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  1. #1
    Senior Member mockingbird's Avatar
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    Default Organic home garden

    I have just planted a vegitable garden and I'm trying to do it organically as much as possible. I didn't use the expensive organic soil or start everything from seeds, but I want to at least control pests and fertilize organically.

    I'm very new to this. I haven't even done a vegitable garden before period, much less a (mostly) organic one. I'm especially concearned with all the rabbits and deer I've seen around here. As well as ants. If there is anyone out there who has done this before, I'd love to know any tips that you might have.

    I'm growing Roma and heirloom tomatoes, three colors of bell peppers, three colors of Swiss chard, red lettuce and arugula. I have no idea what challenges I'm in for with these crops, but any hints would be much appreciated

  2. #2
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    A neighbor told me to plant marigolds around my garden to repel rabbits. I tried it and not only does it make for a pretty garden, it seems to work. They smell kinda weird and critters don't like it.

    Edit: Mulch is wonderful for weed control. A stable can be a good place to get organic fertilizer.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
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    Senior Member mockingbird's Avatar
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    Oh, I love marigolds. One of my favorite flowers. I think I'll try that. At least even if it doesn't work I can still enjoy the flowers.

  4. #4
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    What sort of region do you live in, mockingbird?

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    Senior Member mockingbird's Avatar
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    I live in northwest Louisiana. Our summers are long, hot, and humid. We had an unusually cold winter this year though. It even snowed! Spring has just started to show itself now. It's a bit chilly in the mornings and at night, but warm in the afternoon.

  6. #6
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    definitley agreeing with cafe about both the marigolds and the mulch!

    my parents actually mulch the garden with straw, with a layer of old newspaper underneath to make it rather impermeable to any weed that may wish to grow... they also till under the old crops at the end of the season to help retain nutrients in the soil... for smaller gardens they help boost the soil with a compost pile

    I'm actually getting to plant a garden for the first time this year... I'm so excited!
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

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    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    As far as fertilizer goes, a lot of plants love growing next to peas. I got giant tomato plants last year. Never felt like I needed fertilizer, though I don't tend to grow very "needy" plants. Garden peas taste awesome too, nothing at all like store-bought peas.

    You can buy bags of manure for a few dollars if you don't live near farms/stables or if you don't want to ask.

    I've never grown peppers (growing season here is short) but tomatoes are pretty simple. Lettuce I tried once and had big problems with everything eating it (squirrels, rabbits, bugs etc) and haven't tried it since - I hope you'll have better luck though.

    I would worry about the deer, my grandpa used to garden heavily and eventually had to invest in an electric fence, the deer would actually eat everything to the ground. A friend of mine has a system with a water hose rigged to a motion sensor that seems to work pretty well for scaring deer away. Good luck!
    -end of thread-

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    Senior Member mockingbird's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips, y'all!...Yeah, I am worried about those deer. We are putting up a chain link fence this summer, so I hope we'll get it up quick enough. We'll have to put it up bit by bit as we're on a tight budget, but I usually only see the deer lurking around in the fall, so maybe I'll be ok.

    My little hippetty-hop friends give me the most concearn though. I know I saw them around last summer happily munching away at the dandelions. I know they'd love to find my bed of greens. I'm thinking about making a little fence of chicken wire around my garden area. I like the idea of the marigolds, and I've seen rabbit reppellants out there, though. Maybe I'll try all three for extra insurance! We live out in the boondocks with more cows than people, so we have more furry visitors than the average suburbanite. Better to be safe than sorry, I think.

    I'm viroid about the organic products out there that kill ants. They are made from orange oil which is supposed to be very deadly for insects. But what about the beneficial insects like ladybugs? Wouldn't it hurt them too?

  9. #9
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    around where I grew up people grated Irish Springs soap to keep deer and raccoons out of the garden... it definitley helps
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  10. #10
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mockingbird View Post
    Thanks for the tips, y'all!...Yeah, I am worried about those deer. We are putting up a chain link fence this summer, so I hope we'll get it up quick enough. We'll have to put it up bit by bit as we're on a tight budget, but I usually only see the deer lurking around in the fall, so maybe I'll be ok.

    My little hippetty-hop friends give me the most concearn though. I know I saw them around last summer happily munching away at the dandelions. I know they'd love to find my bed of greens. I'm thinking about making a little fence of chicken wire around my garden area. I like the idea of the marigolds, and I've seen rabbit reppellants out there, though. Maybe I'll try all three for extra insurance! We live out in the boondocks with more cows than people, so we have more furry visitors than the average suburbanite. Better to be safe than sorry, I think.

    I'm viroid about the organic products out there that kill ants. They are made from orange oil which is supposed to be very deadly for insects. But what about the beneficial insects like ladybugs? Wouldn't it hurt them too?
    I'm jealous. I don't have a yard right now, so I do mostly container gardening, but my parents still have their garden. When I was a kid we had problems with a groundhog that would burrow under the fence. We ended up having to dig down a couple feet, bury the chickenwire underground, AND have it going above ground a couple feet as well. I don't know how aggressive the bunnies are though...

    Like I said, I'm jealous. Have fun!

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