All Things Gardening forum: Trying to go organic

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Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
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abhege
Mar 5, 2013 12:30 PM CST
So, I would like to sell plants but in this area there is a high demand for organic. Even though I am not certified I would like to stay as organic as possible. I start my seeds in organic Jiffy Mix seed starter. Now, moving to potting them up...I got a steal on Craig's List on some Pro Mix only to find out the wetting agent used is not organic. Any suggestions?

I have made my own mix before with peat, perlite, vermiculite, compost and soil but I need huge amounts this year and I'm dealing with clay soil so it is a lot harder to use

I see there is no organic forum?
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Cut Flowers Composter Keeper of Poultry Keeps Goats Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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abhege
Mar 7, 2013 6:25 AM CST
Okay, so no one's interested in organic? I have to go back to DG? Hilarious!
Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
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chelle
Mar 7, 2013 6:37 AM CST
I am. Definitely.

Have you tried the Permaculture Forum http://garden.org/forums/view/permaculture/ ? I've found a lot of interesting information there on growing organically.
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Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Cut Flowers Composter Keeper of Poultry Keeps Goats Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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abhege
Mar 7, 2013 6:41 AM CST
I have not. I will check it out. we just joined an organic gardening club and there are several who do CSAs or farmer's markets so I'm hoping to get some good info there too. THANK YOU

I like the Pro Mix BX but I'm going to try and just use it for my flowers.

Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
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Horseshoe
Mar 7, 2013 9:43 PM CST
"I have made my own mix before with peat, perlite, vermiculite, compost and soil but I need huge amounts this year and I'm dealing with clay soil so it is a lot harder to use".

Don't use your clay soil then; you don't need it.

There is an organic version of the original Cornell Mix. You can easily mix it fairly quick, too, since the ingredients are much lighter than your clay:
1/2 cubic yard sphagnum peat
!/2 cubic yard vermiculite
10 pounds bone meal
5 pounds ground limestone
5 pounds blood meal

I'm not sure what size pots or type of plants you are growing but I'd use this recipe for things that will only be in a pot a short while since peat tends to compact fairly quickly.

If you want to reduce the ingredient sizes down to smaller batches 1/2 cubic yard equals 100 dry gallons.

Hope this helps.
I'm sure I have a list on my computer for ready-made potting soils that are OMRI approved if that would help.

Shoe
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Cut Flowers Composter Keeper of Poultry Keeps Goats Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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abhege
Mar 8, 2013 11:43 AM CST
Thanks, Shoe! I think this will be great, and I am doing HUGE quantities for short periods so peat compacting shouldn't be a problem. I will have to "pot up" tomato plants twice probably. Will start selling at market around first Sat. in April. and peppers. and flowers!
Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Garden Sages I sent a postcard to Randy! I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
For our friend, Shoe. Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Enjoys or suffers cold winters Birds Permaculture Container Gardener
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Horseshoe
Mar 8, 2013 11:36 PM CST
Yeh, our mkt (summer hrs) begin April 6th so I'll be out there doing the same.

Personally, I think I like perlite better than vermiculite; maybe you can try some of each and see which you prefer. And for tomato plants and peppers I believe you should cut back a bit on the blood meal, too. I try not to feed tomatoes/peppers too much except for fish emulsion, just to keep them healthy but not growing too fast for their pots. Neither tomatoes or peppers will benefit from all the nitrogen in blood meal...save that for your herb plants, they'll love it!

Good luck with sales this year!

Shoe
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Cut Flowers Composter Keeper of Poultry Keeps Goats Avid Green Pages Reviewer
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abhege
Mar 9, 2013 6:30 AM CST
great, another market gardener!

RIght now I don't think a lot of my tomatoes will be ready, some look fine. Some look really sick...Peppers look good though.

I use both perlite and vermiculite. Both have plusses and minuses. I just hate the way perlite "floats" to the top after watering, especially when you have planted seeds and tiny ones at that!

Good luck to you also! Post some pics (we are hobby marketers, not like the big farmers with truckloads of tomatoes) we usually just have a few boxes.

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