Saturday, January 28, 2012

So Help Me, I'll Turn off the Comments if Y'all Act Ugly

There has been a lot of anger in the garden blogging community about a certain nonprofit and a certain corporation hooking up.  I don't have ties to either organization and am not here to comment on them.  I am going to voice my opinion  about pesticides, herbicides and fertilizer.

I am an organic gardener.  I have been since I was 12 years old and my dad made me sick putting a synthetic pesticide on my first little vegetable garden.  I have used organic pesticides off and on and now only use soap and diatomaceous earth and only when I absolutely have to.  I have found that it is smarter to plant when the bugs are not active.  Tomatoes in the spring/early summer before the red spider mites show up and squash and beans in late summer/early fall after the squash bugs have moved on.  Your results may vary.  This way I hope not even to need soap next year.  The DE is used as needed against fire ants.  Fire ants are from the devil. I don't know of one single pesticide organic or synthetic that only kill one kind of bug.  If it can kill your cabbage looper it can kill your butterfly caterpillars.  I want my butterflies to live here, make babies here and let those babies eat my passion vine.  I also want bees to come and visit my flowers.  I want lady bugs to eat the aphids.  I want to want praying mantis, but they sort of scare me.  Look up and one of them is staring at me like I might be good for lunch.  Shudder.

The only herbicides I use are my own two hands and mulch.

Fertilizers I love me some fertilizer.  I use blood meal, bone meal, bat guano and liquid fish.  These are great products that don't reek of ammonia.  Well, the bat guano reeks of ammonia.  And here is where I take a stand, ANY of these things can pollute if they are used incorrectly.  Algae in our lakes doesn't care if that nitrogen is organic or not.  Nitrogen is nitrogen is nitrogen.  I take extreme care in making sure I use my products properly and keep it out of the water.  Never never never intentional fertilize before a rain event.  Don't dump anything down the drain.  Never over fertilize.  Make sure I water it in well when I do.

Finally, compost compost compost.  Make it, turn it , use it.  Good for the garden and the landfill.