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

Organic Gardener, Chemical Gardener or in between?

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Rob the rake

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« Reply #75 on: November 25, 2007, 02:04 »
While I'm on I might as well give you my take on organic growing,and what goes on to my bit of England.

No chemical bug sprays, only home made repellents made from natural ingredients(nettles,comfrey,seaweed,chillies,garlic). Physical barriers.
No slug pellets, only barrier methods plus "slug juice"(dead slugs in a bucket of water left to ferment and watered around target plants-works a treat). Old tiles left around the garden provide sluggy hiding places where they can be regularly collected and disposed of. The "stalker" method, with head-torch,kebab skewer and bucket on damp evenings.
A pond is planned for next year, complete with frogs.

No chemical fertilisers.

Every compostable piece of waste from home and garden goes in my row of bins. "Recycled tea" used as an activator!

Herbs and annuals are grown as attractors for beneficial insects.
I use companion planting where possible. Vast amounts of marigolds and tagetes are used as edging plants on most beds.

I have used glyphosate in the past to get rampant bindweed in check, and to help clear a neglected plot, but have read into its effects in some detail recently and will NEVER use it again. It can persist in clay soils for over two years, and is biodegraded at a snail's pace.

I try to attract plenty of songbirds to the garden, by providing nesting boxes, water and food. I have only recently moved to my present plot though and the soil was first priority. This coming year I'll concentrate more on keeping my feathered friends happy. I'll also be making some bug boxes for lacewings,solitary bees and ladybirds.

I do my level best to keep things natural, and am lucky enough to have immediate neighbours who garden using similar principles.

That's how I do it. I'm not saying that everyone should,each to their own,but if you use lots of chemicals then you may as well buy your veg from the supermarket,where you get these added for free(IMHO!).

Rob :D
« Last Edit: March 05, 2010, 20:17 by peapod »
A calloused palm and dirty fingernails precede a Green Thumb.



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« Reply #76 on: November 25, 2007, 09:44 »
now that I've had the allotment for a bit, I feel that I can say what method is best for me and why.

For clearing a plot, I'll use roundup, for reasons of time and practicality. if you want to get a plot going in a reasonable time and with very limited environmental impact, use it. So, roundup then dig up the dead weeds then rotovate it (several times).

For maintaining a plot, I weed by hand and dig. If a patch of ground isn't going to be used for a while, I'll clear it then cover with plastic.

I haven't used an insecticide yet and have no plans on doing so, (apart from making ones from garlic and aspirin). If we have another slug problem like last year, I'll use pellets, but otherwise just squish em.
In terms of fertilizer, I'll use anything, straight chemical or completely organic. I haven't the luxury of stables nearby or a car. If the site gets a delivery of horse manure, I'll use that. I have 2 compost bins and I need to make another.

For me, it's not really about the 'avoidance of herbicide residues' I think this is nebulous apart from gross contamination - it's about having the freshest possible produce. It's impossible to buy potatoes earthed up an hour ago for dinner. Then there's the ecological considerations transporting them there. I cycle to and from the plot :)



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« Reply #77 on: January 24, 2008, 10:05 »
I have never used chemicals on my fruit or veg ( and I have a phd in chemistry -- a little knowledge is very dangerous!!!). I will admit to using slug pellets in the flower garden near the deliphiniums, I also use beer traps, egg shell barriers, and sending the children out to squish them with torches in their pyjamas , I have the worlds largest population of slugs ( so as I say the pellets are a last resort and not used in the veg garden).
A British Gardener Abroad



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« Reply #78 on: March 05, 2008, 17:57 »
Hi John,

I try to be as organic as i can but i still use manure on my plot. My neighbour is totally organic he does not use manure at all as he is convinced that there is all sorts of chemicals in that the horses have been fed.



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« Reply #79 on: March 12, 2008, 12:28 »
I try to be organic, but usually give up once or twice a year (I've never managed two consecutive years without using something I shouldn't have).  In my previous house, it was red ants - we stopped counting at 40 nests in the lawn the year we moved in!  This year, I'm thinking possibly slugs will get on top of me, as they're going strong already.  Also, I was given some ordinary tomato fertiliser by a neighbour clearing their shed, and it seems better to use it than to try to dispose of it safely.



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« Reply #80 on: March 17, 2008, 12:28 »
Hi John,  I will try to be organic however I won't think twice of nuking slugs with pellets if they get too much. Have used beer in the past which was very effective, really depends on how many slugs I get.

Have only started my veg patch this year and am still at the breaking up the soil and waiting for it to warm abit stage before I put my tatties, beetroot and peas in.  Will let you know how I get on.



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« Reply #81 on: March 21, 2008, 23:53 »
I hate the use of any chemicals but over the past year of becoming a gardener as a job I have found the weeds grow ten feet tall before I've gotten to them.  I try to dig them all up if I can but they do get the better of me.  I know that my boss tends to just use it willy nilly really and I'd prefer to just use it when it is absolutely necessary, especially with things such as bindweed which takes over quite viciously (plants die because of this weed).  It is a toughy though I have to admit.  My personal feeling is I'd prefer to be organic but it is not always practical.  I really wish that it was as I worry about plants and wildlife being effected.



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« Reply #82 on: March 30, 2008, 22:44 »
in my view , a plot keper can use fertilisers from a farm etc, can used herbicides to give him that edge on the weeds etc , as long as the plot keeper doesnt realy on the artifial fertilisers and herbicides instead of natural ways such as companion planting , composting etc etc etc



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« Reply #83 on: April 29, 2008, 11:27 »
Everything in the world is a chemical- it just depends on where it comes from. My bugbear is phosphate fertilizer and, as part of what i do, see both sides of its origin. I am convinced that 'CHEMICAL' PHOSPHATE IS LESS ENVIRONMENTALLY DAMAGING THAN 'NATURAL'. The reason is that most 'natural' is from fishmeal, and the majority of this is from targetted fishing for sandeel, anchovy etc, which is causing vast damage to marine ecosystems. 'Chemical' phosphate is also from fish, only they died millions of years ago and are now phosphate rock. This is quarried (exposing vast numbers of fossils as a byproduct!) and then converted to superphosphate on site. Over half comes from Morocco, where I study the fossil sharks. I would rather use long dead fish than destroy shoals of living ones.




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« Reply #84 on: May 24, 2008, 12:37 »
Recent News:

I dont know if yo uguys are aware, but basically China( being the major producer) is limiting the export of many mineral agrochemicals, and as such the price of various chemicals such as Sulphate of Potash and Sulphate of Ammonia is rocketing - the latter has doubled in price in the last 3 months. As a result city speculators are making it worse by gambling on agrochemical futures.

Another problem is with bark chips (i use them at the bottom of pots for drainage and to open up composts), but China is also buying up all the trees from Norway/Scandinavia/Finland, so as a result millions of trees that would have come to the UK and turned into timber and bark chips isnt coming, so as you can guess, the price of bark chips and timber is also rocketing. Also, the Irish have built a Power Station that burns...........bark chips. :(



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« Reply #85 on: June 07, 2008, 13:01 »
Quote from: "Hazel"
I do try to be organic wherever possible,I think we need to try and get our plant back.as a child I remember all my dad's veggies had a Taste to them I think is lost now adays. Hazel

I hope it was not the DDT they used to use.

Sadly, our taste buds 'go' as we get older, like eye sight, hearing - need I go on? It is a scientific fact, often we think things tasted better. When we used to be able to taste better.

It has to be admitted that we can not buy better tasting than the truly fresh from our pick it and eat it, grown at home.
If it rots compost it
If it burns burn it
If it is chocolate eat it



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« Reply #86 on: June 11, 2008, 14:21 »
I am as organic as I can be, but will use herbicides on things like bindweed and use artificial fertilizers where required.

Don't get me wrong, I am not adverse to digging in a couple of tons of horse manure, and as this season ends I am going to try green manures. But will use stuff like growmore and tomato feeds.

At the end of the day, it all chemicals in a certain percentage, just from a different source.



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« Reply #87 on: July 06, 2008, 16:07 »
I haven't voted as there isn't an option which quite covers 'me' - a combination of a few of them might do the job...

"I think organics is good in theory, I am pretty organic and so far I have avoided using herbicides and pesticides, and will avoid doing so as far as possible, unless I absolutely have to. I have however just realised that my tomato feed isn't certified organic, but the sky hasn't fallen in yet."

Hmmm, I guess that I'm just being a bit fussy over the polling options and that really is just number 2 on the list (I am pretty organic but sometimes use artificial fertilisers) so I'll go back and vote for that!


Organic...so far!



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« Reply #88 on: July 09, 2008, 21:10 »
im all for organic its tasts much better
free heating in winter



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« Reply #89 on: July 14, 2008, 22:09 »
Hiya Folks,

Would love to go all organic on my two allotments but ...

I lack the time to pick up all the slugs, snails, caterpillars, black-fly etc from all my produce by hand - and one at a time, too. And if I did have the time where would I put them: on my neighbours plots? Should I drown them? But that wouldn't be nice either. A garden path flame thrower weed killer might do the trick - nah it would cook my runner beans before they reached the pot.

Just kidding - but the above are indeed a problem for all of us who don't like to kill those little pests - me included. But there are time when I have to admit defeat and out come the little blue pellets and black-fly spray. I've had to use the spay this year because they seem to be really loving this cool, windy, sunless summer. I almost lost all my runner beans this year -they were massed in them, really, really badly.
I look after my plots: weed them, keep them as tidy as I can but if you have allotment neighbours who don't because they haven't the time then my and your plots get invaded by their rampant pests.

Can anyone tell me why the slugs on my allotment are far bigger than the ones at home?  :lol:

May Love Light and Laughter be yours.


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