Synthetic or Organic?

Poll ended at Sun Jan 18, 2015 4:59 am

Organic Fertilizer and Organic Pest Control
75%
6
Organic Fertilizer and Synthetic Pest Control
No votes
0
Synthetic Fertilizer and Organic Pest Control
13%
1
Synthetic Fertilizer and Synthetic Pest Control
13%
1
 
Total votes: 8
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Voices30
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The Big Question: DO YOU USE ORGANIC OR SYNTHETIC METHODS?

OK The time has come to cast your votes! I ask everyone that I know that grows anything this question, and I have found a bunch of different answers from a bunch of different types of people. The poll is anonymous...
Robert Leavitt
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Re: The Big Question:

The poll is missing a few spots. I do both organic and synthetic fertilizets but mostly synthetic nitrogen, some manure, blood meal a couple of times. I do use some fertilizers labeled organic (8-8-8), but not in potted plants, for that I prefer slow release synthetics. Organic fertilizers in general need to be converted by soil bacteria into plant available forms. It is not that easy to do when I am starting seeds in sterile potting mix.

I don't like to use bonemeal or chicken manure. Bone meal for the health risks of breathing the dust, and chicken manure because I don't want my soil any more alkaline. The neighbors complain about the odor of fish emulsion and my dog liked to drink the compost tea I made.
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Re: The Big Question:

Yeah it sure is. You're absolutely right imafan26. I neglected to put those options in. I myself hardly ever grow anything in a pot, but what you're saying is absolutely true about using an organic fertilizer in a sterile potting mix. That just wouldn't work!

It wont let me change it now unfortunately. Let's see what kind of things people say, my assumption is that there will be several people with the same thoughts you have.
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Re: The Big Question:

Well, I don't know if that's true. First of all, I don't know how assuredly "sterile" potting mix would be -- I imagine it would have be the kind that is bone dry in the bag ...the kind that needs to be pre-moistened or you can't water it at all. You would have to moisten with boiled water or something, but who does that?

Anyway, I try to replenish the soil microorganisms by drench-watering with AACT (actively aerated compost tea). You could do the same and might actually have better results doing this with a "sterile" medium because you won't start off with too many competing inimical organisms and you would just supply cultured mix of good organisms... (Kind of like heating milk to a certain temperature to kill off bad bacteria before cooling it down and adding starter yogurt culture when making home made yogurt.)

Putting live earthworm or compost worm in each container (depends on the soil mix -- if mostly peat/coir I would think compost worm) would supply a beneficial microorganism generator. Watering with pond or fish tank water is another way to add living organisms and enzymes.

...the last is only really if you want to SWITCH to organic practices. If you continue with synthetics, you'll most likely kill off any living organisms you add.
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Re: The Big Question:

I am not surprised at the preponderance of organic gardeners. That is sort of a message we push around here, although we certainly welcome all kinds of gardeners. But I don't think people who hang out here are representative of the general population. Chem-lawn still seems to be pretty popular where I am.

I am definitely organic all the way and echo what applestar says about you can do organic in containers as well. I don't put compost in containers, since it is too dense, but I do use other organics. I make my own seed starting mix as well with organic/ renewable components including mushroom compost, rice hulls, and coconut coir. Compared to Miracle-Gro, it doesn't have as much nitrogen, so I supplement with AACT, and soaked alfalfa pellets.
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Re: The Big Question: DO YOU USE ORGANIC OR SYNTHETIC METHOD

Good thread. My garden gets as much organic material as possible, but when soil tests call for changes in fertility, synthetics are used. So far as pest control is concerned, chemicals are used only when necessary particularly insect control. Let's just say I use chemicals as seldom as possible and then in amounts only as directed on labels.

The term "organic" has been widely used and has become a catch-all phrase. Many people do not realize exactly what that means. My guess is one out of ten couldn't give an accurate answer. (Here make it seven out of ten).
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Re: The Big Question: DO YOU USE ORGANIC OR SYNTHETIC METHOD

For food items I use organic ferts and insect control.

For bonsai I use synthetic ferts, because I have to.
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Re: The Big Question:

rainbowgardener wrote:I am not surprised at the preponderance of organic gardeners. That is sort of a message we push around here, although we certainly welcome all kinds of gardeners. But I don't think people who hang out here are representative of the general population. Chem-lawn still seems to be pretty popular where I am.
I am glad to hear it. I really do a mix of organics and synthetics as well. I would love to do 100% organic, but for example on my citrus, that's not possible. They require a LOT of nitrogen, and I could never make that cost-effective. I don't have the money it would take to do it, and if I was growing to sell, it REALLY wouldn't work!
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Re: The Big Question: DO YOU USE ORGANIC OR SYNTHETIC METHOD

I do use sterile potting mix peat moss and perlite from a bag especially for seedlings and plants that are prone to fungal problems. Sterile mixes do not have enough microbes to convert enough of the organic fertilizer to feed themselves and the plants.

I do use reused soil for transplants, but I am using steam sterilized soil so most of the weed seeds and many of the bacterial microbes will be killed. If they put too much water in the steam sterilizer fungi will survive especially if they put the wet media from the steamer into the cans before they are dry. I can smell it. I take my used soil to the garden to have it sterilized, otherwise I have too many weeds competing with the seedlings.

For tomatoes, especially heirlooms, I need to use sterile potting soil either from a bag or homemade with peat moss and perlite from a bag. Nematodes are prevalent in the soils and most heirlooms are not resistant. I also cannot use even reused steamed soil for plants that have a lot of fungal issues. They do have to go into new soil mix. I use the old mix either in the garden or I have it sterilized to be used in the pots. The pots have to be washed out with bleach before being replanted.

I do use AACT but I make it from vermicast which is harvested only every three months or so and it does not make much or go far. I literally have a thousand plants in pots.

I can't use compost or manure in pots, I have tried and they always kill the plants. Compost keeps the pots too wet and the manure is too strong.

In the garden I use a mix of organic and synthetic. I add compost, occasionally composted steer manure, blood meal a couple of times, and Scott's organic lawn fertilizer. I did not like the results. I had reduced growth and yield on my corn which is a heavy nitrogen feeder. So I will use the organic fertilizer for slow release nitrogen and sulfate of ammonia for the quick boost that young seedlings need at the start. It is hard to get enough nitrogen from organic fertilizer, it requires 4-5 times more of it than synthetics and have other things that I don't want or need as it isn't very pure. Manures have salt, chicken manure would increase the pH on my already alkaline plots, and my soil test indicate that all I need is nitrogen as the soil in all of the tested plots are extreme or high in phosphorus, potassium, and calcium.
If I am growing root crops then, I can get by with just the organic fertilizer, but not with corn.

For the most part I have not had to resort to anything more than water and culling for bug control. I have a healthy complement of beneficial insects, geckos, and bees patrolling my garden daily and only one cabbage butterfly found my broccoli last year and I took care of that and no other has come back. I do have to use a lot of sluggo for slugs and snails as I don't have toads or hens for that. I have only had citrus aphids on one plant and I took care of that by cutting back the calamondin and it hasn't been a problem since. I cut back the hibiscus when it gets white flies.

I do use slow release fertilizer for the herbs I grow for the monthly herb sale. For the most part I try to move the herbs out within 6 wks from planting to selling. The high turnover keeps disease down on the benches. I either use water practice culling to control pests and disease. We sometimes have problems with peppers since they need a lot of space and have fungal and pest issues if they are crowded and they take 2-3 months to be ready for sale. In summer, they can get white flies and have to be dipped in horticultural oil or culled. I do have the herbs in a shade house at the garden. It offers some protection from pests. We have had problems with people bringing in infested plants into the shade house and people leaving plants they do not take care of. Anything we find infested or not labeled gets thrown out. People who are bringing in infested plants or not taking care of them are warned that they will not be allowed to bring any plants into the shade house if they don't take better care of them.
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Re: The Big Question: DO YOU USE ORGANIC OR SYNTHETIC METHOD

I do use sterile potting mix peat moss and perlite from a bag especially for seedlings and plants that are prone to fungal problems. Sterile mixes do not have enough microbes to convert enough of the organic fertilizer to feed themselves and the plants.

I do use reused soil for transplants, but I am using steam sterilized soil so most of the weed seeds and many of the bacterial microbes will be killed. If they put too much water in the steam sterilizer fungi will survive especially if they put the wet media from the steamer into the cans before they are dry. I can smell it. I take my used soil to the garden to have it sterilized, otherwise I have too many weeds competing with the seedlings.

For tomatoes, especially heirlooms, I need to use sterile potting soil either from a bag or homemade with peat moss and perlite from a bag. Nematodes are prevalent in the soils and most heirlooms are not resistant. I also cannot use even reused steamed soil for plants that have a lot of fungal issues. They do have to go into new soil mix. I use the old mix either in the garden or I have it sterilized to be used in the pots. The pots have to be washed out with bleach before being replanted.

I do use AACT but I make it from vermicast which is harvested only every three months or so and it does not make much or go far. I literally have a thousand plants in pots.

I can't use compost or manure in pots, I have tried and they always kill the plants. Compost keeps the pots too wet and the manure is too strong.

In the garden I use a mix of organic and synthetic. I add compost, occasionally composted steer manure, blood meal a couple of times, and Scott's organic lawn fertilizer. I did not like the results. I had reduced growth and yield on my corn which is a heavy nitrogen feeder. So I will use the organic fertilizer for slow release nitrogen and sulfate of ammonia for the quick boost that young seedlings need at the start. It is hard to get enough nitrogen from organic fertilizer, it requires 4-5 times more of it than synthetics and have other things that I don't want or need as it isn't very pure. Manures have salt, chicken manure would increase the pH on my already alkaline plots, and my soil test indicate that all I need is nitrogen as the soil in all of the tested plots are extreme or high in phosphorus, potassium, and calcium.
If I am growing root crops then, I can get by with just the organic fertilizer, but not with corn.

For the most part I have not had to resort to anything more than water and culling for bug control. I have a healthy complement of beneficial insects, geckos, and bees patrolling my garden daily and only one cabbage butterfly found my broccoli last year and I took care of that and no other has come back. I do have to use a lot of sluggo for slugs and snails as I don't have toads or hens for that. I have only had citrus aphids on one plant and I took care of that by cutting back the calamondin and it hasn't been a problem since. I cut back the hibiscus when it gets white flies.

I do use slow release fertilizer for the herbs I grow for the monthly herb sale. For the most part I try to move the herbs out within 6 wks from planting to selling. The high turnover keeps disease down on the benches. I either use water practice culling to control pests and disease. We sometimes have problems with peppers since they need a lot of space and have fungal and pest issues if they are crowded and they take 2-3 months to be ready for sale. In summer, they can get white flies and have to be dipped in horticultural oil or culled. I do have the herbs in a shade house at the garden. It offers some protection from pests. We have had problems with people bringing in infested plants into the shade house and people leaving plants they do not take care of. Anything we find infested or not labeled gets thrown out. People who are bringing in infested plants or not taking care of them are warned that they will not be allowed to bring any plants into the shade house if they don't take better care of them.

People really don't know what organic really is. Most people believe that organic means no pesticides are used and they are badly mistaken. Organic farmers are limited to what is available for them to use but they still use pesticides. Because organic fertilizers are bulky with low NPK and organic pesticides don't last long they have to apply more fertilizer than conventional fertilizer and spray more often. Organic produce can be smaller than their conventional counterpart, have more insect damage, and cost 2-4 times more.

Most people also have no understanding of what GMO is either. They do not realize how long it has been around, how pervasive it is, and exactly what its' role has been in modern agriculture and how GMO is the hope for many farmers who face a grim future without it.
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Re: The Big Question: DO YOU USE ORGANIC OR SYNTHETIC METHOD

I don't think we want to turn this thread into a divisive discussion on what is involved in Agro-business organic farming practice and what are the impact of GMO and who are affected globally and how.

I do think though that it's not easy to compare organic and synthetic practices strictly in terms of pounds of fertilizer or volumes and frequencies of pesticide use because even judging by the comments here, there are varying degrees and dedicated level of organic product use and how they are integrated into the growing system, theory, and philosophy.

I think for many of us who have turned to improving the soil by keeping it alive, it really isn't about constantly adding NPK fertilizers. A lot of the nutrient cycling is going on on their own. Nitrogen source doesn't always have to be added. Pesticides aren't needed if you decide not to kill them all. For me, there are always good bugs and bad bugs, good bacteria and bad bacteria, and good fungi and bad fungi. It's all about healthy balance.

It seems to me that, sometimes, hovering between all organic and all synthetic could slow down or prevent the synergistic friendly environment that could make life easier from happening.
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Re: The Big Question: DO YOU USE ORGANIC OR SYNTHETIC METHOD

I do agree. In my case, my soil test recommendation was pretty much all I needed was nitrogen and because the pH was alkaline in two of the plots. Sulfate of ammonia works best without adding stuff I don't need or raising the pH any more. I prefer to limit use of animal byproducts as a source of nitrogen or phosphorus with the exception of steer manure.

I do add compost, grown green manures, vermicast, buried kitchen and yard scraps and used other organic components as well.
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Re: The Big Question: DO YOU USE ORGANIC OR SYNTHETIC METHOD

Organic amendments do build the soil while synthetic fertilizers are more efficient at delivering the nutrients to the plants as long as they are applied correctly and in the proper amounts. Synthetic fertilizer fillers do not build the soil.

I add more organic matter and use synthetic nitrogen and I have a productive soil that is full of earthworms and other minute critters that at least appear to be a balanced ecosystem. With minimal disturbance; tilling only when necessary, balancing what is being planted by planting legumes after high nitrogen crops, following the soil test recommendations so I only add as much as needed, continually adding organic materials, limiting the use of any kind of pesticides synthetic or organic to what is absolutely necessary, and planting a variety of plants to attract beneficial insects and other predators, the soil can still be healthy and productive. There is room for both organic and synthetic practices.
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Re: The Big Question: DO YOU USE ORGANIC OR SYNTHETIC METHOD

I agree imafan26, and I try to do a bit of both. I am pretty new to the vegetable garden though so it's been a bit of a challenge. I just get overwhelmed when I try to calculate for organic fertilizers because they are low analysis (and slow release). I am having trouble imagining how much organic material you would need to organically provide nitrogen to say... 1 acre of corn. Around my area, they use 1000 lbs of 10-10-10 per acre of corn. I think that's pretty standard anywhere you go, but I'm not a farmer so I don't know that for certain. Doing the math, that 100 lbs of nitrogen per acre. I found bat guano in 40lb pails for about 126 dollars a pail.

The analysis is 12-11-2 on that brand (which is high as heck for an organic) so that's about 4.8 lbs of nitrogen per container. It would take about 21 containers to get the full 100 lbs for the acre of corn... that's about 2.5 grand, a little more actually if you count the greensand or whatever you want to use to get your potassium level up. That's also not taking into the account the actual size of this, we are talking about putting roughly a TON (2,100lbs) of guano fertilizer blend an acre.

If I used plain ol 10-10-10 I can get it for less than 400 dollars, I think you have to fertilize twice with corn if I am remembering correctly, so lets say it's about 600 dollars. I know someone though, if you bought it retail (which I hear is hard to do now for some reason, they don't sell 10-10-10 in the big box stores anymore for whatever the reason) even if it was 5 or 6 hundred dollars, it's a LOT less than $2,600.

I want to grow organic corn.. I want to grow an acre of it because I have a lot of room, and I can sell some on the weekends that I take my citrus to the farmers market (more of a hobby than a business, I like bringing something I grew to the market, I do it a few times a year if I have enough of something). Is there a more realistic, cost effective, way for me to do this? I didn't even consider how much the shipping would be on the pails of guano either.
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Re: The Big Question: DO YOU USE ORGANIC OR SYNTHETIC METHOD

You have to understand I don't garden in terms of "acres" but from what I've been reading, you would start with a winter green manure crop of mustard if nematodes is a problem (are nematodes a problem for corn?), maybe combined with peas, alfalfa, fava beans or other high nitrogen fixing winter legumes or else another, second grow of quick green manure/cover crop of warm season legumes. Alfalfa, I think, is the one that also brings up potassium from deep in the soil. Depending on your practice, you would till or not till these in. If not tilling, then you crimp and kill the green manure/cover crop and use a special seeding process that at the moment I can't remember -- maybe it's the kind that flips a narrow seeding furrow because you want to keep the rest of the areas mulched for moisture retention, and gradual breakdown and fertilization, etc.

I only read those articles describing agricultural organic and no-till procedures for acreages casually and not really retain a whole lot of it because I have no practical application for the information, but they do describe nitrogen generated this way in pounds per acre, so presumably, you would then supplement that amount with purchased fertilizer as necessary?
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Re: The Big Question: DO YOU USE ORGANIC OR SYNTHETIC METHOD

I also don't garden/ farm acreage, so am no expert. But I think it is different. Using synthetic fertilizer, you are trying to feed the plants directly, so you have to have X amount of nitrogen, etc. In organic methods, you are just feeding your soil and the life of the soil. The soil then feeds the plants. So you don't have to provide everything they need. So I don't really think you are aiming to have the same X pounds of N per acre added. You are right, that would be immense quantities of organic stuff, since the N values are so much lower. But I don't think you need to do that. It's sort of the do you give a man a fish or do you provide him with the tools to fish kind of thing. If you are giving him the fish directly, you are going to need a lot of fish. Once you give him the tools, you don't need a lot of fish. That is what you are doing for your soil.
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Re: The Big Question: DO YOU USE ORGANIC OR SYNTHETIC METHOD

^^^
Good point, rainbowgardener :idea:
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Re: The Big Question: DO YOU USE ORGANIC OR SYNTHETIC METHOD

I prefer organic/organic but like the song goes, “You can't always get what you want.”
So …... It depends on the situation.

In my home garden, I have plenty of soil organic content and lots of beneficial insects. I'm organic/organic. It didn't happen overnight though, I had to work for it.

In the garden I have at my 90 year old mother's house, it's different. She's had to slow down a bit and hasn't been able to maintain soil organic content. Some fertilizer is needed to get 'right now' results. She also has a tough time remembering not to use synthetic pesticides. As a result that garden needs more help than I can organically give it at this point in time. I can get it there, but it takes time.
Funny side note: In a Dec. 16th phone conversation she complimented me on a Dec. 14th organic gardening piece I had in the local paper. In the same conversation she told me how she had contacted the folks at a local garden center and got proper 'how to' instructions before using sevin on my mustard and turnip greens. :roll: Oh well.

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Re: The Big Question: DO YOU USE ORGANIC OR SYNTHETIC METHOD

I have a lot to deal with and it makes it hard to use only organic firtilizer a that I make, but I am not happy with the salty chemical based junk. I am looking at finding sources of organic fertizer in bulk, I buy it in 50lb bags and I buy a few at a time. One of my neighebors with a cattle ranch said I can take all the poop I want,it is a bit messy and smelly although.
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Re: The Big Question: DO YOU USE ORGANIC OR SYNTHETIC METHOD

It is true, over time the soil bacteria will convert and release more nitrogen into the soil and the soil bacteria and fungi are responsible for converting nearly all of the organic fertilizer into a form the plants can use. Because it is a natural proccess, the release is slow, which is good for the soil, the environment and the plants in the long run. But also because it is a natural process, it is not linear or consistent. The season, cold weather slows the critters down, pH, and the quantity and type of community you have whether it is fungal or bacterial will alter the soil environment differently even if different people are using the same organic product.

Growing organic and getting good yields takes at least three years. It is one of the problems I have had with going 100% organic, the reduced size and yield from the crops. I have chosen to go a slower route and slowly wean myself from non-organic. I now have given up regular use of systemic pesticides in my front yard. I did not use them at all in the back. I still use some short term systemics on some plants in the front yard, hibiscus for erineum mites, and roses for disease control in the rainy season. Systemic rose care lasts 6 weeks vs Bayer tree and shrub which lasts a year. I have increased the amount of organic matter I add to the soil and I have used more organic lawn fertilizer as a nitrogen source. It still contains some animal products- feather meal that I don't like, and I have cut my synthetic nitrogen down so now I only add a measured amount based on my soil test recommendation, and I plant a scavenger crop, usually cabbages, after I plant a high nitrogen requirement crop like corn to use up any extra nitrogen. The scavenger crop usually gets no added synthetic nitrogen, only the organic lawn fertilizer. I have planted a diverse garden with nectar and host plants for beneficial insects. I need a toad or two, but they scare me.

Corn by the way, isn't usually bothered by nematodes. Tomatoes and peppers are, big-time. Some varieties of marigolds, sunhemp, and mustard will repel or kill nematodes. If you have nematodes in the soil you either need to plant in pots in nematode free soil and keep it that way, use nematode resistant cultivars, rotate crops with cover crops that repel or reduce nematode numbers like sunhemp, marigolds, or mustard, plant something like corn that isn't as susceptible, or fumigate the soil. Here marigolds are often planted in every other row of edible ginger as a rotation crop. The farms follow strict procedures for sanitation, cleaning tools and even cleaning boots. If a farm becomes contaminated by nematodes, they usually move the farm.

For a farm to be certified organic, they need to practice organic methods only for fertilizer and pest control and maintain a buffer area from anything that is not organic for a period of three years. If you want to sell certified organic and label your product that way there are a few rules for that if you want to call your product organic. The rules are looser for those who are selling less than $5000 a year of organic produce. Farms are also subject to inspection and testing.

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Re: The Big Question: DO YOU USE ORGANIC OR SYNTHETIC METHOD

All gardening is local! Imafan is gardening in the tropics and so has a whole different set of challenges!

Everyone has to figure out what works for them in their own garden, but I hope in figuring out what works, people will start taking a bigger picture, longer term view. I read stuff from people who have this whole regime/ schedule of fertilizing every 6 weeks, when to spray this, when to spray that and it all seems like so much money and work. If I thought that was what it was all about, I wouldn't be a gardener...

I get things started and let the garden run itself. I have a couple raised beds in an off-site community garden. I put a lot of work in to them in early spring, getting everything going. After that I mostly just stop by once a month, renew the mulch, pull any weeds that may have made it through, which usually isn't many, replant where anything is done. Otherwise I just harvest. No work gardening, as Ruth Stout used to say. But it does take some work and planning to get your garden to where that works. The community garden has a big butterfly and beneficial insects garden right next to it, lots of bird feeders, native plants around, and a woods not very far in back of it.
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Re: The Big Question: DO YOU USE ORGANIC OR SYNTHETIC METHOD

One of my goles is to learn more about pesticide free pest control, I do not use pesticides in my garden.
The things I do are an evolution and I am always learning. My way is not the only way of doing things, and I may and will change the way I do things as I learn better ways. So any advice that I give is in that spirit.

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Re: The Big Question: DO YOU USE ORGANIC OR SYNTHETIC METHOD

Rainbow is right, where there is a winter, you have a season when nothing is growing and the bug population drops. That does not happen here. Something grows year round and bugs, pests and diseases are permanent fixtures.

I do try to use the least amount of pesticides I can get away with. I try to use water most of the time, because insecticidal soap, neem, oils, etc. they are still pesticides. Most people believe organic means pesticide free and that is just plain not true. The pesticides are different and short acting but they still have to have some toxicity or they would not work.

For people who have small gardens, every inch counts. I have to choose what plants I can grow well and like to eat, taste better fresh, and are relatively expensive to buy. I grow corn because I like corn and none of it goes to waste, but it takes up a lot of space. In that same area I could grow a whole lot more lettuce, beans, Swiss chard, radish and beets, but some of it, especially the lettuce will bolt before I can eat it all unless I only plant a few at a time in succession.

I need to grow heat and disease resistant cultivars that will do the best in my climate with the least amount of pesticides. Some things I just cannot grow because of persistent pests and diseases like phythoptora, nematodes, black rot, and rust. Others like Brandywine tomatoes, I can only grow in special conditions like sterile potting soil in pots off the ground and with a regular fungicide program.

If I want to reduce pesticides, even organic ones, I have to make different choices.

I choose to still use synthetic fertilizer because I still want to maximize yield on my small plot and organic fertilizers still have risks associated with them and they are not as efficient for my needs and they are very costly in a place where 90% of consumer goods need to be shipped in.

I don't believe that synthetic fertilizers kill soil organisms. It does make them lazy. Mother nature wastes nothing. If nitrogen is available the soil organisms will use it to feed themselves rather than waste energy making their own, like the plants, nitrogen is nitrogen, it is still a food source and it does not kill them. It does not harm the environment if only what is needed is applied whether that be a synthetic or organic fertilizer. Pesticides, and deep tilling that is what does kill organisms. Adding compost replenishes the organic matter that was lost when the plants were harvested. In a balanced ecosystem inputs and outputs need to be matched. When plants are harvested, we take resources out of the system and adding back organic materials compost for biomass and organic or synthetic fertilizer for volatile elements that are lost to the system through the air or leaching.

Conventionally farmed fields have fewer microorganisms per square inch than organic ones to start with. If both fields
are tilled, both have reductions in microbe populations. Conventional fields over time do increase the numbers of microorganisms per square inch but they never match the organic fields because they start out with fewer organisms to start with, that should not happen if it was true that conventional fertilizer was as bad as some people claim. Adding organic material as compost to conventional fields help. What really matters is balancing your crops so that one crop replaces or uses less of the nutrients of the previous crop. Home gardeners rarely practice crop rotation.

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Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.



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