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54 Comments

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Deborah says ...
The problem I see with using Dawn dishwashing liquid is that is it indiscrimminate - it can damage the beneficial insects as well as pests. Also, does it contain phosphates that can put your soil out of balance with overuse or run off into your water source?
02/22/2008 7:24:27 AM CST
Jennifer Harrison says ...
A great practical read on organic gardening: The Organic Home Garden : How to Grow Fruits and Vegetables Naturally by Patrick Lima, John Scanlan
02/22/2008 10:52:14 AM CST
Terry DeFluri says ...
I love the idea of Green Garden blogs for Whole Foods! I am one of the growers for a local park - heirloom gardens which means we can't use pesticdes, etc. We use lots of compost to supplement our gardens and have developed a vermiculture bed for raising worms. (Nitrogen rich fertilizer!) I also suggest using newspapers under mulch to keep gardens tidy and weed free. I use companion plantings as oftedn as I can. I plant marigolds as a group as well as snap dragons to help encourage benenfcial insects & to distract any potential pests. "Southern Seed Exposure" catalog has heirloom seeds and great organic Garden tips. Terry DeFluri
02/22/2008 2:43:58 PM CST
Terry DeFluri says ...
Tahnks for posting the blogs!
02/22/2008 2:46:08 PM CST
Kristen says ...
Our city recycling program doesn't take the plastic containers that tofu comes in. Instead of throwing them away, I plant seeds in them and transfer the seedlings outside after the last frost.
02/22/2008 2:47:14 PM CST
Joan Haarlander says ...
Last year was my first attempt at an organic garden. I did get started late so it was just tomatoes. This year I am going to get started early with organic seedlings inside first. Last year I prepared the ground with organic soil and also organic hummus and organic fertilizer.I have heard there are some very good organic bug sprays also but I did not have any issues with that. Everyone commented on how very meaty my tomatoes were and they were the best they had ever eaten. I have to agree, and anyone can do it, just stay all organic and keep it the way God intended. So if you want to start a garden just get started even if it is small.
02/22/2008 9:19:27 PM CST
Kathleen Cattie says ...
I have an organic garden at the elementary school where I teach. In the middle of our ring gardens are compost piles. After the students leave the cafeteria, they throw their fruit refuse in the compost. It's a win-win situation: my garden gets nutritious and delicious composted soil, and my students get to see first hand how food breaks down naturally. It is a real-life application that they wouldn't have learned as well from a text book!
02/23/2008 7:37:40 AM CST
Lisa says ...
Love to recycle my brown paper bags by lining my gardens with them before I put down compost/mulch. Now I use reusable bags so I collect brown bags from my Whole Foods friends who haven't made the switch over to reusable. My gardens flourish and the weeds don't!!
02/23/2008 8:46:37 AM CST
Lydia Fox says ...
Aphids can be a problem in the garden or on balcony potted plants. I have found that aphids do not like coffee. Try adding used coffee grounds to the soil. If a heavy infestation occurs, use instant coffee sprinkled dry around the base of the plants.
02/23/2008 12:12:45 PM CST
Sandra Stone says ...
I have had an organic garden on and off for nearly 2 decades. One book that has been my hands-down fav is The Moosewood Restaurant Kitchen Garden. I have no idea if still in print, but if so it is a must! Other great resources are Organic Gardening and Mother Earth News. This year we are planning to extend our garden to our suburban front yard. Our goal is to devote our time and resources to food and not to wasteful lawn space. We will see what the homeowners association have to say. Good luck everyone!
02/24/2008 8:56:04 PM CST
Gita Agrawal says ...
Are weeds popping up in the garden? Rather than tackling these pesky plants with herbicides, try to remove them manually. The physical activity, the fresh air, and the sense of accomplishment can do wonders to the body as well as the mind. And best of all, no chemical are involved to pollute our earth!
02/25/2008 5:26:48 PM CST
Deanna Gouzie says ...
I notice that many of you have mentioned composting for your "green" gardens. The best compost ever is supposed to be worm composting. I have been researching it and wanting to go for it but haven't quite gotten there. It seems a great solution for those of us who can't do much composting in the winter months. I read a great book called "Worms Eat My Garbage" by Mary Appelhof. I can't see any drawbacks, I am sure it is fabulous, but the idea of stashing worms under my kitchen sink kind of makes me squirmy.. LOL!! I'd love to hear about anyone's experience with this. Thanks in advance!
02/26/2008 6:28:41 PM CST
A Chapman says ...
Just a note about the compost from worms for your gardens.... I saw bags of organic worm castings for sale in the outdoor garden center of a major discount chain store just yesterday. This surely does save the effort of raising them in your own backyard or under the kitchen sink!. Every book I have read on the subject does highly recommend worm composted material.
02/26/2008 8:56:01 PM CST
Barbara Ruppert says ...
My dad grew up on an Iowa farm in the 1920's. All vegetable and fruit scraps were placed in a compost pile. Every several weeks, the compost was shovelled and turned. As I grew up in Houston, we were the only family on our block with a compost pile. My dad would add the neighbors leaves and grass clippings as well as produce scraps, coffee grinds and spent flower bouquets. We no longer own a lawn mover or have any St. Augustine grass. We have the most beautiful vegetable gardens, grape arbors, fruit trees, wildflower, herbs and roses, all in the city. Our food bills have decreased and our health has improved. The fruits and vegetables that we are unable to grow locally we purchase at Whole Foods.
02/27/2008 8:02:41 AM CST
Jennifer Wright says ...
To help keep your corn free from worms and other pests plant green beans or pole beans at the base of each corn stalk and help the vine climb the corn. Pesky bugs don't like the smell of the beans and will leave your corn alone so that you can enjoy it!
02/28/2008 11:09:47 AM CST
Deanna Gouzie says ...
I have done that and it works wonderfully! I actually did the "Three Sisters" technique adding squash(or pumpkins) into the mound as well. You need to make a pretty big mound, but if you do plant the corn on top with beans right around them... the squash goes around the mound on the sides (sloping part) of it. It is also great because corn need lots of nitrogen in the soil and the beans will provide that. The squash provides ground cover to help retain moisture and that means less watering. Woo-hoo! I also like the fact that I have arrow straight corn and no crooked stalks AND it did cut down on pests.
02/29/2008 2:33:38 PM CST
Wendy MacPherson says ...
I am currently reading a book reccomended by another organic gardener at our community gardens."the vegetable gardeners bible" by Edward C. Smith. His system is W.O.R.D. Wide rows, Organic methods, raised beds, and deep soil. So far a great book! Now I need to find a good cookbook to use all of the unusual vegetables that can be grown in a home garden!
02/29/2008 3:02:52 PM CST
jerry says ...
I would recommend "The Victory Garden Cookbook" by Marion Morash as a good all around garden-oriented cookbook. It doesn't cover a lot of exotics, but has excellent information on the basic veggies that most people plant in their gardens. For exotics, "Uncommon Fruits & Vegetables: A Commonsense Guide" by Elizabeth Schneider is a good choice. The same author also has a comprehensive reference in print, entitled "Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini." Though not oriented toward gardening, Schneider's books are good resources for cooks of every stripe. --Jerry
03/03/2008 5:07:24 PM CST
EAnne Wuerslin says ...
The most important thing to remember in organic gardening is the word LOCAL. Every place and every garden has local weather, soil, moisture and growing conditions. Find out from your neighbors, local farmers, cooperative extension services and vendors at your .. farmer's markets what works in your area. Consult with your county's Master Gardeners for free advice and handouts.
03/02/2008 4:35:05 PM CST
Maureen Sison says ...
When shelling pecans, instead of throwing the shells away, soak them in water over night & put them on your coals when grilling. This adds wonderful flavor to your grilled foods.
03/03/2008 8:38:44 AM CST
Tina Wood says ...
Here is my greener gardening tip: I've been saving cardboard box tops and bottoms from some of the office supplies we order. The tops of copy paper cases, the bottom of file folder boxes, all make the perfect sized biodegradable seed trays!
03/03/2008 10:14:01 PM CST
Katina says ...
FYI: I was at my local Calloway's Nursery the other day (DFW area) and noticed a sign that they do "free" soil testing,and I think it also said you'd get a free couponto use in the store too. While there I also picked up some plastic seed trays they were throwing away and I'm "recycling" them to start my seedlings.
03/06/2008 5:57:43 PM CST
Tom says ...
I "grow" soil on a regular, on-going basis. In the fall I put leaves from my yard and occasionally neighbors yards over my garden area to a depth of about 2 feet. Sometimes, this covers growing plants, such as swiss chard and carrots, which I can continue gathering through much of the winter. The ground rarely freezes with the heavy layer of insulation on it. In the Spring I add a 35 gal. garbage barrel full of horse manure from a local horse boarding business to the garden area. Worms are plentiful, providing more nutrients to the garden. Insects have not really been a problem after the first couple of years. Another reason I believe for the dearth of insects is the mix of plants in a relatively small area. I believe the odors are mixed to the point that it is difficult for a specific insect to zero in on the odors coming from their favorite food source. One of my favorite books is one of the "Square Foot Gardening" books by Mel Bartholomew. He has two out by the title. I read the first one from the Library and bought the second. He also has an excellent web site. My recommendation to a beginning gardener? Just do it. Most of what you learn will come from your observations as you go along. Visit other gardens, and read. Organic Gardening (OG) magazine and Mother Earth News are my two favorite gardening mags.
03/07/2008 9:21:26 AM CST
Anh says ...
I've tried different things like orange oils scent sprays, hot water and powdered sugar with corn meal to get rid of ants but they've all been short-termed solutions. The ants are present year round but they invade the inside of our house in the hottest months of the year. Their paths also cross my organic vegetable gardens. Does anyone have this problem too and what do you do short of calling the exterminator which I've avoided doing the last 8 years that we've lived here?
03/17/2008 1:20:18 AM CDT
Barbara says ...
I started an organic garden where my lawn was in my back yard a few years ago. In the process the neighbor had his giant ash tree sprayed with a fungicide which in turn rained down all over my yard and me. During the claim I had my " organic " garden soil tested to see if any of the toxic contaminant was detected and in turn found my earth to contain DDT, DDD and DDE. All within accepted limits but my dream is no longer organic. I now garden in wine barrels. Know your dirt, especially if you live where there once was an orchard.
03/21/2008 8:32:19 AM CDT

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