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Vorguen
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buying non-organic plants

Okay, I'm trying to start my garden and I'm serious about organic gardening.. Unfortunately the only nurseries locally do not sell organic plants..

I'm afraid of what they put on them, how do I know what they were grown with? Also, if things were grown using some level of pesticides or fertilizers, how much and how long will the chemicals affect the plant? Especially if its true that they will even leech into the fruits themselves..

Will eventually they be chemical free if I treat organically??

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applestar
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While it IS possible to find organically grown nursery stock, they can be expensive.

For trees and shrubs, I've decided to go with bareroot stock. This way, I don't have to worry about what might be in the soil, and even if they used systemic pesticides, it will be limited to what is in the plant matter and will be metabolized out as it grows, most likely before they are fruit bearing age.

Along the same line of thought, I bought bareroot strawberry plants. Fungicide was my main worry there, but decided to treat with AACT foliar spray and soil drench and hope for the best.

I buy organic seed potatoes and onion sets, and grow sweet potato slips from store-bought organic potatoes.

I grow most of my own seedlings, and try to buy organic seeds as much as possible. I have on occasion bought herb plants from a local herb farm that does not use chemicals.

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applestar
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BTW -- you can always ask what they used. I decided to be pragmatic and chose not to worry beyond what I could relatively easily control.

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Vorguen
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applestar wrote:While it IS possible to find organically grown nursery stock, they can be expensive.

For trees and shrubs, I've decided to go with bareroot stock. This way, I don't have to worry about what might be in the soil, and even if they used systemic pesticides, it will be limited to what is in the plant matter and will be metabolized out as it grows, most likely before they are fruit bearing age.

Along the same line of thought, I bought bareroot strawberry plants. Fungicide was my main worry there, but decided to treat with AACT foliar spray and soil drench and hope for the best.

I buy organic seed potatoes and onion sets, and grow sweet potato slips from store-bought organic potatoes.

I grow most of my own seedlings, and try to buy organic seeds as much as possible. I have on occasion bought herb plants from a local herb farm that does not use chemicals.
Big words for a newbie gardener lol

Okay let's see...

I live in a small town so selection is minimal, organicly grown might be hard to find.

Also, what is bareroot? As in not in a pot roots in the air? Wouldn't it be harder to find this and more expensive? Is this safe in terms of transplanting etc?

Also what's AACT foil spray and soil drench? Does soil drench mean watering a lot?

Lastly, what are potato slits? And do you just buy a potato and stick it in the ground? O_O


I know the questions are coming across as unintelligent but gardening is overwhelming and I'm trying to learn, treat the earth well and get its fruits in return (literally lol)

Thanks in advance :) :)

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rainbowgardener
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Everyone has to start somewhere and I applaud your concern to start by caring for the earth. Lots of people start with the kind of chemical gardening that is advertised on TV all the time and only later realize what they are doing.


AACT is aerated activated compost tea. There is a whole huge thread about it in the Compost section.

Yes, bareroot is as it sounds, plants that come without soil. It is probably harder to find at local stores, but typical if you order on-line and not more expensive.


You can just buy a grocery potato and store it until the eyes start sprouting. Then you cut it apart into chunks, each with a couple sprouted eyes and plant those.

For veggies, I start everything from seed myself. For shrubs/ perennials, I buy bareroot, but haven't really worried too much about organically grown. I figure they are going to be organically grown after they are in my garden, they can't really bring too much bad stuff with them. Probably I should be more careful, just in terms of supporting the whole chem industry....
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applestar
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What you do not know AACT? :> JK
I think it's great that you want to learn and believe me you are in the right place. :wink:

Here is more than you ever wanted to know about AACT in [url=https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=17097]a giant but full of great info thread[/url].

Bareroot plants are dormant, usually field grown plants that have been dug up and roots completely washed off. They can handle winter shipping conditions but not warmth and are usually shipped at the right time for planting in late fall/early winter or late winter/early spring afer the ground thaws. -- which, it now occurs to me maybe difficult for you to obtain where you are. And by this I mean, yes, you could get them on-line from northern nurseries but in-transit thermal conditions may not be optimum and your climate at arrival maybe way beyond normal for bud breaking. I have no idea how that would translate in terms of successful planting.

Sweet potato "slips" are growing shoots pulled off from the potatoes and planted. They are like cuttings but I think are called slips because you slip them off the potato rather than cut them off. My understanding is that the bit of attached surrounding skin tissue promotes rooting, though sweet potato cuttings root very easily so I'm not sure about that.

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Many bare root plants are held in cold storage to keep dormant. They are shipped to your location at proper timing.

Eric

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Vorguen
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Would I be able to ship bareroot plants during the winter? We get winters that stay in the 40's quite often and drop to mid 30's sometimes and rarely but sometimes hit right at freezing


Also thanks for all the information, interesting thing I did is I accidently snapped a small limb off one of my basils and it had a few baby leaves... It couldn't have been more than 3/4 of an inch big and I stuck it back in the soil and it seems to be making it very well



Thanks for the tips in growing organic potatoes :) :)


My biggest goal though is to start a large fruit garden and I don't know If its possible to grow the same way with fruits? I heard when I was young that fruit seeds die during refrigeration and that most fruits in grocery stores have seeds that aren't alive anymore... Which might even be a wive's tale (considering my mother told me LOL) and that I once planted a papaya tree when I was 10 by grabbing a handful of seeds from the papaya my mom bought and put the seeds in the ground. I never actually took care of it either, I forgot about it and several years later I was like "what's growing off this random tree... HOLY COW THATS A PAPAYA" lol


Anyway my biggest concern is I don't understand fruit types and seeds, I heard most seeds from a grocery store organic fruit will give a different variation of the same fruit that normally doesn't taste as good... And I want to try to understand all this, is there any research anyone has bumped into to understand this?


My best friend's neighbor has an orange tree in his front yard, let me tell you, those have got to be the nastiest oranges I've ever eaten in my life.
Haha

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Vorguen
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Hey, I did quite a bit of searching through that and it doesn't tell me much about what I'm looking for or my region (way south texas).

also I am still trying to figure out and understand what seeds of fruits I can use and how to know if the fruit that comes out of that seed will be the same as the one I planted..

Anyone know? Or anyone have any resources I can use to find out?

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There are few, if any, fruits I would plant from seed. Fruit takes a long time and a lot of care to grow so really, in the long run, it's probably cheaper AND easier to buy or order plants. You can figure out what grows best in your area by finding your hardiness zone then looking up "fruit for zone blank" A good place to start anyway.
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Vorguen
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Hardiness zone? What exactly is that? I heard about the zones that are about winter temperature survival

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There are also heat index zones. Check these links:
https://www.ahs.org/pdfs/05_heat_map.pdf

https://www.gardeningplaces.com/heatzonemap/index.htm
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Vorguen wrote:Would I be able to ship bareroot plants during the winter? We get winters that stay in the 40's quite often and drop to mid 30's sometimes and rarely but sometimes hit right at freezing
V, as in shipped to you, or are you thinking of shipping to others? I'm thinking its the first, and will answer as such. Most mail order arborists will either ask for a prefferd delivery, or will listen to your needs. They do try to ship in your season.
My biggest goal though is to start a large fruit garden and I don't know If its possible to grow the same way with fruits? I heard when I was young that fruit seeds die during refrigeration and that most fruits in grocery stores have seeds that aren't alive anymore... Which might even be a wive's tale (considering my mother told me LOL) and that I once planted a papaya tree when I was 10 by grabbing a handful of seeds from the papaya my mom bought and put the seeds in the ground. I never actually took care of it either, I forgot about it and several years later I was like "what's growing off this random tree... HOLY COW THATS A PAPAYA" lol
You also asked just about this same question in a 'are many of you growing fruit trees this year' thread in this forum, I tried to give an starter answer there. I expect it will lead to more questions.

A good read for you may be Mike Dirrs; manual of Woody Landscape Plants, try the inter-library loan, its pricey.
Last edited by tomc on Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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applestar
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Yes, we recommend you don't duplicate your questions in different threads. You will get your answers in one place instead of scattered about. It will also be less confusing for members trying to help you.

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Vorguen
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Ah got you all, still trying to figure out this forum business :P


It appears I am in zone 10 for heat, really close to zone 11

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Re: buying non-organic plants

Vorguen wrote:---><8 snip 8><--- how much and how long will the chemicals affect the plant? Especially if its true that they will even leech into the fruits themselves..

Will eventually they be chemical free if I treat organically??
On fruiting trees, I think they will long outlive and grow past, past chemical sprays or fertilizers.

Start reading up now, on how your going to support your orchard without them going forward.
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Vorguen
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I did not understand your statement about not moving forward

tomc
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Vorguen wrote:I did not understand your statement about not moving forward
You are proposing growing past chemical fertilizers and sprays. What pests does your area have? What organic IPM have you researched?

My point is we cannot change the past, perhaps we can change the future...
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I think many people grossly overestimate the type and amount of chemicals that are used in the production of vegetable starts.

Here's the deal- chemicals are expensive. If you want to make money growing plants you'll spray as little as possible and in the case of vegetable starts that you'll only have for a few weeks before they ship out, the chances of an infestation that requires regular spraying of nasty chemicals is pretty minimal. The only thing those plants were likely given was a fertilizer solution (i use 20-20-20 +micros in my greenhouse). Even if they were sprayed with something else, it may well have been a product based on a natural organism such as BT or one of the many other beneficial bacteria or fungi.

I don't mean to sound disparaging of organics but I think the average organic gardener has not taken the time to really understand traditional agricultural practices and therefore they feel very alarmist about what awful dangerous things we must all be spraying on non-organic nursery stock. As a greenhouse manager I can tell you that I try to use the least harmful thing that can do the job because while you may brush up against the leaves of one or two pepper plants as you put them in the ground, I've got to spend 40+ hours a week in a big glass room breathing and touching whatever I've sprayed.

Sorry, I'll put my soap box away now.
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