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Old May 2, 2013   #16
ErieDeare
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I just put a load of compost on my garden and it was like black gold.

Than I planted green onions and some strawberries I hope that with the leaf compost that I put on last Fall and the compost that I put on Tuesday my garden will be the best I have ever had.

The compost that I just put on they told me to only go 2 inches deep because this compost is very rich and you would only get vines if you went to deep.

I am still loking for rock dust.

Yes it is warming up here and by the end of May I will put my tomatoes out.
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Old May 3, 2013   #17
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Sounds like you are off to a good start. Be patient with your progress in cool soil. The folks that use chemical fertilizer may get faster growth at first but you should catch up when the soil warms up.

Glenn
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Old May 3, 2013   #18
Tracydr
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Originally Posted by bughunter99 View Post
Welcome! Here are my tips for you.

#1 You don't need to buy a lot of expensive "stuff" to garden organically.

#2 Not everything natural is chemical free. Items such as box store compost, free manure and straw can be very highly contaminated.

#3 If your soil has been hit with a lot of chemicals over the years, expect the first year to be rough as you rebuild it.

#4 The soil, it is the key. Very healthy soil leads to stronger plants that are less prone to disease and pests.

#5 Organic growers that do daily garden walk throughs will find stuff before it gets out of hand.

#6 You don't need organic stuff in a bottle to replace non-organic stuff in a bottle. Other things like row cover to prevent squash beetles. Inter-planting. Your own compost etc can do wonders.

#7 Start a compost pile, in addition to the worms. You'll want both as the worms will take awhile to get started and the compost...it is like gold.

#8. Its worth it. You will encounter many many many many many naysayers out there that will preach to you that stuff is not more nutritious or doesn't taste better or productivity is worse or its not reeeeeeeeeally organic because of x, y, z. Blow them off. YOU know that YOU are significantly improving the health of your soil, the nutritious value of your plants and your overall healthy by significantly decreasing your chemical exposures.

#9 Know that there are many of us out there that have been doing this a long time that will help you.

#10 Don't get discouraged if something not organic ends up in the garden. Going Organic'ish is still a great improvement.

#11 Box stores typically have little that is of organic value. Have fun scoping out local nurseries that may do better.

I use Neptunes Fish and Seaweed but others will weigh in with their favorites I'm sure. The leaf matter is an awesome start!


Stacy
So true!
And, manure, its the best! Plus, fish emulsion, kelp and bat guano! Well, I guess bat guano counts as manure,lol.
I also love alfalfa pellets from the feed store. The horse cubes come with molasses to hold them together, an added bonus. Soak in water until soft, add a handful to each plant.
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Old May 3, 2013   #19
ErieDeare
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When it comes to weeds what do you do to keep them under control or do you use a per-emerge like Preen?

When coming to alfalfa pellets what is the smallest bag you can get? What does it cost?
Here is a BIG QUESTION how do you keep
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Old May 3, 2013   #20
kath
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When it comes to weeds what do you do to keep them under control or do you use a per-emerge like Preen?
I use a scuffle hoe and mulch with grass clippings/shredded leaves/old straw/hay, etc. sometimes with wet paper under the mulch.
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Old May 13, 2013   #21
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Although weeding is not fun I find it is one of the best ways to observe what is going on in your garden. So, I mostly weed by hand or scuffle hoe as pictured in Kath's post. I'm also experimenting with mulching a couple of beds and find that helps keeps weeds under controll and easier to pull. Not sure you would want to use preen if your objective is to go organic.
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Old May 14, 2013   #22
habitat_gardener
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ErieDeare View Post
When it comes to weeds what do you do to keep them under control or do you use a per-emerge like Preen?

When coming to alfalfa pellets what is the smallest bag you can get? What does it cost?
Here is a BIG QUESTION how do you keep
I LOVE to pull weeds, especially bermuda grass. I got another community garden plot that's infested with bermuda, and surrounded by bermuda-infested paths, and I'm enjoying pulling it all (ha!) out. I wear gloves and use a hori hori or similar tool. If past experience holds true, the time I spend weeding now will ensure that I won't be constantly battling bermuda grass for years when the plot is fully planted.

In my more established gardens, I like to encourage self-seeders, so I've learned to recognize the plants I like and distinguish them from weeds when they first emerge and are no more than a quarter-inch high. They're much easier to weed when they're small!

The local pet store where I get my alfalfa pellets sells only one size: 50 lbs. for about $22 with tax. I store it in containers with lids. I need to store it outdoors, so I make sure the containers are watertight. I had a leaky lid one winter and either added the bucketful of alfalfa sludge to the soil or composted it.
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