I’m a newly elected Manager of my community garden, which is advertised as organic. It is far from organic. I am trying to ease the transition from rampant chemical use to more environmentally friendly methods of pest control. I feel that if I had a specific list of compounds that are classified as Organic, I would have an easier time enforcing the rules. Is there such a thing? If the gardeners could see a list of products they could or could not use, it would be easier for them to transition. Now for the intro. I am a gardener from way back.

I remember planting beans when I was five. I also was an honor student in my high school FFA. I enjoy experimenting with new varieties and techniques in my garden, and currently have 6 varieties of clematis blooming. I just got my veggie garden in, with tomatoes, eggplant, beans, both blue lake and Italian, onions, leeks, cucumbers, 3 varieties of zucchini, lumina pumpkins, strawberry popcorn, raspberries, boysenberries, strawberries, bell peppers, hot peppers, luffa, lettuce, garlic and scallop squash. I use only „Sluggo” right now, and hand pick the cucumber beetles. I am successfully using a mixture of borax and sugar to limit the ant population, and am going to try soy sauce with an oil floater plus two drops liquid soap for earwigs.

As I said I am trying to educate the gardeners at my garden, so I am eager to hear of any and all methods that have worked for you. I am having alot of trouble with bermuda grass in the orchard, so if you have organic ways of dealing with that, I would be very grateful.

As for what is good to use or not, find a organic farm or garden supplier and see what they stock, either a catalog or store. And if you know that some of your members use something that the mail order place doesn’t stock, ask them why they don’t, they’ll probably tell you A. it has stuff that’ll kill your grandkids before your kids are born. B. It wouldn’t kill you real soon but it’s hell on beneficial bugs and worms or even C. we don’t stock it but our competitor does but we like something else It would probably be helpful to have the information as to why something should not be used other than the blanket rule about organic/non etc.

We don’t want to spray everything with this cause while it will kill those bugs that are eating your plants, it is also killing the worms that is making the compost and turning the soil, we don’t want to use those chemical fertilizers cause it is preventing the fungi in the soil from doing their jobs and breaking down all the other minerals and trace nutrients the chems don’t even think about. Some folks have a strong loyalty to their favorite chemical, my mom is as loyal to mirical grow as a biker is to harley’s, I think it is hard thing to learn that a healthy garden has some bad bugs in it, and some holes in the apples, the birds and bees need something to eat too.

I think it would be really beneficial to hold classes about organic gardening – just little one hour (or less) things, such as „Controlling Bugs Organically” or „Using Mulch to Conserve Water”. Hand out pamphlets to the people that aren’t able to attend. Make sure everyone as a deep understanding of organic gardening, rather than just knowledge that „this isn’t on the list, so we can’t use it.”