Bunny
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Location: Jacksonville, FL

Organic Gardening for Beginners

I've been eating organics for about 2 years now, and my children and I are ready to grow our own. What are some good plants to start with? And what do I need to do to my soil to make it "organic?"

opabinia51
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Location: Victoria, BC

We have tonnes of information in the organic forum here. And there are several articles in the website as well.

But, organic means no synthetic chemicals. So, cease and desist with any synthetic fertilizer use and any and all use of herbicides, pesticides, insecticides, fungicides, microbicides and so on.

Any plant can be grown organically. This is what happens in nature and plants have been growing throughout the history of time without human intervention. What you want to do is mimic what happens in nature. So, lay mulched up leaves over your beds with manures,and othe greens to build up your soil. (Lots of information on soil building in these threads)

Plant companion plants with your plants (there is a thread on that). Also, plant plants that will attract beneficial insects and other invertebrates. Also, plant plants that will attract birds that will also eat pest (and beneficials).

In organics, we want to strive for balance.

Bunny
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Location: Jacksonville, FL

I guess my question would be do you have to take out the soil that you have and replace it with a special kind of soil? We just bought an older house. I don't know what has been in the soil. I want my food to have just as high of quality that I've been getting at the health food store.

Sabrina

opabinia51
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There is no such thing as a special kind of soil. Soil itself starts off with either sand or clay. In actuality, clay is the best medium to start off with but, I digress. After the starting medium, organic (carbon containing molecules) are added in the form of greens (plant parts, animal parts, manure and so on) and browns ( In nature: leaves, wood, etc and at home we some times add newspaper but, no colour articles).

I wouldn't remove any soil, just build it up with the good stuff. A lot of synthetics will actually react chemically with added ammendments such as mulched leaves and further improve your soil. Even really nasty herbicides like methyl bromide will react with carbon molecules and therefore be alleviated. But, the point is to not use synthetics and to employ the methods that I have described above.

With the methods that I have outlined above, Your plants will grow like you have never seen (my corn is nine feet tall this year with no herbivory and lovely fruit) and the fruits and vegetables will have flavour that you could not even describe.

But, what you buy in the health food store has probably been selected because it looks the nicest. Not all organically grown foods look the greatest but, they are incredibly nutritious and have amazing flavour. A little bit of insect herbivory is not a problem and organic farmers put up with this and try different things to prevent herbivory.

Bunny
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Location: Jacksonville, FL

That is so great to know! Do you recommend and plants for the fall besides pumpkins. I'm in Florida, so it's still in the high 90's and will be for at least the rest of the month.

opabinia51
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Try pming GREY (one of our moderators), she is initially from Florida but, now lives in Georgia. Anyway, she'll have a better idea about what plants to grow down there.

And anyone who lives down in Florida, be sure to add your knowledge!

Newt
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Location: Maryland zone 7

Bunny, the Florida Extension Service has some good info that you should find helpful. You'll have to click around so here's their main page to start.
https://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/

Crops:
https://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/agriculture/crops/

Vegetables and herbs:
https://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/agriculture/crops/vegetables/index.html

Organic production:
https://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/agriculture/organic.html

I'm sure they will have recommended planting times as well.

Happy munching!
Newt

Anonymous

Organic gardening

I have found that the best tip for organic gardening is to use the very best compost. I have had really amazing results using a colloidal humus compost. I thought that it would be complicated to use this type of composting method when I first learned about it, but it is actually the easiest composting method that I have come across. Using a colloidal humus compost also eliminates many other gardening problems as well because it creates strong and vibrant plants. It has really made my organic gardening easier than I ever imagined.

regbrand
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Re: Organic gardening

Anonymous wrote: but it is actually the easiest composting method that I have come across. Using a colloidal humus compost
How do you go about making colloidal humus compost? Never heard of it before today.

Gardener Don
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Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 2:05 pm
Location: Southern Illinois, zone 5b

colloidal humus is a fancy name for material broken down in a compost pile, whether it is grass, manures, veggies, etc;. Just be sure you turn the pile frequently or it will tend to mat and rot.

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