Organic Gardening – Are You An Organic Gardener?

Organic Gardening – What is it? This should be a simple question, and many of you may think you know the answer, but the answer is more complicated than you think.

I consider myself an organic gardener – but some of you won’t agree because I do use some Roundup.

Can you garden organically and still use Roundup? Can you be ‘sort of’ organic and still consider yourself an organic gardener? Do organic gardeners make the best environmental choices?

A true organic gardener, organic gardening
A true organic gardener

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Organic Seeds – Why Buy Them?

Lots of people are looking to buy organic seeds but as a chemist this has never made any sense to me. I started asking people on social media for their reasons for selecting organic seeds over conventional seeds or heirlooms seeds. The answers clearly indicate that people don’t understand why they want organic seeds, but one valid reason did emerge.

In this post I will look at the reasons people give for buying organic seed and discuss the validity of the reasons.

Burbee organic seeds
Burbee organic seeds

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Compost – Is It An Organic Fertilizer?

Compost is good for the garden, in part, because it adds nutrients for the plants. That sounds like a fertilizer. But almost everything you read says that compost is NOT a fertilizer. Something doesn’t make sense—let’s have a closer look at this myth. Is compost an organic fertilizer?

Compost Bin for making organic fertilizer
Compost bin for making organic fertilizer

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What Is Organic Fertilizer?

If you read a number of web sites, especially organic gardening ones, you quickly realize that there are two basic kinds of fertilizer. There is the ‘synthetic fertilizer’ which you buy in bags. This fertilizer is clearly BAD! Then there is the good stuff; organic fertilizer.

What is the real difference between organic fertilizer and synthetic fertilizer? Is there a difference? The answer may surprise you.

variegated Lilly of the valley
Variegated Lilly of the Valley – by Robert Pavlis

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Is Compost Tea Organic?

You are probably sitting there thinking – is this guy crazy? Compost is organic and so the brewed tea from compost or manure must also be organic. Read on and I just might convince you that compost tea is NOT very organic!

compost tea brewing
compost tea brewing

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Fear of Chemicals

Chemicals are those nasty man-made synthetic products that are destroying the environment and harming ourselves. This is how the general public and organic zealots in particular view chemicals. Nothing can be further from the truth – this is a common garden myth.

Nicotiana tabacum, a natural product nicotine
Nicotiana tabacum, produces natural product nicotine

 

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What does Organic Mean?

You see the word organic used everywhere these days so you would think that the word has a simple definition. Not so.

The word is used by different groups of people to mean different things.

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What does organic gardening mean?

 

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