Which plant does better MG or organic?

Miracle Grow
19%
5
Organic
81%
22
 
Total votes: 27
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Ozark Lady
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*cough* stands up...
I confess, I can not kill a seedling that I planted on purpose. I may move it many times, but use scissors to snip it off... I can't. :(

It may be in the weirdest excuse for a pot, but I won't snip it off!

Is there hope for me, doc? -helpsos-
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Dixana
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I don't think we need help, I think more people should be like us plant loving gardeners and the world will be a better place.
Though I am beginning to realize how much more attached I am to my self seeded plants.
I might cry come fall when I cut them all off and return to staring at brown dirt.........do any winter crops grow in WI-zone 4?

I should also comment, organic peppers is doing better and starting to grow more nicely since I dug it out and redid the soil. There is a such thing as too much of a good thing (mushroom compost does not drain for squat)

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Zone 4 you could plant parsnips and leave them over the winter to sweeten. But I'm not sure how much of anything could grow with the ground solid and snow on top.

Toil
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Ozark Lady wrote:*cough* stands up...
I confess, I can not kill a seedling that I planted on purpose. I may move it many times, but use scissors to snip it off... I can't. :(

It may be in the weirdest excuse for a pot, but I won't snip it off!

Is there hope for me, doc? -helpsos-
well if you are moving the pants you obviously are organizing and conserving, and not hoarding.

lol its about a third of gardeners I think, and about 90% of new gardeners. I remember the first time I thinned, and it just felt so wrong. Like, I paid for those seeds, man! Sometimes I wonder why they bother with the spacing recommendations on seed packets and websites. Once I started doing it I realized it was not so bad, and that you can eat many of the shoots (not tomatoes, that will definitely make you sick). From peas to rutabaga to little radish greens and lettuce, it's all very tasty.

like HG said, if you have different species growing together, it can be very close. Then, you have less thinning to worry about.

I'm fiddling with seedballs now, and it seems to me that is a great way to sowing with less thinning. You decide when you make the seedballs how dense you want the seeds, and then again when you chuck them. You can also combine species so they are automatically together. Plus the ants don't steal your seeds so much (although ants stealing seeds is cool to watch.

OL, why not start with the weeds? Like a helpful annual weed that normally chokes things when left alone. I've tried it this season with the lamb's quarters. They get much bigger than I'm used to seeing there, and they seem to fend off mugwort and such. But without thinning, they look stressed and they grow slow. Purple deadnettle has been even better at fighting mugwort, and it is very beautiful IMO. But if you are moving them, you know it's about spacing already. I would just mention that pulling them out to move them is a disturbance you could reduce easily if you wanted.

I snip now, and I leave the "carcass" right on the ground where it was growing.
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There's a lot of us gardeners that need to stand up at the Plantaholics Anonymous meeting... :lol:

But not me. I'm good. I can quit plants anytime I want... :lol:

HG
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Ozark Lady
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Lamb's quarters I know.

I read about them, so I pursued them until I got them.
Now they are the noxious weeds to me. But, my goats love them.
I do pull alot of weeds for the goats.

I need to go google mugwort, I have no clue what it is.
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Mugwort is an artemisia [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemisia_vulgaris]A. vulgaris[/url]), that like the majority of the genus can be rather invasive... the weed is a non-native invasive...

Lambsquarters ([url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chenopodium_album]Chenopodium album[/url]) seems to be a circumboreal found nearly everywhere, and it's exact origins are unclear, but Jared Diamond notes it as the mast food source for the natives of the Northeast before the arrival of corn (about 650-800 years ago). Native enough for me, and I trust the good doctors archeobotany more than the Wiki.

Purselane ([url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portulaca_oleracea]Portulaca oleracea[/url]) is likewise a circumboreal with a spotty past and questions as to its native status; it has certainly been here a long time, and seems to predate Columbus, so I'll settle for native there as well...

The mugwort is noted as the wormwood of abisinthe fame, so the nervous damage noted with the liquer can be assumed to go along with the herb; I wouldn't eat tons of it. And the oxalin in the purselane is a noted contributor to kidneystones, so easy on that, too. But I've been eating lambsquarters by the pound and loving it; toil if you crop them with a sickle, leaving some lower leaves, they resprout and branch, allowing the little ones around them to fill in. Works great.

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Ozark Lady wrote:*cough* stands up...
I confess, I can not kill a seedling that I planted on purpose. I may move it many times, but use scissors to snip it off... I can't. :(

It may be in the weirdest excuse for a pot, but I won't snip it off!

Is there hope for me, doc? -helpsos-
lol the more comment of yourse I read the more I wounder if we were sister separated at birth (and changed skin tones along to way lol) I snip only if I have to for the best of the strong of the two (and if I can't salvage the extra) But mostly I will take the extra plants and offer them to friends and family and if they don't want it I'll offer it free on CL or freecycle, and if THEY don't want it then I finally give in and stick it someplace it will be happier. lol :roll: Me and my stinkin green thumbs... the DH had to put in a whole new bed this spring for all my left over's lol.
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Ah good tip hg. Thanks!
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gixxerific
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The Helpful Gardener wrote:There's a lot of us gardeners that need to stand up at the Plantaholics Anonymous meeting... :lol:

But not me. I'm good. I can quit plants anytime I want... :lol:

HG
the first step is admission, we can help you through it. :lol:

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I can't believe it,
I've been pulling lambs quarter for decades....
Never thought it could be eaten.
I have some small ones in the garden now.
Looks like a meal in a couple weeks.

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Yeah, it's funny how many "weeds" are good food. I am leading a weed walk tomorrow (fundraiser for purchasing an organic farm as a teaching center) where we will be talking about purselane and dock and orache and jewelweed and a bunch of stuff you have been weeding when you could have just been munching...

Eat the weeds!

HG
Last edited by The Helpful Gardener on Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Jewelweed? The stuff with the hollow stems that when cut ooze a fluid that is soothing for poison ivy? Not something it would have ever occurred to me to eat. What part of it is edible and is actually something anyone would ENJOY eating or just that you can eat it and nothing bad happens?
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Enjoyment is a relative term and I will not subject anyone to my interpretations, but you can eat the whole plant up until about six inches tall; after that the stems get tough (fairly high mineral contents are healthy, but chewy). After that I take just leaves. Best as a cooked green; steam for five minutes, butter, salt and pepper to taste...

And I have never seen MG weeds; certainly organic... :lol:

HG
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I kind of wonder about the theory of crowded tomatoes producing the same amount of tomatoes as fewer plants, but more widely spaced.

I read of a study that was done on a commercial tomato farm overseas and they took three or four patches and planted each one with a different spacing of tomatoes: 1 ft., 18 in., 2 ft. (well something to that effect).

They then looked at the yield (in tons, of course) and found that the patch with the further spacing had the most tomatoes per plant, but the lowest yield overall. On the other hand, the plot with the closest spacing had the lowest yield per plant, but the highest overall. Now, this tells me that you get more tomatoes off the extra plants you squeeze in than you loose from lowered production on each plant.
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Dixana
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I think that study would need to be repeated several times over many years, and with different varieties in order to be proven true.
I had three plants last year and got about two five gallon buckets of toms from just those plants. They were 18 inches apart in their own bed (with some flowers) behind the house. Lots of people had squat for toms last year as the season just wasn't great.
So many variables take place in growing tomatoes, it's hard to justify how or why some plants do well and some don't. Water, fertilizer, light, soil quality, disease, etc all factor in somewhere and you can repeat the exact same process year after year and get a different result every time.

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i stand corrected!

... for tomatoes.


not for almost everything else though.

Thanks G5. Now I got some new knowledge.

Now the question mutates - If we look at those same tomatoes, and compare tight spacing with polyculture, not just over one season but over 100 seasons, what do you think we would get then?
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G5, that is just from plants that have the same nutritional needs and like root systems...

What if we start using different plants with say, shallower root sytems? Completely different nutritional needs? Now we can shoehorn crops together even closer...

Check [url=https://www.dervaesgardens.com/]THIS[/url] out...

SIX tons of food every year on a tenth of an acre!

Amazing! Try that, monocultural row cropping farmers...

HG
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It is totally awesome and amazing, but you don't need to exaggerate to make it so! :)

"The yard has over 350 varieties of edible and useful plants and now grows over 6,000 pounds (3 tons) of produce annually"

3 tons not 6 tons. Still .1 acre is 4356 square feet. They are producing over 3 tons of food from a garden about 50' by 90' awesome!

Of course it is southern california, meaning they are growing things year around, but it is way cool that they can do that.
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Oops, :oops: .

Sorry RBG, I really did know that and just brainfarted...

But they feed themselves almost entirely (dips to a low of 65% efficiency in winter (such as it is in SoCal :roll: ), and have enough left to supply restaurants and still offer up produce for sale to the general public!

Ya gotta be impressed... 8) This is the power of polyculture...

HG
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The Helpful Gardener wrote:G5, that is just from plants that have the same nutritional needs and like root systems...

What if we start using different plants with say, shallower root sytems? Completely different nutritional needs? Now we can shoehorn crops together even closer...

Check [url=https://www.dervaesgardens.com/]THIS[/url] out...

SIX tons of food every year on a tenth of an acre!

Amazing! Try that, monocultural row cropping farmers...

HG
I wasn't just trying to prove ya wrong, Toil; I was mostly just throwing out my findings and wondering what anyone had to say about it.

How can you get the plants even closer together if you introduce different varieties? Are you talking about being able to put the two varieties closer together than being able to put the same varieties closer together? This is probably just a simple concept that I'm just not getting for some dumb reason.

Thanks.
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Yeah, think about the 3 sisters as a classic polyculture eg. beans and corn and squash all grown together. You need to space the corn stalks at least a foot apart and say three feet between rows. If all you are growing is corn, a 10'x 10' bed produces say around 30 corn plants. Now you grow the 3 sisters together, plant bean plants growing up the corn and squash vines wandering through all the spaces between the corn stalks. Now the same 10x10 bed produces the same 30 corn plants AND a bunch of beans AND some squash.

Key is planting together things that use different parts of the space, say root crops and fruiting crops, tall things and low things. And nitrogen fixers like the beans are always good to have in the mix, so that not everything is competing for the same nutrients.
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INdeed, RBG!

HG
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Yeah, think about the 3 sisters as a classic polyculture eg. beans and corn and squash all grown together.
This year I did much research before planting. I planted the 3 sisters together. (I did summer squashes on one side and melons and pumpkins on the other) Only I read in several books and magazines that if plant 5x5 blocks of corn that are planted 6" apart with pole beans spaced 6" apart. you'll get both better pollination (for the corn) and better fertilization (from the beans for the corn). I also read that sunflowers and dill are a deterrent for some pests that affect corn,(and an attractant to their enemies :twisted: ) so I alternated blocks of corn and sunflowers. I just planted like 5 or six dill plants randomly So here's what I did, and so far so good. Here's what it looked like 3 weeks ago.
[img]https://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac153/LindsayArthurRTR/gardenandhousestuff053.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac153/LindsayArthurRTR/gardenandhousestuff050.jpg[/img]
I planted my succession plantings on the other side and alternated blocks of squash and sunflowers. It's cramped, but all is well. The pole beans have tons of beans(not as many as my 2 rows of bush beans :D ) The corn has grown as high as me, 5'8" :) and they have tassles growing and, they are starting to form cobs :) . I have also noticed that before the beans REALLY started growing, my corn was starting to fall over with the winds and storms we've been having. Now that the beans are off and running (EVERYWHERE :shock: ) they seem to be giving the corn some stability as well. And the blocks of sunflowers...HOLY edited :shock: ! How tall are these things gonna get?! No heads on them yet :( but they are prolly at least 8-9 feet tall!
Here's what it looks like today :D !
[img]https://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac153/LindsayArthurRTR/gardenandhousestuff147.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac153/LindsayArthurRTR/gardenandhousestuff146.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac153/LindsayArthurRTR/gardenandhousestuff145.jpg[/img][/img]

EDIT: I never got anything that looked like this with MG :roll: :wink:
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OK, I get it now. I guess I have done this before as I have gown basil in-between my tomatoes. Say, I wonder if beans wouldn't work out trellised on tomato plants?
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THAT'S what I'm talking about Lindsay! :clap: And your thinking about intercropping another plant guild in between for more control is inspired. You are my new hero; GREAT job!

And of course you never got anything like this with MG because you never thought about it; the chemical way never thinks, just sprays, kills, and doesn't even ask the questions afterwards, let alone before. You used your best gardening tool; your brain! I am so proud of you!

Lindsay gets a gold star, and a whole bunch of healthy fruits and veggies. Y'all pay attention; this is how you do it...

:D

G5, try the zucchini in between the maters; keeps down the weeds and doesn't compete. An old Italian polyculture...

You all make me happy to be here... all this teaching and learning and sharing...I'm getting teary...

HG
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LOL :oops: :lol: Shucks! Thank you very much! I am so very proud of it!
G5, try the zucchini in between the maters; keeps down the weeds and doesn't compete. An old Italian polyculture...
If I had squash between my maters, I wouln't be able to get to the stuff to harvest.

Other than weed smothering, is there any other kind of relationship between the two?

I have collard greens between my "may-moes" cause I read they repel each other's pests. I think I read in M.E.N. that the combination can reduce pests in each by up to 40%. Not sure how accurate that is... :roll: but I did it anyway :D
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Yeah Lindsay I use raised rows so there is always access, more surface area (raised rows have sides) and I never need to till again (EVER!)

We should talk sometime...

M.E.N. ?

HG
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LindsayArthurRTR
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Sorry, Mother Earth News.

I am already thinkin about raised rows. Just a matter of getting the materials to do it. I started from fresh this year, so I pretty much had to till. I have done a lot of reading about layered gardening, and I'm thinking of experimenting with that too. Again, materials are the problem.

I would love to chat. Hit me up on facebook. Link is in my signature.
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You really don't need materials to make raised rows/mounds. All you need to do is get a metal rake or even a shovel and rake dirt up into the rows from the areas you plan on walking in and voila, raised rows.

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Right on Dec!

See, Lindsay if you use boards or cinder blocks or rocks or what ever, you have increased depth but not surface area...

By simply mounding and covering with a green or hay mulch, now you have sides where you can plant lettuce, basil, onions, marigolds (to help with nematodes) or whatever else, adding more root mass, which helps hold soil, and adds lots more carbon to your soil... no more tilling (I just stick a manure fork and gently 'lift' the soil in spring before planting) means less weeds, less gassing off of carbon and richer soils (Roots are the most carbon intense part of any plant and I just cut plants flush insterad of pulling out roots).

Studies have shown that roots of new plants will follow the channels left by old decomposing roots every time, given a chance. And added carbon means higher Cation Exchange Capacities, a fancy way of saying that the soil holds more nutrients (carbon is dark, which is why rich dark soils grow better plants).

And it's less work...

So raised no till beds are easier, better for the plants, better for the soil, and better for the planet (or your back, depending on how you till). And mounded instead of sided means more space and less money. Cool, huh?

HG
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Very :wink: Might have a problem finding organic hay. Can you use straw?
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Yeah straw is actually preferable... (no seeds) 8)

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Doesn't straw actually take some nitrogen as it breaks down? I thought that's why hay was preferred because it was a "green" mulch that added nutrients.

Zucchini in the tomatoes.....brilliant! Say, how far apart do the toms have to be spaced to do that? At least 3 ft between plants, wouldn't you say?
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Straw is a high nitrogen and actually imparts nitrogen as it bereaks down unlike a higher carbon item that takes more bacteria to break it down, therefore using more nitrogen (don't forget that bacteria are high nitrogen items at 5:1 C:N).

Sure fungi does most of the break down for wood but they are producing ammonium which is pretty high nitrogen itself and needs bacteria to break down to plant soluble forms of N for our row crops and such (woodland plants have adapted to use ammonium...)

HG
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The Helpful Gardener wrote:Straw is a high nitrogen and actually imparts nitrogen as it bereaks down unlike a higher carbon item that takes more bacteria to break it down, therefore using more nitrogen (don't forget that bacteria are high nitrogen items at 5:1 C:N).

Sure fungi does most of the break down for wood but they are producing ammonium which is pretty high nitrogen itself and needs bacteria to break down to plant soluble forms of N for our row crops and such (woodland plants have adapted to use ammonium...)

HG


Thanks for the tip. I guess I got some bad info when I heard that straw was high-carbon.

Anyway, I'd better save my question for the permaculture forum as this thread's getting a little off-topic.

Any new updates on the experiment, Dix?
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Good point, G5, and apologies to OP... I'm incorrigible... :oops:

Well, we can chalk this up to a discussion of the intricacies of the organic method, but we'd just be making excuses...

Have we any updates, Dix?

HG
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My neighbor's MG tomatoes are twice the size of my organic ones and thicker, too. However, mine have just as many flowers as theirs do, so I guess you could say that the MG affects the stem and leave growth more so than the fruit growth.
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Right G5, as Fukuoka-sensei used to tell folk when they asked after his half sized rice plants "I am not interested in growing leaves"... his yields were still every bit of his neighbors, and better tasting and better for you...

Hai, sensei... 8)

HG
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It's chilly and has been raining FOREVER, yet that stinkin MG plant keeps growing like a weed. BUT the organic plant is not as yellow and wilty from the weather so HA Miracle Grow.
No pictures right now. The backyard kind of needs to be mowed :oops: and it's really wet so until it dries out some (meaning next week by looks at the forecast) I'm not getting soaked feet/pants. (Yep it is that bad shame on me for spending the two dry days on the back of the bike with my hubby :D)



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