »
To be honest I get very confused now on what is organic and what is not. I only use rotted horse muck, I dont use pellets etc as we have a healthy brood of Blackbirds/thrushes, I always try and source "organic seed", but does using petrol driven strimmers rotovators mean I am not??? The shed gets painted with a enviromentally safe wood paint, is this organic? The only thing I know for certain is where my food comes from and that keeps me happy and my family and I suppose that is all that counts.
Punk isn't dead...it's underground where it belongs. If it comes to the surface it's no longer punk...it's Green Day!

Flying Cyril

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« Reply #32 on: October 30, 2006, 21:56 »
G'day.
I have been mainly organic so far. Our site has thousands of slow worms on it so I will not be using slug pellets, I'd rather lose some veggies to the slugs than kill the slow worms. There are also frogs about, so I'll be making a pond to encourage them onto my plot. I had to spray my cabbages due to a major infestation of whitefly, but now I know to plant marigold among them (whitefly dont like 'em). Also I'll plant some lovage and that other herb that I cant remember at the moment (fennel??) that attracts a paracitic wasp that preys on whitefly. They inject an egg into the whitefly and when it hatches the grub eats it. Must be damned small wasps. I'll also be making insect nests out of old bamboo to encourage more ladybirds and lacewings to eat greenfly/blackfly. My broadbeans were black with blackfly. I just left them, not wanting to use chemicals, and one day they started to turn green. I went up to them to investigate and saw hundreds of ladybirds and their larvae munching away on the blackfly. Watching this natural pest control at work is as pleasing to me as growing the veg itself. Even earwigs have a use, they eat them little slugs that bore holes in the spuds (so I've read in one of me books).
Yes, I intend to be 100% organic, it's the way ahead, and it's cheaper (saves the beer tokens).
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Jake

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Organic Gardener, Chemical Gardener or in between?
« Reply #33 on: October 30, 2006, 22:31 »
Quote from: "Flying Cyril"
I had to spray my cabbages due to a major infestation of whitefly, but now I know to plant marigold among them (whitefly dont like 'em). Also I'll plant some lovage and that other herb that I cant remember at the moment (fennel??) that attracts a paracitic wasp that preys on whitefly. They inject an egg into the whitefly and when it hatches the grub eats it.


good to know, thanks.

Quote
My broadbeans were black with blackfly. I just left them, not wanting to use chemicals, and one day they started to turn green. I went up to them to investigate and saw hundreds of ladybirds and their larvae munching away on the blackfly.


Mine were the same! I didn't see the ladybirds actually on them but they were covered in blackfly at one point. My sprouts were the same but I was away for a while and now they are doing fantastic :) I mean really fantastic,some are ready to eat now!

Flying Cyril

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« Reply #34 on: November 05, 2006, 21:03 »
Quote from: "Judymac"
Sorry all organic for the last two years...

hand picking for colorado beetle and caterpillars, Judy


Dont they have to be reported, by law ?? In an insect book I have from the 1970's it say's that they have to be reported to the authorities but that is over 30 years ago.

richyrich7

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Organic Gardener, Chemical Gardener or in between?
« Reply #35 on: November 30, 2006, 21:02 »
Quote from: "Flying Cyril"
Quote from: "Judymac"
Sorry all organic for the last two years...

hand picking for colorado beetle and caterpillars, Judy


Dont they have to be reported, by law ?? In an insect book I have from the 1970's it say's that they have to be reported to the authorities but that is over 30 years ago.


Yep quite right, you do have to report them, Evil little things.
Defra link for all those interested DEFRA and the beetle
He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.

John

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« Reply #36 on: November 30, 2006, 22:37 »
Judymac is in France where they have lots of colarado beetles -  we, in the UK, still don't have the pleasure of their company, thank goodness.

denbo73

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« Reply #37 on: January 16, 2007, 19:08 »
Me and my mate obey touch wood, we take it in turns with the greased beer mat to catch the flea beetles and stab the slugs by torch lite, and for the rest ,caterpilows (excuse my spelling) and flyes we go on squashing duty,but we have made a spray out of boiling garlic, rosmary, pepper corns, and a touch of washing up liquid, and that seems to keep the * off, and still seem to keep a healthy amount of ladybirds and lace wings.
we have also put a lot of insect homes arond our plot.
But never the less we'v only had our plot since last june :roll: , so we may have been lucky.
As for the weeds its the same hard work to keep on top.
Two or three folk down our site are mad for glyphosphate and say its organic lol. Iv told em go on the internet and have a good read.

Pure Scotsman

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Organic or not?? Organic.
« Reply #38 on: January 21, 2007, 22:58 »
We just started out this weekend. First allotment plot ever.
It's very difficult to be sure of the history of a plot although I am assured that the previous tenant "tried to always be organic".
Our plan is to be as organic as possible, even down to buying organic seeds and seed potatoes.
Fortunately our allotment association supplies certified organic compost amongst other things and as a rule the whole site "tries" to be organic.

The big question I would have for everyone is..... can I say my produce is organic? I mean we have no idea what chemicals are in the water table from other allotment holders or even local gardens.

hotterotter

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« Reply #39 on: January 29, 2007, 13:57 »
Hi I'm new here, I've got an allotment which I took on late last summer. So far so good but since I missed most summer sowings I'm concentrating on an early start for next year. I've grown vegetables before but always on a very small scale my plans now are to grow a range of veg on my outdoor cultivated space (just finished digging it) which is about 17 poles, and a separate fruit area. I've got a greenhouse which belonged to the previous occupier (but I helped him aquire it 2 years ago) I've not measured it but its fairly big 6x12 at least. I've also built a 10x10 enclosure which I sown with rye last autumn from ash coppice poles and a small chicken house made from floorboards from a derelict building. Early march I plan to get 3 pullets to keep here for eggs. I'm going to be organic and not use peat or anything nasty like that.

yummy

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« Reply #40 on: February 04, 2007, 18:35 »
I wanted to be organic. Then I was told I'd not clear my plot without round up. Then other people told me that was rubbish advice. I read up about round up and opted for the organic approach. I talked round my fellow plot owners and we started to dig this morning. The allotment committe popped by for a chat and talked them back round to the round up way. I was out voted 2:1. I am not organic after all.

I'm not having anything else nasty put on it and no more round up either. :evil:

vron

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« Reply #41 on: February 25, 2007, 16:40 »
Hi everybody, we had our allotment in March 06, we shared half a plot first and then took it totally over in Sept 06, as it didn't work out.

The plot was so over grown that you could not see the plum trees for over grown fruit bushes etc.

Derek was recovering from a hip-replacement (Jan 06) but with the dedication of our son and his father-in-law, who has the plot next door, between them all it was cleared and rotovated ready for us to use in March 06.

We don't know whether any weed-killer was applied prior to the rotovation, if it was then it will never be applied again.

On our half we have used nothing chemical not even slug bait (we used garlic granules around the brassicas etc).  But we did use growmore, as at that time we did not have a compost heap.

The other half had slug bait applied and was then totally neglected so the slugs had a feast, hence us taking back that half.

We have totally hand dug the whole plot from Dec 06 - Feb 07, weeding as we go.

And we hope to proceed the same way this year, being as natural as possible, though we will still use up our supply of growmore and also use chicken pelleted manure.  We now have 3 compost heaps

We were always being told that we will not do any good unless we used slug bait etc, but we chose to go our own way.

Asking advice where we can and using it if it does not conflict with what we are already doing.

We had good success with what we grew on the half we started with, and gave quite a bit away as there are only the 2 of us.

An allotment has great community spirit, though sometimes you can spend more time chatting  :lol: than working.
Vron, Tara & Harley. (The black beastie)

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John

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« Reply #42 on: February 25, 2007, 16:48 »
You can get organic slug pellets although someone on here said they weren't wildlife safe they are supposed to be.

Using growmore means you're not organic in the strict sense of the word, but personally I think moderation in all things - even being organic.  

A really interesting comment from Medwyn Williams (chair of the National Vegetable Society) was on the lines of "To win the show you need to use systemic pesticides, but obviously don't use them on things you intend to eat"

Muppet

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« Reply #43 on: March 06, 2007, 09:13 »
I'm pathetically organic... :oops: , as in I wander about removing worms whilst digging, and um... er.... helping snails get outta the way...  :roll:  :lol:

I've been organic for about 5 years? And It seems to have finally levelled off where there's enough wildlife to eat each other!  :shock:  :D

Thrushes are sorting out snails ( I can't look...!) Gawd knows what's eaten the whitefly and to be honest, even when I had loads of whitefly, didn't stop the veg growing and still tasted ok.... wonderful, in fact!

As to caterpillars, well, I lie to the kids about that, not sure how long they'll fall for it mind you.. I take them to the plot and say "These caterpillars have bout 10 mins to live before I go around squishing them.." :evil:  :lol:  And the kids race around in a mad panic collecting them and "freeing" them into the hedgerow.... 8)  :wink:

andyh4

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« Reply #44 on: March 06, 2007, 11:04 »
Quote from: "Muppet"
As to caterpillars, well, I lie to the kids about that, not sure how long they'll fall for it mind you.. I take them to the plot and say "These caterpillars have bout 10 mins to live before I go around squishing them.." :evil:  :lol:  And the kids race around in a mad panic collecting them and "freeing" them into the hedgerow.... 8)  :wink:


Most caterpillers are species specific regarding their food, so taking a cabbage white of the brassicas and leaving it in the hawthorn means either:
1.  It's going to find its way back to the brassicas                 or
2.  It dies slowly through starvation.

Better not tell the kids they have been responsible for the insect equivalent of genocide.
Andy



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