Which plant does better MG or organic?

Miracle Grow
19%
5
Organic
81%
22
 
Total votes: 27
Dixana
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The experiment.

I dug out a few 3 gallon containers and am going to grow some of my peppers in them since I don't have as much room as I thoyght in the garden.
Every other commercial this time of year is miracle grow. Look how much nicer this plant is grown in miracle grow blah blah.
I had a bag of MG in the garage and am going going to grow 2 pepper plants in containers side by side. Both plants are the same size same age and were started from seed by me.
One plant will go in the MG the other in a mix of organic potting soil and mushroom compost. The MG will get water, the other will get compost tea, etc.
I'm putting my $ on the organic plant for size, production, AND taste, what about you guys?

Edit: I took out the first paragraph as it had really nothing to do with this other than how I can to decide to keep some plants in containers....
Last edited by Dixana on Tue May 18, 2010 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Toil
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please don't crowd your plants with another plant of the same root habit! it never, ever works.


ever.


never ever ever ever never.

err on the side of too much room. you get way better total yield.


There is a reason the word "thin" or some variation is on every seed packet you ever bought. You can't get blood from a stone!

If you want plants close, think in 3 dimensions above and below the surface is what I say, and do not spare the sickle or the shear. Cocannouer can tell you better than me [url]https://www.journeytoforever.org/farm_library/weeds/WeedsToC.html[/url] . Hey if you have little space who needs to keep the same type together, right?
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I agree with Toil. Also, without proper air circulation around the plants, they will be subject to many diseases. JMO.
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soil
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please don't crowd your plants with another plant of the same root habit! it never, ever works.
you cant say ever. i love polycropping! plants are social too :D
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Dixana
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I posted a new thread in the veggie forum about my plant crowding issue if anyone wants to see my layout and/or comment :oops:
Regardless I think there will be problems or something will have to go in containers.....

Toil
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soil wrote:
please don't crowd your plants with another plant of the same root habit! it never, ever works.
you cant say ever. i love polycropping! plants are social too :D
well yeah, but aside from that...

how can I put it then? you know what I am trying to say about a cabbage mashed up on another cabbage. But a cabbage and clover and some radish with an annual grass is a nice square foot or so. you could have something else too.

Radishes serve me well as there is no intention of eating them.
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GardenJester
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I'm going to have to say MG will do better than organic. There's a reason why majority of the commercial farmers use artificial fertilizers similar to MG. The yields are simply more/better than the organic methods. But, all our home gardener aren't doing it for the yield, so why use chemicals?

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are we talking yield over just one season, or real life?
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GardenJester wrote:I'm going to have to say MG will do better than organic. There's a reason why majority of the commercial farmers use artificial fertilizers similar to MG. The yields are simply more/better than the organic methods.
I don't believe this-- I will get back to the yield question in a minute. But I think most commercial / industrial agriculture uses petroleum based fertilizers and lots of chemicals because they are a business and they are doing cost-benefit analysis and working for the most profit possible. Organic methods are more labor intensive and labor is always the biggest expense in any business. Chemical methods are easier for one person riding around in a gigantic air-conditioned machine (compacting their soil) to do.

Prices of food are so low that increasing the yield by using more labor is not cost effective, the increased yield doesn't earn enough to pay for the increased labor. But the reason that chemical methods are more cost effective is that lots of the actual costs of the process are out-sourced and not counted in -- petroleum production is heavily govt subsidized, so the agro business is not paying the true cost of the petro-fertilizer, not to mention the environmental costs such as the billions it will cost to try to remediate the Gulf after this massive spill. Water remains nearly free so the cost of extra irrigation needed because organic soils retain water so much better isn't counted in, etc etc.

So about yield... here's a great article I found on the whole question of can we feed the world organically. I recommend reading the whole article it is very enlightening https://www.cnr.berkeley.edu/~christos/articles/cv_organic_farming.html , but here's a few highlights from it of studies of organic vs industrial methods for yield:

Soybean production systems were also highly productive, achieving 40 bushels/acre. In 1999 however, during one of the worst droughts on record, yields of organic soybeans were 30 bushels /acre, compared to only 16 bushels/acre from conventionally- grown soybeans (Rodale Institute, 1999). "Our trials show that improving the quality of the soil through organic practices can mean the difference between a harvest or hardship in times of drought"

A comprehensive review of a large number of comparison studies of grain and soybean production conduct by six Midwestern universities since 1978 found that in all of these studies organic production was equivalent to, and in many cases better than, conventional

Corn yields were comparable in all three cropping systems (less than 1% difference) (Drinkwater, 1998). However, a comparison of soil characteristics during a 15-year period found that soil fertility was enhanced in the organic systems, while it decreased considerably in the conventional system. Nitrogen content and organic matter levels in the soil increased markedly in the manure—fertilized organic system and declined in the conventional system. Moreover, the conventional system had the highest environmental impact, where 60% more nitrate was leached into the groundwater over a 5 year period than in the organic systems (Drinkwater, 1998). [RBG - again the farmers aren't paying for that kind of damage they create, so it isn't counted in the cost]

ETC!!

The article says that at least sometimes the organic methods don't just give higher yield they are actually more profitable. So I have to think that sometimes commercial farmers use chemical methods because that is what they were taught and they don't know any better.
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Wow, now that's an experiment that I will be following. I personally think that when you see those miracle grow commercials touting how a miracle grow plant is twice as large as a conventionally grown one, there is a caveat.

You have to remember, not everything on commercials is what it seems. For instance, sometimes when you sees thick, smooth milk being poured into/onto something, it's actually Elmer's wood glue :shock:.

Now I can't prove this, but I'll bet that in the MG commercials, the non-MG plant is grown in totally sterile potting medium and fed nothing but water, which is why the MG plant looks so much healthier.

This is just a thought, anyway.
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Dixana
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Well the plants are in their containers. Living in podunkville as I do I could not find organic potting soil not made by MG so I used the same formula I used when I up potted my wild boars with a few exceptions. A scoop of garden soil, mushroom compost, seed starter(for drainage cuz that stuff just won't hold water), and what was left of my worm castings :( (I was gonna make tea with that but sacrificed it in the same of science). It ended up being a nice mix.

I'll take some pictures on the phone later today and post them. right now I only have pictures on the camera. My expectation is the MG plant will take off faster but the organic will outperform in the long run. I would also like to add I'm not adding "fertilzer" per se to either plant. The MG potting mix is supposed to feed for 3 months which should roughly be the life of the plant and I feel that compost, castings, and regular doses of tea are fertilizer enough for organic plantings.

I was debating on using some form of bug killer on the MG plant as worm tea helps keep the bad buggies away, but I have no use for the stuff and don't know what I'd do with it when the experiment is over. Any thoughts on how to keep the nasties off the MG plant? Maybe I won't have any problems since they"re in containers......

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If we are keeping the experiment pure, then the same controls should be used on both plants to eliminate variables. So nothing on either, would be my vote. See which one survives that. I have no doubts...

The MG plant will get bigger, with more leaves, but it will not outproduce the other plant. The old saw about needing chemicals to feed the world is quickly falling apart as we learn more about natural systems and polycropping; more labor intensive, but WAY more food (you can outproduce conventional row agriculture by 60% with organic polycropping, but not from a tractor...)

I amn interested to see the final results, but production is not my main concern with organics versus chems. Organics isn't causing dead zones in out coastal areas, or turning ponds into swamps, or poisoning water for children and pregnant women (A 1990 EPA study estimated excessive notrogen in half the wells in the US).


Guess what is...

HG
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Dixana
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So no compost/worm tea on my organic plant? :?
Doesn't that give the MG plant kind of a "leg up" since it contains fertilizer? Then again I guess castings and compost kind of is fertilizer....

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It depends on your definitions of better.

I have 2 cosins that both share crop about 2000 acres of land every summer. They have both been farming for 30+ years.

My cousin in Southern Illinois stopped using fertilizer years ago. He said it is a break even thing either way you go. If you compair total crop for the year with no fertilizer sells for $100,000. and total crop of the year sells for $120,000. if he buys $20,000. of fertilizer either way the profit = $100,000. He said, fertilizer is a lot of extra work just to make the same profit.

These numbers are for example only this is the way he explained it to me.

My cousin in central Illinois still uses fertilize he claims the extra profit is not much maybe $1000 per year is worth the extra work in using fertilizer.

I notice a difference in my garden the yield goes up and vegatables taste just as good with fertilizer, no change in flavor. I have a very small garden I don't care if it does cost extra for fertilizer food is better that grocery store food and I get more food per square foot. Without fertilizer I would have to plant a larger garden and do more labor to do what the smaller garden does with fertilizer.

You can argue fertilizer is a chemical I don't want chemicals on my garden. Ammonia is chemical made it is used for nitrogen. Urine soaked manure produces Ammonia that is nitrogen too. Ammonia is ammonia no matter how it is produced and nitrogen is nitrogen no matter how it is produced that = bigger crop yield no matter which way you look at it. All I am concerned with is NOT putting toxic poison on my garden and not eating toxic poisons.

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if you get good at organic polyculture your yields will likely go up from where they are now, and your work will be reduced. think in 3-d and the possibilities multiply. Thats going to work best if you maintain the relationship between plants and microbes. Give them fertilizer for free and they won't bother with the microbes so much.

It's not an issue of chemicals. Urea is urea.
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I notice a difference in my garden the yield goes up and vegatables taste just as good with fertilizer, no change in flavor. I have a very small garden I don't care if it does cost extra for fertilizer food is better that grocery store food and I get more food per square foot. Without fertilizer I would have to plant a larger garden and do more labor to do what the smaller garden does with fertilizer.
I think most folks will tell you there is a difference in flavor, Gary, but that is subjective, so let's leave that one lie...

You are tilling and adding fertillizer, right? Any composts at all? Not in most agriculture, just tilling and chems... we are both adding ammonia, but you as a salt with your fertilizer, and mine as protein with biology in the compost. Mine actually adds life and biodiversity; you are killing it by osmotic shock with your salt, so there's a difference in our ammonias, a big one.

Mine is incredibly stable as it actually doesn't turn into ammonia until somebody eats my biology and releases it as ammonia; yours is unstable three different ways (It is soluble in water, it can volatize and gas off, especially at high temperature, and it can get locked back up in biology without the right biology to unlock it). So there's another HUGE difference in our ammonias.

My biology maintains the soil structure, adding humus and building biological structure while your fertilizer disrupts the fungal net that adds glomalin, the magic glue that holds soil in aggregation. You till and destroy fungal while I build soil. Notice the area you have been gardening like this is sinking deeper than where it used to be; you are compacting soils, decreasing root mass and hobbling nutrient uptake. And my biologically diverse soil allows biologically diverse planting; as toil noted I will add at least fifty percent to my yield this year (tomatoes doubled, another 30% peppers, twice the squash and three times the greens! And I still have space this way! Bok choy maybe; I'm waffling). I will totally bring in more crops in less space than any two of my MG using neighbors combined, guaranteed...

No, my friend you are completely off base there. Our ammonias couldn't be more different. Your's pollutes before it even gets in the bag; mine is utilizing local waste streams. We aren't even in the same zip code, our ammonias... but toxic? Not in the food, per se, but it is [url=https://www.bfhd.wa.gov/info/nitrate-nitrite.php]toxic to humans in drinking water[/url], not that that will take long to get there... oh, and the higher levels you need (because you don't use biology that clings to the plants roots like I do) cause bigger releases of ammonia which turn into bigger quantities of nitrite in the water, and if [url=https://www.preventcancer.com/consumers/food/hotdogs.htm]it ain't good in hot dogs[/url], it probably ain't good in water. Mine does that too, but because it releases organically in MUCH smaller quantities right near the root it is living with, most gets used before there is any chance of getting to water... and my increased humus means more Cation Exchange Capacity to hold those nutrients in soil stably, so even if the plant doesn't get it my soil will, instead of the water...

Our ammonias aren't even in the same state. Literally.

HG
Last edited by The Helpful Gardener on Sat May 22, 2010 4:09 am, edited 2 times in total.
Scott Reil

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Not that this REALLY has anything to do with anything, but pregnant women are not supposed to eat skinless hotdogs......
HG you didn't answer my previous ? about the compost tea :P

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I'm sorry Dixie; on a rant... :roll: :lol:

'Course we use compost or compost tea. That's our fertililzer; humus and biology. No bug killer on either, dear; that's what I meant. As noted I find the claims of disease repression to be somewhat overstated in the short term for compost tea (but a healthy plant in healthy soil, developed over years, will always be more resistant to insects and disease in the long run). I don't think of compost tea as disease suppression as much as fertilization...

HG
Scott Reil

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It would be interesting for someone in a lab/control type of environment to see the effect of teas on plants as far as bugs go.
I noticed a MAJOR decline in bugs eating my plants after I started using worm tea on the foliage. Essentially it's the same as compost tea; 5 gallon bucket, water, nylon filled with castings and a few drops of molasses (I never measure anymore :roll: :D).
There must be something when it's on there though because last year my plants were the only ones in our townhouse complex that the bugs and bunnies didn't demolish :D

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You know, I was thinking the other day that I don't really use "fertilizer" per se. I added rock phosphate, dolomitic lime, and greensand pretty liberally until last year. As my bags are almost empty, I'm thinking of not buying any more and turn to more eco-friendly methods. (I don't think of weeds as "weeds" anymore -- they're all Dynamic Accumulators and Bio Mass)

I make and use compost. I make AACT, but not regularly. I have a whole tray of worm castings that's waiting to be used, as well as a bucket of finished Bokashi compost (though I think I'll do what toil said and use it to feed the worms and maybe boost the outdoor compost pile into higher gear). I did start using fish hydrolysate this year, but again, not regularly. I do spray with the 10% Milk Solution regularly once the humid weather begins (which started early this year)....

I'm not out to grow the biggest size or production, but I'm getting more than enough to feed my family... way more.

There are earthworms everywhere I dig. I can't dig one little patch without digging one up or seeing a bunch of them crawl out and away. Digging to plant a shrub results in wholesale slaughter, which I've just about given up as inevitable. Almost every spot I've dug there's at least one MONSTER earthworm. Seriously, I *don't* think I need to add anything to the ground any more.

Then there are all the birds -- they seem to need to "unload" every time they take off or land. I guess extra weight doesn't help with flying....

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If you read Gary350's posts, it sounds like he does use compost, tons of it. He has mentioned composting in 5 gallon buckets (as well as anaerobic sealed buckets of wood ash and pee); he has mentioned composting in 55 gal drums, he has mentioned piles of leaves and grass clippings. I have to assume all that stuff eventually goes on his garden, which he has described as smallish.

In this post "I can't get enough organic material for my garden."

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=23774&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=compost&start=0

he talks about adding 4 bales of peat moss to that smallish garden (as well as literal tons of sand, limestone, sheet rock (gypsum).

So in terms of taste, all Gary can be talking about is the taste of veggies grown with a lot of everything including organic & chem ferts!

Gary is also the one who talks about tilling his garden every day for a week, until the soil is reduced to powder.

Gary, I've said this before to you. I think gardening could be a lot easier and less expensive. AS says she doesn't use "fertilizer" per se but she has used rock dusts and uses AACT, Bokashi, fish hydrolysate. I am the ultimate simple gardener. I use compost and mulch. Period. This year I have a couple times made a direct extract tea of the compost and probably will some more, stretches the compost so I can use it more often. I have never added ANYTHING else to my garden. It grows just fine. Do I get as big of yields? I have no way to know since I don't keep records like that, but I'm willing to concede probably not. But I'm not in any competition! Works for me.
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I would never take someone saying their garden is "smallish" at face value until you see it or find out it's dimensions. My FIL says his garden is small but in reality it's bigger than my house!!

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Gary can add all the humus and compost he wants but without the correct biologies his carbon will not stay put; it will gas off as CO2, as he beats it out of his soil with a tiller, creating bacterially dominated soils higher in nitrogens initially, but lacking the natural cycles for release, and decreased CEC from lessened carbon in the soil AND lowered O2 levels from compaction, it will also likely gas off as ammonia, or lock as a huge bacterial population (bacteria are very high in nitrogen). He DOES get enough organic material for his garden, but fries it with too much tilling and too much nitrogen....

This is not as simple as Ammonia=Ammonia. This is a systems issue, not a chemical issue. Ecosystems do not have interchangeable parts, and humans are not smart enough yet to figure out substitutions. Chemicals cannot fit "in" the natural cycle; they interrupt it to the point of disfunction. You can use chemical fertilizers for a while, but eventually you destroy the natural biology to a point where even the chemical work-arounds no longer work, because even they need the biology to work.

Just skip the disfunctional middleman...

And RBG, don't concede lower yields; totally unproven! I have yet to see where thoughtful organic methods cannot equal or beat conventional methods in a backyard setting... even farmers are coming around... perhaps some more labor in commercial settings, but if you factor in nutrient densities, long term sustainability, and decreased impacts to environment, it is still a no brainer...

HG
Last edited by The Helpful Gardener on Mon May 24, 2010 1:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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well, I was more conceding the yields to the people like AppleStar with the greensand and rock dust and AACT and fish hydrolysate.

I recently posted here:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=135393&highlight=yeild+yield+organic#135393

research showing that chem fertilizers do not improve the yield over organic methods. But organic methods covers a lot of ground and some people work at it harder, remember stella who was posting a lot last year (hasn't posted since Dec) in the AACT thread? She was doing weekly foliar feeding of AACT compost tea as well as MANY organic soil amendments and was getting fabulous results.

That's the kind of gardener I was conceding too! :)
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Sure but Fukuoka-sensei hardly used any inputs, no composts (on his fields, anyway; Larry Korn told me he did on his veggies some), no ferts other than a little chicken poop, NO TILLING EVER, and matched the best yields in his country for decades... you don't need to work hard or make a lot of inputs to do well with organics...

The whole "we need chemicals to feed the world" schpiel is chemical company propaganda...

HG
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i would never suggest any one use chemical fertilizers in their gardens, as they do nothing to build up the soil fertility, sure they can give you quick good growth (like the commercials) but then what are you left with..??
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Inoculate with Mycorrhizal fungus on the organic one and it will grow bigger guaranteed.

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Well thus far things are going pretty much as expected. I did booboo though and added a little too much mushroom compost to my organic plant and after a heavy rain it got waterlogged. I dug it out and added more potting mix.
Anyway as you can see the MG plant is growing faster but I still think the organic will do better by the time it's over.
The MG plant
[img]https://i918.photobucket.com/albums/ad28/Dixana/1275496556.jpg[/img]
The organic
[img]https://i918.photobucket.com/albums/ad28/Dixana/1275496557.jpg[/img]
I took those this morning.....a week and half or so after planting?

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Did you inoculate with mycorrhizal fungus? I'm guessing you probably didn't as the organic would most likely be bigger by now if you did.

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I need to find a way to get the correct mix in my compost. I have a ton of grass clipping and green stuff all summer but no leaves. In the fall I have a ton of leaves but no green stuff. I am thinking maybe I can bag my dry tree leaves and keep them in the attic all winter then next summer I can mix them in with the green stuff I have. The green does not compost well all by itself and the leaves do not compost by themself either. I have been getting them both in my garden sepertly but its not easy. The compost make the clay soil much easier to work and grow plants.

Right now I am mixing left over leaves from last fall that were laying in the corner of the garden with green stuff and it is composting great just like it should. Those old wet leaves are hard to deal with they are all stuck together.

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In the summer add shredded paper, often times you can tons of leftover newspapers free if you ask around. In winter hit up your local coffee shop and restaraunt, most places are more than happy to save you coffe grounds and foos scraps if you bring them a clean 5 gallon bucket :)

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Until this year, I have always used Miracle Grow. Both as prepackaged potting mix and side dressing, and granules, and slow release...I am ashamed to say, I've used them all. This year however, I have a new house and a new garden. I planned all last year about how I would amend the soil. It was planted with red clover, then turned under. I also amended with compost. (and some well rotted chicken poo, but I don't have much of it so I just use it close to the plants) I HAVE NEVER HAD A BETTER, HEALTHIER LOOKING GARDEN than I have this year. I planted later than usual, and I'm getting produce earlier than I have EVER harvested before. With the exception of cucumber beetles :evil: , I've seen less bad guy bugs, and more beneficials. I am forever changed! I am an organic grower for life!

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OH! I almost forgot! This winter I am seriously thinking about planting oats to cover my garden and recoup my nitrogen loss. I would also like to start a REAL compost heap, instead of buying it :)

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Absolutely! Glad you came over from the dark side! ( :) just kidding everyone, no flame wars!) Start your compost pile NOW!

Why switch to oats from the clover you mentioned? Clover is nitrogen fixing, oats aren't.
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LindsayArthurRTR wrote:OH! I almost forgot! This winter I am seriously thinking about planting oats to cover my garden and recoup my nitrogen loss. I would also like to start a REAL compost heap, instead of buying it :)
diversify!

Compost pile is a very good thing, but remember that having an active top few layers is very good. Recently, a few days after sheet mulching, soil I observed under the microscope went from sleepy to busy. Mature compost would not have given the same result - under the scope, it too is sleepy.

of course, an easy way to wake up your compost is to make tea. So everything!
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Why switch to oats from the clover you mentioned? Clover is nitrogen fixing, oats aren't.

[url]https://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/2002-10-01/The-Easiest-Cover-Crops.aspx?page=2[/url]
Reported C/N ratios were:

Crop Leaves Stems 50/50 By-dry wt.
Mix of leaves & stems

Crimson clover 10.1 31.9 15.2
Cereal rye 28.9 98.9 44.7
Wheat 13.1 86.5 22.9
Oat 12.8 78.8 21.7
[url]https://www.sarep.ucdavis.edu/cgi-bin/CCrop.exe/show_crop_28[/url]

Very interesting stuff (my husband behind me just informed me of my mega-nerd status...HA) I'm not sure that the clover does not need to be reseeded. In the event that that is neccessary, I would like to obtain some kind of harvest from my cover crop. And from the information I've read and studied, oats are nitrogen fixing, almost as well as red clover :D . After the oats are harvested, the stems and leaves can be used as mulch. Oh, and this...Mmmmmmmmmm...steel cut oats. Need I say more?

garden5
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I've found that my neighbor's plants tend to take off quickly from the miracle gro, but then tend to peter-out mid-season while mine are a little slower off the bat, but go consistently right up until frost.

Looking forward to the experiment updates.
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gixxerific
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Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

garden5 wrote:I've found that my neighbor's plants tend to take off quickly from the miracle gro, but then tend to peter-out mid-season while mine are a little slower off the bat, but go consistently right up until frost.

Looking forward to the experiment updates.
I feel that same way. Some of you saw my post a while back where I had a couple of tomatoes that looked very bad, I thought they were going to die for sure. Than I also had a post saying my neighbor planted some tomatoes and that they were getting way bigger than mine and way bushier, by 5-6 times. He used chemical fertilizers, I used compost and organic ferts when I used any.

Looking at them just now. My once sick plants look healthier than his, though not as bushy....YET! Mine are catching up and his all have bad leaf roll and are starting to not look so good. His plants are just over the short fence height and stayed there for a while where mine are just under the fence top. So I don't need to run an experiment it is being done for me.

Just so you know it will easy to watch the outcome of this as his plants are just on the other side of my fence where mine are.

Another thing to note is that my beans in my other plot are as big as his now. He planted his about 2 1/2 weeks before I did. Same scenario he used 12-12-12 and I used a bunch of compost/manure.

One more thing all of my cucurbits have way outpaced his as well. Even though, again, he planted before I did.

The only thing he has got on me right now is peppers mine are just now moving while he has large peppers on his. Though mine are coming around. He also bought some huge pepper plants where mine were small seedlings that I transplanted.

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kimbledawn
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Location: Memphis

I am excited to see the results. Before I knew the difference I used MG on my house plants and flowers. My garden has been almost organic (just discovered epsom salt is not OG :( ) since I began last season. I am so happy with the results.

Last season I planted last, made a lot of mistakes, and didn't get a harvest until the end of July and I discovered that I still got as much as three times the amount of tomatoes and peppers as my neighbors who used MG.

This year I am ready :D My first tomatos turned red yesterday and I have more blooms and fruit than I can count. I haven't heard one peep from my neighbors about their tomatoes. The funny part is.... I grew all the tomatoes from seed. Mine and theirs. I gave them all my extra plants, at the same time I planted mine and gave them the strongest ones and kept the leggy ones to myself. :lol:

Maybe it's time to pull out "one man one cow" for this thread. Thank you guys for recommending this last season, I have shown it to everyone I know.

https://www.abundantlifefarm.com/index.php/Video20080630/Video
"Organic gardeners always know the best DIRT!"

The Helpful Gardener
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Compost should have some of the mycorrhizae in it, dec.

And I don't think organic plants WILL get as large and leafy as the MG plant, but don't see that as a downside; leaves are not the end goal here. Even bigger fruit are not the goal; nutrient densities, increased flower and fruit set, and final harvest totals are more of what I'm after.

I think of my neighbors one monster Big Boy of last year; a pasty tasteless gargantuan that was about all that one plant could handle, while my Brandywines were giving me three or four good uns every other day.

What do you want from your garden?

HG
Scott Reil

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