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Chosen as one of the Top 30 Organic Gardening Blogs – March 2018

Glyphosate – Round-up™– Things You Might Want to Consider

Glyphosate is an herbicide that came on the scene in 1964 when it was patented by the Stauffer chemical company. It’s the active ingredient in Round-up™ which has been the flagship product of the company Monsanto for many years.

Round-up™ is promoted as being “a perfect fit with the vision of sustainable agriculture and environmental protection.” (You can read it for yourself on the […]

Manures – Good or Bad for the Organic Garden?

I have a list of posts I want to write for you, but have been giving all my available time to the book I’m writing.  One of the things I wanted to post about — as a result of several questions from readers — was using manure in the organic garden. (In any garden really.)

Since I’ve just finished writing the draft […]

Compost – Hay – Residual Herbicides – Extension Office Advice – A Reader’s Experience

If you have to deal with residual herbicides — it’s obviously not pleasant.  I think there are still many folks who garden who don’t know about residual herbicides.  There are also those who do know —and just like to think it can’t happen to them.

To make matters worse — if you live in an area that a residual herbicide problem has not been […]

How to Test for the Presence of Herbicides

The following information was taken from http://smallfarms.oregonstate.edu/sfn/f09Herbicide

It is explained in even more detail at http://www.puyallup.wsu.edu/soilmgmt/Pubs/CloBioassay.pdf

There are many university sites and other sites that have the same information.

Herbicidal symptoms on plants sensitive to the herbicide

Slight damage – leaves of new growth are somewhat cupped. Leaves do not lie flat before opening. Moderate damage – leaves are obviously cupped. Severe damange – […]

Municipal-Compost – Manures – Should you use them?

Karen, a reader, asked several questions on the post, Compost What it is and Methods Used to Get it.  I think the questions are important and are asked sooner or later by almost every gardener.  Thus, I am addressing them in this post.

She is preparing a new area in her yard for planting. Here’s what she writes:

“I want to consider adding manure […]

Care of plants – Organic Fertilizer – Organic Pesticides – Manures

In a recent post a reader asked several questions which I thought important enough to address in a post so everyone could benefit.

Question #1 -How Do You Care for Your Plants?

Basically the best way to care for your plants – and the way I care for mine — is by consistently adding organic material to the soil and keep it mulched.

Other […]

Compost – Mulch – Residual Herbicides – What You Can Do About Them in Your Garden

The problem of residual herbicides in compost originally surfaced from 1999-2000.

Certain active chemicals in various herbicides that are sprayed on pastures, grass, straw and even some fruits and vegetables don’t break down when they pass through the digestive track of cattle and/or when they’re composted. Thus, enough of the chemical remains to damage susceptible crops in your garden when you use either the […]

Pesticides - A Simple Step to Cut 80% of Them from Your Diet

Health risks from pesticides has been established worldwide by independent research scientists and physicians.

Their link to health problems (like nervous system toxicity, cancer, hormone system effects, skin, eye and lung irritation, birth defects, and infertility) has been acknowledged by the U.S. as well as international government agencies.

I would not think that would come as a surprise to most thinking folks since pesticides […]

Residual Herbicides in Compost Part 2: On Grow Mix, Potting Mix, Compost, Manure, & Mulch

If you are just joining me and have not read the first part, please read through Part 1 to gain a more complete picture of what is being discussed.

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As I mentioned at the end of Part 1, my friend was ready to throw in the towel and not buy anymore potting soil and/or grow mix, compost or mulch.

And I must admit that in this day and age it is difficult to find products suitable for organic gardening, but they are out there.

Below are 3 points I think you will find helpful:

  • OMRI Listed – A Visible Indication of Product Suitability –   Organic Materials Review Institute is a non-profit organization that evaluates products for the organic industry. If the product you are looking at is marked “OMRI Listed” it has been reviewed and is consistent with the requirements of the National Organic Standard.

“OMRI Listed” is indeed a excellent indication of product suitability, but remember something very important when you are buying anything —–read more—-

Residual Herbicides in Composts - Part 1

Our area is rural and as I have mentioned before, anyone using organic practices here is in a small minority.  Farmers spray the surrounding fields with herbicides and results can be seen by almost anyone paying attention.  A friend who lives within a few miles of us said, “Around the edges of the field where the spray isn’t concentrated enough to kill the weeds it causes the normally straight stems to grow in a corkscrew spiral.”

Even more alarmingly, he had seen this same symptom on a tomato that he had grown with purchased potting soil and/or compost. And then, to top it off, he saw a program reporting on the growing problem of residual herbicides in compost. Upsetting to say the least.

More About the Problem —–read more—-