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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 7,960
9/23/12 11:59 A

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We keep ducks to eat insects and slugs in our garden. We do have to fence in beds to keep the ducks out so they don't eat all the veggies as well, but at the beginning and end of the season they do a great job in cleaning up. They also eat bugs that get to our fruit trees and feed us with delicious organic eggs. emoticon

Birgit

You can talk to God all you want and that's great, but the changes happen when you start listening to him.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN OTHERS.




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CBRINKLEY401's Photo CBRINKLEY401 SparkPoints: (66,042)
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9/22/12 10:22 P

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Diatomaceous earth is not a poison. You don't have to worry about any birds, animals, or your dog that eat bugs that die from it.
DE works like tiny shards of glass. Bugs that walk through it will ingest it when they clean themselves off, and it cuts them up inside and kills them. It works for slugs as well. Bugs can't develop resistance to it like they can to pesticides.
You do have to take precautions when applying it, as you don't want to be breathing it in. And you should make sure to rinse off any produce that it may be on, but you should be rinsing them off anyways. You have to reapply it after a rain, since it washes off the plants and into the soil, where it is harmless.

If it's to be, it's up to ME.

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BRAVELUTE's Photo BRAVELUTE SparkPoints: (74,813)
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9/22/12 8:10 P

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I had people at an organic nursery tell me to sprinkle food grade diatomaceous earth to control ants. I'm wondering it that is truly considered to be an organic and safe practice for other animals that might eat bugs that walk in it, or for my dog.

I am told the dust can be harmful if I breathe it during dusting, but otherwise it's not supposed to hurt me or anything else except insects.

Sound correct?

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GOLDDUSTTWIN's Photo GOLDDUSTTWIN SparkPoints: (78,117)
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9/13/12 11:46 A

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UPDATE emoticon emoticon Scotts Fined! Scotts pleaded guilty in February 2012 to illegally applying insecticides to its wild bird food products that are toxic to birds, falsifying pesticide registration documents, distributing pesticides with misleading & unapproved labels, and distributing unregistered pesticides. Scotts Miracle Gro will pay $12.5 Million in Criminal Fine & Civil Penalties for violations of Federal Pesticide Laws! This is the largest criminal penalty under FIFRA to date.

“As the world’s largest marketer of residential use pesticides, Scotts has a special obligation to make certain that it observes the laws governing the sale & use of its products. For having failed to do so, Scotts has been sentenced to pay the largest fine in the history of FIFRA enforcement," said Ignacia S. Moreno, assistant attorney general for the Environment & Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice.
pinterest.com/pin/92675704803189640/
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6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/3804521R>8faa33abe85257a72006bef1c!opendocument


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¸.•´ .•´¨¨))May you have Butterfly Mornings and Wildflower Afternoons!
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-:¦:- ((¸¸.•´* Dusty



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GARDENSTAR's Photo GARDENSTAR SparkPoints: (10,453)
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3/25/12 1:41 P

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I wish I had access to rock mineral powders. There is a business that sells granite , and grinds up to odd scraps. they would have given us the granite powder but unfortunately the pieces of granite have a type of resin on one side of the block, and this resin would get into the powder. I compost what I can, and am always am on the lookout for bags of leaves that could be used as mulch. It does take time and lots of organic matter, but it is possible to improve some really terrible soil. I am dreading the Japanese beetles though.

Edited by: GARDENSTAR at: 3/25/2012 (13:47)
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GABBY308's Photo GABBY308 Posts: 7,907
3/25/12 10:58 A

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@Sarah - hope this all helped. If you're just buying soil for a "topsy turvy", buy a soil mixture for containers because it's lighter and retains more water; just make sure it's labeled "Organic" .






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IMLEENEY's Photo IMLEENEY Posts: 914
3/25/12 10:21 A

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I take all my kitchen produce scraps and put them in my blender, add lots of water and use it to water my plants. As I understand it, it's the act of decomposition that helps enrich the soil.

If it comes from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don't. Michael Pollan

What you do to yourself, you do to the world.
What you do to the world, you do to yourself.
-Buddhist proverb

It just goes to show you, it's always something--if it ain't one thing, it's another
-Roseanneroseannadanna



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GOLDDUSTTWIN's Photo GOLDDUSTTWIN SparkPoints: (78,117)
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3/25/12 10:13 A

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SHIRE33 you make perfect sense...there is no quick fix to gardening practices and maintaining healthy soil for plants and trees...and it is a slow process but really worthwhile;...So many people throw away items that can amend the soil ...for years I have added banana peels around my roses and my tomatoes for the 13 trace nutrients in them and crushed up my egg shells for my lilacs. My rhododendrons have gotten my coffee grounds and tea bags and now I am adding them to my blueberries too.

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¸.•´ .•´¨¨))May you have Butterfly Mornings and Wildflower Afternoons!
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-:¦:- ((¸¸.•´* Dusty



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SHIRE33's Photo SHIRE33 Posts: 941
3/25/12 5:07 A

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Well, I can only answer for me: Not much.

The thing is, I'm all for organic fertilizers, but regardless of the manufacturer, for me, just adding organic fertilizer isn't enough. It's a good step, of course. But if all I'm doing is switching out "good" sprays for "bad" sprays, I'm still not growing sustainably. I feel that to grow the most nutritious, tastiest food, I have to really look at my growing practices on many levels.

That would include the soil amendments, as I discussed below, but also crop rotation, cover cropping, and other sustainable practices.

I hope that makes sense. : )



“The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living on a small piece of land...” - Abraham Lincoln

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Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them--every day begin the task anew."
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GABBY308's Photo GABBY308 Posts: 7,907
3/24/12 3:29 P

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@Shire - I don't think she was asking about regular Miracle Gro. Miracle Gro has a fairly new product line labeled "Organic" in addition to their green bag stuff. How much can you trust the Organic labeling?







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SHIRE33's Photo SHIRE33 Posts: 941
3/24/12 2:37 P

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Disclaimer: I grow organically (not certified) vegetables and sell them at local farmers markets.

I get so aggravated at the idea that "activists" automatically = "crackpot," as the pesticide industry people indicate in the letter below. When I want to change something, I act, and I think of doing it in the spirit of those who were "activists" at the founding of the USA. So I applaud the work of the group.

As far as Miracle Gro, it's a product that doesn't meet organic standards, so I don't use it. I don't like to say anything really negative about the product, but just limit my comments to what I need fertilizers to do that it doesn't. For me, fertilizers feed the soil so that the soil can feed the plant. I'm more of a "dirt farmer" I guess! :D

Many non-organic products (like MG) send Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium straight to the plant, but those are only 3 major nutrients -- they also need micronutrients, like calcium, boron, magnesium, copper, sulfur, etc. To get this balance in your soil, you can add compost, composted manure, humic substances/humates (google that one), and powdered minerals including rock phosphate, green sand, etc. I also like kelp meal, fish meal, and blood meal, for different things (i.e., lettuces are heavy feeders, and blood meal is good for that AND deters rodents).

What you get, in the long run (and it does take some time to build soil), is healthier plants that can fight off pests and diseases better (as you can a cold when you are healthy and well rested), plus those soil nutrients get into the plant and (not surprisingly!) into YOU, since humans need the same kinds of minerals in their healthy diets. Not to mention the fruits and vegetables are tastier (the Brix content is higher) and last longer in the fridge.

I just learned all this by reading, mostly. Read blogs, websites, magazines, books on organic gardening, natural growing, etc. It's a fun journey.



“The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living on a small piece of land...” - Abraham Lincoln

"Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself.
Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them--every day begin the task anew."
- St. Francis de Sales


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GOLDDUSTTWIN's Photo GOLDDUSTTWIN SparkPoints: (78,117)
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3/24/12 11:40 A

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an old saying fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me...
with the issue of the bird seed I have lost confidence in them

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GABBY308's Photo GABBY308 Posts: 7,907
3/24/12 10:53 A

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I use my own container mix - just google making an organic one or you can buy an organic container mix. I'm not sure about the Organic Miracle grow. It can be pretty pricey if you're planting anything besides a few containers. I'm also not sure I trust that the company isn't just jumping on the bandwagon and have my doubts as to whether it's truly organinc, so I'm interested to see how others respond since I have considerd using that shortcut.






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SARAH080607 SparkPoints: (811)
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3/23/12 7:53 P

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I'm fairly new to organic gardening, and was wondering what people's knowledge and thoughts are on using Miracle-Gro organic items such as organic pesticide, organic ferilizers, and organic potting soils?

Also, I plan to try the topsy turvy tomato and strawberry plant hanger this year (mother's day gift last year), and I'm not sure what type of soil to get.

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GOLDDUSTTWIN's Photo GOLDDUSTTWIN SparkPoints: (78,117)
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3/21/12 9:43 P

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Scotts pled guilty this month to illegally using insecticides in their Morning Song and Country Pride bird seed which is toxic to birds and fish. www.ens-newswire.com/ens/mar2012/201
2-
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GABBY308's Photo GABBY308 Posts: 7,907
3/19/12 7:43 P

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Thanks! emoticon






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IMLEENEY's Photo IMLEENEY Posts: 914
3/19/12 3:42 P

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A letter from Ken Cook, President, Environmental Working Group

I know you count on EWG's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce when deciding which fruits and vegetables to buy organic and which ones are ok to buy conventional. But EWG counts on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to publish complete, unbiased pesticide data to create our guide.

For the last two years, the pesticide lobby, especially a front group called the Alliance for Food and Farming, has waged a multi-front campaign to get the USDA to repackage its pesticide data with industry talking points that downplay risks and consumers' concerns. And they attacked EWG's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce in the bargain.

We expect to see USDA's 2010 pesticide data soon and fully expect that the agency has not caved to industry pressure. Giving you the information you need is too important. Your tax dollars paid for the government's pesticide tests. So please stand with EWG today to make sure the USDA tells us the whole truth about pesticides in our food.

Click here to tell the USDA not to cave to industry's pressure - you want to know what you're eating.

Last year, we launched an investigation into the Alliance for Food and Farming and its efforts to influence the USDA. We learned that:

The Alliance for Food and Farming - which represents the interests of conventional agriculture producers and pesticide companies - received a $180,000 grant from USDA in 2010 to slam "Environmental Working Group's 'dirty dozen' report," and to denounce "[c]laims by activist groups about unsafe levels of pesticides."
One top USDA official even wrote a letter endorsing the use of federal tax dollars to attack EWG. When EWG supporters like you called USDA out for funding the project with your tax money, internal documents obtained by EWG show that some USDA officials tried to do damage control, discussing whether they could rescind the grant or tone down disclosures about the project.
At the same time the Alliance for Food and Farming was preparing to attack EWG's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce, industry representatives were lobbying hard to have USDA change the way it would release pesticide data to include more industry-friendly spin downplaying the risks of pesticide residues.
More than a dozen industry representatives - including members of the Alliance for Food and Farming board of directors who led the campaign against EWG - wrote Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last year telling him to prevent "environmental activists" from presenting USDA pesticide data in a way that would hurt business.

Thanks to you, the Alliance for Food and Farming's government grant was not renewed. You told the USDA that consumers (and taxpayers!) want unbiased pesticide data released.

Let's do it again this year. Make sure USDA officials know they can't cave to industry pressure - Americans want to know the truth. Take action today.

Click here to tell the USDA not to cave to industry's pressure - you want to know what you're eating.

Thank you for standing with EWG against the pesticide lobby.

www.ewg.org/

If it comes from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don't. Michael Pollan

What you do to yourself, you do to the world.
What you do to the world, you do to yourself.
-Buddhist proverb

It just goes to show you, it's always something--if it ain't one thing, it's another
-Roseanneroseannadanna



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