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The greatest challenge organic gardeners face, and how you can overcome it. In the "Growing Tip," homemade organic fertilizer, all in this week's episode of Greenhorn Gardening!


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6 Responses to “GG 14 | The Greatest Challenge Organic Gardeners Face, and How You Can Overcome It!”

  1. Damon Says:

    Do you like the Chit Chat section or not?

  2. Beth Says:

    Hey, Damon.  I like the chitchat.
    I wrote you a long chatty comment just now but the submission failed saying I had a bad email address.  
    Resubmitting to see if this one goes through …

  3. Beth Says:

    It worked! I listen, I live in North Alabama, and your presentation has good flow, good information, and makes me laugh. Your weekly talk about what you're seeing in your garden, and your thought process as your're trying new things, is good to hear.  And go ahead and get philosophical … sometimes you cut yourself off just when the topic gets larger than the "garden" but that would be okay with this listener.  🙂
    Later, when the time comes to prepare and preserve your grains and beans, I will really be listening for your first-hand experience.  I have gotten stuck at the point of OH, NO HARVEST TSUNAMI! and don't know the best way to dry corn or beans to use for storage and milling.
    I am a organic beginner … following Ruth Stout's no-work garden method for in-ground beds, and I keep one 4' x 4' square foot garden based on Mel Bartholemew's book.  I have learned a lot from you already, especially about nitrogen-fixing plants and trees, the hornworms and wasps(!!), benefits of using straw mulch under my veggie plants, and your recommended varietals for those three sisters. 
    I do have a few questions if you care to share your opinion. 
    Now that it's getting consistently warm, my tasty baby lettuces are getting ready to bolt.  Do I yahnk them, eat and share what I can and compost the rest … or let some of the favorites go to seed for my next cool-weather garden?  Would that be worthwhile?
    Also, my raised bed has been invaded by some weed with bumpy, heart-shaped leaves, and no matter how I try to pull or dig it, its underground stems survive and the leaves return.  I'm tempted to build a 2' by 2' sieve (like archaeologists use) for the soil to sift out the runners, is that crazy?  Do you know an easier way to save my above-ground raised bed from this nuisance plant?
    Finally, I bought some whole organic grains from the bulk food section of the organic market, intending to plant them. It seemed cheaper than special ordering orgainic seed, and I could even cook and taste-taste the grains to know it's somethign I want to grow. The wheat grass sprouts just beautifully, but I have not planted the brown rice, oat groats, buckwheat, quinoa, or others yet.  If you have any wisdom to share, I'd love to hear it.
    You'll get more of my questions and comments this year as I try some new organic tricks, like using granulated corn gluten meal as a pre-emergent herbicide (it is kinda smelly, so will the dogs like it too much?) and some small-scale hydroponic veggetables (peppers, I'm thinking).
    Thanks for the good info and a fun podcast. 

  4. Damon Says:

    Thank for responding.

    I find that when it gets warm, lettuce gets bitter. You can let some bolt on out. I usually feed it to the worms or my mealworms (baby beetles) that I use for fish bait. You could let a couple plants bolt out, but down here lettuce season is so short that I skipped growing lettuce this year. Let some bolt just for the experiences. I’m letting my coriander (cilantro) bolt because the seeds are often used as a seasoning.

    One of my raised beds has had a more of a weed problem this year as well. I’ve found that you have to keep the edges of these above ground raised bed trimmed or all kinds of root running weeds will find their way up the sides, lol.

    This fall I’m going to pull everything out of all my beds and plant a heavy patch of rye in each one. When you kill rye in the spring it prevents weed seeds from sprouting. As for these runners, goodness I’m trying to figure it out as well. I’m hoping that the rye will out compete the runner weed there and smother it given an annual stand of rye and vetch crowding it out.

    I’ve found that buckwheat doesn’t grow well in above-ground raised beds. They do much better in ground. They seem to like poor soil as well. Buckwheat grows fast, about six weeks to seed, longer to ripen.

    For a Bartholomew-style bed, sifting the mix would be great because you aren’t dealing with as such material. It’s kind of funny that my above-ground raised beds have far more weeds than my mounded beds. The mounded beds have no weeds.

    Thanks again for post, and ask as many questions as you’d like! It sounds like you well into your gardening.

  5. Stephanie Says:

    Just wanted to leave my vote…I like the chit chat!
    Thanks for creating this great resource, Damon 🙂

  6. Damon Says:

    Thanks for the kind words. I’m happy that you’re finding it useful. I plan to do this week’s show on starting seeds.

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