Organic Gardening Tips for Better Health!

| Modified: Oct 20, 2020
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Increasing numbers of farmers are returning to the tried and true practices of organic farming, and you can do the same in your own backyard for the best veggies and flowers ever!

If there was one simple answer to all your garden questions, we'd love to have it ourselves, but part of the joy of gardening is its puzzles. Still, you can make life a little easier by knowing your garden's character (soil, temperature, sun, water) and by grouping plants together by their needs - too much nitrogen can wilt or encourage blight in some plants, for instance, so don't place them near plants that need heavy fertilizing.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Posted by Flor (Aurora, USA/Philippines)
5 out of 5 stars

Yes! Apple cider vinegar is also important for opening a stagnant plant bud like in roses. I tried it and it worked perfect. I tried mixing 2 teaspoons in a 5 glasses of water and watered it to my potted plants specially when the soil is fresh just brought from the market. You can do it once every 6 months.

Blackstrap Molasses

Posted by Gretchen (Wheeling, WV) on 10/25/2008
5 out of 5 stars

My friend uses blackstrap molasses to keep the bugs off his fruit trees. He said in early spring he paints the base of the tree up to about 12 inches high and he never has to spray his trees and he does not have bugs! He said he would repeat the procedure in June. He said his apples and peaches were great. He learned it from his grandfather.


Posted by Michael (New Zealand) on 07/28/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Hi there!

A photograph for you at long last! (Won't do away with the proverbial 1,000 words though!! ). Others will illustrate bins to the right later on.

I thought I might take a leaf out of ORH's book and try to encourage others to take up gardening OR at least compost some of their green "waste" as opposed to sending it to the "dump" or landfill space which is a crime on several fronts. You know the drill there I imagine.

As a central component of gardening, it cannot be beaten.

To explain the photo: the lethal contraption on the left is a "Compost Tumbler" which is just a bigger version of the LOTTO gadget that will hopefully make you a millionaire one day!! Into it goes most of our kitchen scraps (minus the bits that shouldn't be composted- can't go into that here). Just don't wear a tie whilst you are spinning it the recommended four to six times per day. You should also include 50% dry / brown / carboniferous stuff to dry it out a bit and to make it aerobic rather than the dreaded anaerobic (which pongs ). I use ground-up twigs from my shredding machine, which I store for this purpose and for mulching. The rats haven't yet found a way in so far! One of my better decisions a few years ago this one. You alternate the use of the two compartments.

The large bins alongside are our garden waste bins and were quite expensive to buy and were a bit of a headache to install, what with chopping out the fronts, installing a sliding batten system and concreting in the four front posts as guides for the batten system. Never mind-done now. Non-treated timbers naturally!!

Because it is the rainy season / winter currently in N.Z, they have their roof on to stop them getting sopping wet and to keep them a tad warmer. (Old roofing materials).

There is no technical "layering" on these ones. Our volume of green waste is quite daunting - hence the need for several bins - some out of sight here.

You can set yourself up with a much smaller operation, naturally and a worm farm is a great option these days. Maybe more on that option later.

The philosophy is that we "Are what we Eat" and we like to grow a certain portion of our food in our garden for various reasons you will no doubt be familiar with. Also I have been trying to MAKE my own soil by composting on a grand scale and hopefully altering my unforgiving, clay soil to make it more suitable for growing vegetables, flowers and fruit trees. Hence the need for a large operation also.

By the way, you can see a tall hedge for shelter but the bins are no longer totally shaded, so they get pretty hot in the summer time during mid-day.

Cheers for now and happy composting folks.

Remember the age-old adage : "The Answer lies in the Soil".


Replied by Robert Henry
Ten Mile, Tn.

MICHAEL,,,,,,,, you doin good boy. Did this in my youth when I had a good back. Now sorry and just throw all my debris into two worm beds and let them turn it into worm castings. You know we all would not have to sup borax water if we still had boron in our soil. I think it is Jamaica that has depleted their boron by continuously growing sugar cane. Now all these folks have arthritis, which is a modern thing.

As most know, we take our garden veggies to our little country church and let folks get what they need. What brought tears to my eyes this week is that we got an anonymous card thanking us with an appropriate biblical scripture. Partner, that will tare up even an iron ass like me.


Replied by Michael
New Zealand

You are correct ORH! Interesting that Jamaica has low Boron in the soil and Fiji has enough and that levels of Arthritis in their respective populations differ so much, presumably as a consequence! Both grow sugar cane though! So whether it is this that depletes the soil or possibly the fertilizers that they use to grow the crops or maybe even the burning off of the cane fields afterwards is a moot point. You see, in Fiji it is the Indian half of the population that grow the sugar cane and the Fijians confine themselves to tilling their own plots / gardens (which still, largely in the villages at least, sustain them). If the Fijians come to New Zealand to settle, they can succumb to arthritic conditions for the first time. At least that is my understanding of the situation.

Cheers and take care of your back.


Fungus Control

Posted by Earth Clinic (USA) on 09/30/2012

PLANT ROTATION — Rotating your plants every few years can break the disease cycle if particular microbes are returning annually to attack specific plants. Moving that crop to a significantly different location for a few years might break the cycle in that particular patch of soil. Ideally, give yourself about ten feet of separation between the new and the old plot.

Posted by Staff (Earth Clinic) on 09/08/2009

Roses are not the only popular flower and garden plant to often be affected by a powdery white-to-gray layer of fungal spores from the White Powder Fungus, also called powdery mildew. The happy news is that, while unsightly, white powder fungi are not particularly damaging, and each fungus is particular to a type of plant, so other species in your garden ordinarily won't be contaminated. White powder mildew spreads in cool, moist environments and will take advantage of weak plants. There are organic treatments for white powder fungus, including cinnamon either sprinkled on dry or sprayed on; and baking soda seems to work as a preventative while Neem Oil might help to get rid of the powdery mildew. Copper sprays are the most common commercial treatment, but although copper is a natural and essential mineral, its concentration in the spray - along with the other chemicals that might be riding alongside - could not quite be called organic. Fortunately, the most effective step in combating white powder fungus is to carefully clip off affected leaves and dispose of them in such a way as not to spread the fungal spores or allow them to infiltrate your garden any further. A truly hot compost pile will take care of the spores, but throwing them in the trash might be your best bet. Then keep your plants watered from the base in dry times (don't water in the evenings), spaced out to improve airflow, and well fed with natural fertilizers.

Replied by Susan

Tricia from Ireland, Ireland replies: "You say not to water the plants in the evening. I always thought this was a good time to water plants as they got to keep their moisture for a longer period of time due to the coolness. Does this go for all plants or just the ones with the mildew.

EC: You're right, evening can be a great time to water plants for just that reason, unless you're worried about mildew, which thrives on a humid evening or morning when the sun can't beat back its progress. It would be best to switch your watering schedule until the white powder mildew goes away, to keep the evening humidity down for your entire garden.

Posted by Staff (Earth Clinic) on 08/04/2009

SOLARIZING — Here's a trick for killing off a fungus or other pathogen that seems to have infested your soil. After carefully removing the infected plants in the area, thoroughly water the area to be treated and give it time to seep in (overnight is a good idea), then cover the affected area with a clear plastic sheet and use weights or ties to keep the edges down. The idea is to more or less bake or steam out the infection, so over several weeks the soil should reach between 130 and 140 degrees F. Remove the plastic sheet after a month or two, and your soil should be back to normal.

Replied by Ava

This is a new idea for me. Do you spray 3% food grade peroxide on the plant, or do you need to dilute it further? Do you spray the entire plant, and can you also water with it so it reaches the roots? Thanks :)

Gardening Tips

Posted by Robert Henry (Ten Mile, Tn) on 04/01/2015

HI U OM, , , , , , got 6 containers of Red Pontiac potatoes planted today. Just do enough to have new potatoes. Once grew a 100' row of Kennebec potatoes for storage, but too old for that nonsense now. Dip them in powdered sulfur to prevent rot and keep them on the acid side. Soil is mushroom compost so all is natural.

Would go into my poverty routine that we pore and jus barely getting by, but most see through my line of stuff.

Blueberries are blooming along with our three pear trees. Folks should not wait until they retire to get started. Then it's almost too late.

Will keep you posted on our goings on... if it does not upset the bosses. As Hippocrates said, " let your food be your medicine".

Your friend, , , , , =====ORH======

Replied by Robert Henry
Ten Mile, Tn.

OM, , , , , , , spring is busting out all over East Tenn. The dog wood bloom barely made Easter and that means the crappie will be spawning and we will fill our freezer with this delicious fish.

Since my last post, our sour cherry trees are in bloom and our 14 apple trees are about ready. The freezing did not kill back our fig trees as it did two years ago. I have given up on Peach trees. Too much trouble. Can't grow plums because of the black rot from the native Black Cherry Trees.

Know you are not supposed to work on Sunday, but we may go over and till a raised bed for our beet, spinach and black radish transplants because they are ready now and we have rain in the forecast for the next 10 days. We have cover we can put on to protect the plants should there be a frost.

If you recall, I promised our boy , Timh, some black radish juice to help with his ailments. Don't want to let him down.

Yo buddy ========ORH=========

Replied by Robert Henry
Ten Mile, Tn.

HI U OM, , , , , , , , , we still working in our raised beds and only do the big garden for bulk stuff. Today, we planted two kinds of carrots, and added a succession planting of green onions. Transplanted beets , spinach, kale and black radish.

Learned years ago to encourage birds to keep down the insects and the Tree Swallow scouts are here checking out our 20 plastic gourds for nesting. Initially put these up for Martins but Swallows will do. In the Sweat South folks put up gourds for Martins because they kept the hawks run off from catching the young free roaming chickens.

We have many skunks digging for grubs which turn into June Beatles and eat our grape and bean leaves. So we love skunks. Found two new Ground Hog holes and that is not good. These critters will devastate our garden. I love turtles in Sewee Creek and try to feed them Ground Hogs every chance I can. Won't get into my methods as I know your are a tree hugger.

The absolute worst critter for a gardner is deer. I know every trick there is and only one works and that is a multi-level electric fence. It messes up their head. They don't know whether to jump high or jump long. So they just go away.

Our electric fence is in disarray and we have to get it going this week because our blue berries are budding out and deer love to bite off these buds.

What is so sad is the we live in the sticks where people were reared by a garden. Now , most are too sorry to do that work, but they keep up with our goins on as our farm is on a busy state highway. Is that sad or what?

What we try to do is eat healthy and try and avoid ailments. Even that is hard.

OUT OF SPIT ======ORH=========

Replied by Robert Henry
Ten Mile, Tn.

HI U OM, , , , , , , know you a gardener, so I'm not talking down to you. The fence entrance to our little farm is falling down and we got a price to replace the entrance with a 16' gate and a 4 slat fence. Above my pay grade, so me and my 74 year ole tractor driver decided to take this project on. We are right on a busy state highway and folks are not accustomed to seeing a silver haired lady driving a tractor. Guess we have nearly caused a few wrecks from drivers craning their necks. We have been at this for about two weeks and have let our greenhouse plants do what they do.

Today, I looked at our tomato plants and they have to be transplanted to larger pots least they become root bound. That is when the roots have no where to go so they go round and round. That is not good as you know. I get a kick out of city slickers who buy the largest plants in the smallest pots, and think they got a deal. No, you just got snookered. Those plants will be slow to grow because of their root bound system.

Well, we are shutting down our fence work tomorrow and transplanting our tomatoes into larger pots , least I be the dummy of this story. I get a kick out of folks saying that tomatoes contain Lycopene and helps prevent cancer. Cooked tomatoes contain Lycopene and that's the reason we can about 30 ea. 1/2 gallons of tomato juice each year. The only juice we buy is Cranberry Juice for our Kidneys. We do tomato, apple , grape, pear and muscadine juice to last us all year.

For those excited about reading this counsel is to get started now because when you retire its 'bout too late.

As Joy said, I's a story teller and she's right. Just hope this has lit a fuse in some to grow their own healthy fruit, berries, and veggies. At least you know what you are eating. With our Big Agri friends, you are shooting craps.

ATS ========ORH=========

Replied by Robert Henry
Ten Mile, Tn.

HI U HEALTH NUTS DOIN, , , , , , , , spent the day at the farm erecting our 16' gate and I's a happy camper because it works.

Next, we transplanted our Arkansas Traveler, Cherry and Roma tomatoes to big pots. Transplanted our Green Tower lettuce to a raised bed. We have grown ever variety of lettuce known to man and this is the best for home gardeners.

Got two frogs in our greenhouse water beds and we playing games. They blow up their throat like a balloon and let out their call. When they stop calling then I try to mimic their call and they start up again. Here is an old man playing games with a frog. Are you kidding me? Run out of something to do, huh. I took a picture of them with their throat thing. Wish all could see that.

Got a young kid working for us tomorrow and I require him to tell me the name of the trees, fruits, veggies , etc. He also has to tell me the name of the tools he works with. His dad passed some 10 years ago and he has no mentor. His momma appreciates my counsel except she doesn't know I'm an iron ass. He has to answer me yas sur or no sur. If all did that, when the cops would not be shooting down folks running. They would just stop and talk it out as took place in my youth. You always lost, but at least you did not get shot. Are we dumb or what?

ATS ========ORH=============

Replied by Robert Henry
Ten Mile, Tn.

HI U OLE PATOOTS DOIN, , , , , , , , SAT. got our garlic planted in a raised bed and tomorrow will transplant our pearl onions. I have our Ambrosia Cantaloupe, Crimson Sweet Watermelon, Straight Neck Squash, Zucchini Black Squash, and Little Arkie Cucumbers seeds soaking in a 1 % HP solution as our hero, Bill Munro, advocated. He only wrote about health HP on this site, but he was a fantastic gardener and used HP to grow vegetables resistant to disease and insects. You can find his tales on the internet. We will set them out in our floats and into our sprouting cabinet.

I think his slide rule slipped because when I used the strength he supposedly did, it killed my plants. This just works for hard seeds as things like beans will turn to mush and the skin falls off if soaked more than an hour or so. For the hard seeds , they will start to sprout in the HP after a day.

This will be an interesting week because we are on a limited apple juice fast to soften up our Liver, Gall and Kidney stones in preparation for our flush come Sunday night. This means drinking 32 oz of quality apple juice a day. I want to incorporate Timh's menthol cough drops protocol into this, but running blind. He told me to dissolve 6 of the cough drops and I would pass stones in my gall. Kinda spooked to do this without doing it along with the Hulda Clark flush.

This flush is to get my liver in better shape to handle the toxins released from my daily use of my Rife Machine. This is to address my preclinical detection of blood cancer for the second time. This in not carte blanche as I am following a strict protocol developed by The Independent Cancer Research Foundation. I follow each session with massive amounts of Ozonated water and a FIR Sauna to get rid of the killed toxins.

I also take Transfer Point's Beta 1,3D Glucan to get my immune system in good shape. I also have added 1/2 T of baking soda at bed and on awaking to get my urine pH close to 8. This was based on my research and a nudge from an EC reader.

Following my flush I will do a coffee enema followed by an Ozone Anal Insufflation. The last time I did this I passed a handful of segmented Candida. So I know this parasite is giving me grief. Bill is the expert in this area and has suggested I do turpentine inhalation and I will try to work that in. He also suggests a fiber shake which we already do, but not in earnest.

At 78, I figure this will be a way of life 'til I meet the Lord. Not a problem. I have planned this meeting in 14 years, but HE'S calling the shots. My friend at church is going the Chemo way and he will be sick as a dog from here on out and his chances of beating his cancer is 3%. I like my odds better.

I had a whole body Thermograph made a few weeks ago and I'm inflamed from asshole to appetite. My tractor driver was clean as new blown snow.

Dr Simoncini says cancer is a fungus. That is disputed , but fungus is always in a cancer patient. Our Allopathic doctors do not even recognize Candida as a problem.

To keep tabs on my progress , I will have my DNA tests done monthly. The cost is $80. A PET SCAN is thousands and you are radiated.

This is not a pity party as I've said before. Lets just see how this works out as we all watched Bill Munro live 25 years after he was found to have two cancers and he lived a good life until age 89.

This is not a ATS, this one is 100%.


Replied by Robert Henry
Ten Mile, Tn.

HI U GOD FEARING FOLKS DOIN, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Deirdre thinks folks are interested in growing good stuff in gardens so I'm the Guinea Pig if she ever gets the program going. I have told her that I'm like Goldwater, some love me and some hate me. Anyways, I am pretty good at gardening and you can learn some interesting stuff. The health stuff, I'm just so, so, and defer to the bright guys like Ted, Bill, Dave, Timh and Mama.

Everyone now knows about GSE now but years ago this product was unknown. We learned about it when we raised commercial black berries some 15 years ago. They don't keep well and spoiled quickly. We read the story about how GSE came about and started spraying our blackberries. Wow, they lasted for many days before they started to deteriorate.

I tell you this because it works with the veggies and berries that you purchase at the store. GSE is a natural anti-fungal product. We buy the product from NuriBiotic and add 20 drops to a 16 oz spray bottle and spray all our bought veggies prior to putting them into the frig. They will last twice as long before spoiling.

Anyways, I look forward to telling ya'll how we raise stuff to try stay healthy. For you serious gardeners, join in. Dang, at 78 I still have things to learn. So teach me.


Replied by Timh
2109 posts

ORH: I hope to one day have a veggie garden, fruit orchard, a few egg Hens, and a pond full of fat catfish, all for the harvesting. For red meat I don't think I have enough disregard to kill a Deer so would proly opt for the grocer on that one.

Anyway, yesterday I bought a pack of "reduced for quicksale" Strawberries w/ the hope I could clean em' up for consumption. I cut away the worst parts and placed the berries in a plastic container and added a cup of water and 1/2 cup Colloidal Silver. Have had two large serving and zero gut infection, so hurray on that.

Also, lately I have gone back on Milk because my metabolism and appetite is increasing. I still need to take Strontium Citrate caps as my mineral deficiencies cause me to take on radiation rapidly. Living by oneself is a disadvantage in food wise. So, I have found an effective way of keeping that milk from spoiling. After consuming about half a container (1/2 or 1 gal) add a few spoons of Colloidal Silver and you're good for several more days; maybe as much as doubling the shelf-life of the Milk.

Replied by Mmsg
Somewhere, Europe

ORH, have you got any tips for us city folks who only have a porch (mine is in southern sunlight all day) and who want to "wet their feet" doing a little food gardening?

Replied by Gertie

To add to ORH, I use 3% food grade hydrogen peroxide to help sprout slow starting seeds before planting. Also, if you mist your seedlings with 3% h202 it deters root rot for those of us that water too much. I found that by spritzing mature vegetable plants, it can revive plants that are near death. I've extended my harvest season doing that. Wakes up tired old house plants too. Ya gotta love oxygen!

Replied by Robert Henry
Ten Mile, Tn.

HI U GERTIE, , , , I presume that's short for Gertrude. One of the prettiest in my high school was named Gertrude. I know you are pretty too.

I got into soaking seeds by reading what our ole buddy, Bill Munro, wrote in his blogs. I only use 1% as the 8 % Bill used, killed my seeds. I have found that you can also soak the seeds too long.

Why do you use food grade H2O2 on plants? I am not an expert on the use of H2O2 on plants and appreciate your input. Folks are getting interested in using food as a way to cure their ails. We just try to eat healthy.

My Dad was country as dumplings and his famous saying is that I'd rather pay for milk than a doctor's bill . So we drank more milk than anyone in our little South Arkansas town. The milk then was whole milk in glass quarts. You had to shake the bottle to get the butter fat to mix.

Modern milk these days will not cure any ails, and I'll leave it at that.


Replied by Robert Henry
Ten Mile, Tn.

HI Mmsg, , , , , , , , my suggestion is to start with one tomato plant in a large pot on your porch. Take your choice of Grape tomatoes or Roma tomatoes.

Next year, add a second pot of bell peppers. Just remember that nitrogen aids the plant and the phosphate and potassium aids the fruit. Your coffee grounds are mostly nitrogen. Dump them in the pot. Keep us posted.


Replied by Mmsg
Somewhere, Europe

Oh dear, ORH, I don't drink coffee....Anything else good for the plants?

So you give nitrogen while the plants are growing and the phosphate and potassium after the fruit comes out??

Replied by Robert Henry
St George Island, Fla.

HI U Mmsg, , , , , , , , , , , here I am on the gulf beach at St George island Fla and you pestering me about coffee grounds on tomato plants.

Just messn with you girl. Yeah, plants must have enough nitrogen to grow but need potassium and phosphate for roots and fruit. Maybe you just need to get a good fertilizer and forget the table waste route until you feel comfortable.

We just pulled in a few hours ago and besides my face and hands, I's lilly white. We like it here because St George Island has not been turned into a carnival like Gulf Shores, Destin and Panama City. It's mostly old folks sitting in the sun letting their capillaries turn the rays into Vitamin D.

Anyways, I need to get into my swim trunks and join my lovely wife of almost 55 years. Will soak in the magnesium gulf waters for awhile, so I will sleep tonight. The Lord provides.... as he has told us all.


Replied by Mmsg
Somewhere, Europe

Oh ok, ORH. I do happen to have some organic powder that is supposed to be plant fertilizer. I'll use that. Thanks!

Replied by Gertie

I use food grade hydrogen peroxide on plants because I don't know how safe the brown bottled hydrogen peroxide is. I'm thinking if I can't pronounce the ingredients, then I shouldn't be eating/using the product.

I made the mistake of planting my zucchini in the same spot two years in a row. This is an invitation for disease on my zucchini. Sure enough blossom rot happened, so I sprayed with h202 and restored the plant. Had a bountiful harvest last year.

Replied by Sweet Pea

Mmsg - I somewhat agree with ORH, do one pot at a time. Although I would add a second pot the next week!!! Then a third the following! Why wait??? You can buy some good organic seed (which by the way will sprout for several years) and grow lettuce, spinach, chives, scallions, endive, kale, oregano, basil, ...should I go on? You could actually grow enough to make a big salad for lunch every day and not be able to eat it all. I did this last summer all in containers. Don't forget to go out and pick the dandelion and wild onion and blackberries, etc. and you will be living a vibrant life. Let us know what you grow, I would love to hear about it! :)

Replied by Robert Henry
St George Island, Fla.

HI U SWEET PEA, , , , , , , , , you are right on. However, folks that have not been into gardening get burned out pretty quick. I was wanting her to succeed at one thing, get pumped, and expand with time.

I even watch experienced gardeners in our area shoot a bear in the butt and plant a big garden only to have the weeds take it over in a month or so.

I have been guilty of that in the last few years and that's the reason our garden is 1/3 of what we once raised.

Your selection of veggies and herbs tells me that you eat healthy and with a raised bed is not too much of a chore. Thanks for joining in as we only do a few herbs like chives, and sweet basil, so I will learn from you.


Replied by Sweet Pea

ORH, I am doing the Ruth Stout method of gardening. So far my garden is about 26 X 8 feet, but I am expanding. My first mistake this year is to plant too soon, the soil was not quite warm enough. I lost a few tomato plants. However, in my first experiment, I threw in celery roots, potatoes, garlic, & onions in last autumn and covered them with lots of straw and guess what? - Virtually all of them have survived and are thriving! And we had a BRUTAL winter. I still have containers, too. They are great because you don't really have to weed! Just pick and eat! That's what I love about container gardening, no going out of your mind with weeding! If anyone is not familiar with Ruth Stout, please, please, do yourself a favor and watch a video of her on youtube. It's only about 30 minutes long. You can also find copies of her book which is awesome! Okay, I'm off to my garden... :)

Replied by Robert Henry
St George Island, Fla.

HI U SWEET PEA GIRL, , , , , , , , you have heard the word... play-like, well I would play-like I knew who Ruth Stout was, but you would see through me PDQ. So, I looked her up and now 'bout half smart.

Sounds like a good method for a small garden and hopefully you have sparked some others to join in to grow veggies for a better health.

What most don't understand is that in our ancestors' lifetime, the men took care of the bulk crops that fed the family and their livestock and the wemmins took care of the small vegetable garden.

Anyways, there seems to be an interest here, so tell us more about this system.


Replied by ORH
5 out of 5 stars

HI U OLE PATOOTS, ORH here, and learned another garden trick this year. I have never used an inoculant with our beans seeds, but this year, I coated our lima beans prior to planting. Have raised them for some 50 plus years but today we picked a gallon from a 25' row and we are a week from our first frost. They always played out during August. Sad that I did not read more in my youth. Also gathered 2 bushels of Arkansas Black apples. This is a tart mountain apple and our favorite. We picked 4 gallons of muscadines. We are running out of canning jars. Two things I regret about not planting 30 years ago at our little 6 acre farm and that is pecan and maple syrup trees. East Tenn is unusual in that you can raise both. East Tenn has trees from the north and south. A more diverse forest than any section of the US. If you are less than 50, you have time to develop a survival farm for your old age. You must have water.......or forget it. I promise you there is a difference in what you raise and what is in the store. Think my gardening is the reason I am still above ground. My 3 best HS buddies were gone years ago....all from cancer. You are what you eat. None gardened.


How to Keep Plants Healthy

Posted by Suseeq (Sydney Australia) on 05/01/2015

Re Garden Tips - I was wondering could we have a section for keeping plants healthy, particually the unusual tips

EC: Update on Gardening Section:

We'll be making creating pages this week for our new "organic" section and moving posts from these old pages into the new ones.

Replied by Suseeq
Sydney Australia

Thank you, can't wait to see it up and running

Improving Garden Soil

Posted by Rebel (Somewhere Usa) on 05/04/2014

Hello all. I had found a post on here once, that was to what I can best remember was by a gentleman. He talked about getting the soil balanced with all the correct minerals. He also provided his e-mail for us to contact him. I can not find this post or remember what his name was. If any of you know what I am referring to, please let me know where to look.

There has been a lot of talk about the old timers use to dump their ashes from the fire into the garden area and this would make the soil rich in minerals. I am not sure if this is what he was referring to or not.

Thank you.

EC: Hi Rebel,

We have to search our old computers for that post! It was probably on the Earth Clinic Planet sister site. Unfortunately, we took that site down a couple of years ago and still have to find the time to copy all the old posts from that site back to this one!

Replied by Om
Hope Bc Canada

Hi Rebel ---- but this is quite common practice including in my garden. My neighbour has a wood stove and lets me have what I need. just mix it in well. Also acts as a repellent sprinkled on top. No need to be scientific about it. You may find info on the 'net, too. Om

Replied by Sunshine

Hi Rebel,

There's some really useful information about the use of wood ashes in the garden on this site

One thing to remember is that you want to make sure your ashes are pure WOOD ashes and that a little sprinkle over the soil is plenty. You don't want to overdo it.

Happy gardening!!!


Posted by ORH (Ten Mile, Tn) on 06/29/2020
5 out of 5 stars


ORH here, always used epsom salt when planting veggies. Never heard that it will also make your melons sweeter if you spray it on the foliage. It is all over the net and I just now learning. SJS, as all know. Anyways, got the tank filled and ready to spray at daylight. It also works on Tomatoes and peppers. Where the heck have I been? Been a Gardner for over 50 years. My jaw is aching just thinking about the sweetness. Life is a mind game. Just wish all could chomp down a cold watermelon of ours that we keep in our frig. If your jaw is not aching, then are not thinking straight. Close your eyes and just imagine a cold, red, sweet watermelon. It's hell to be pore and have to live off the land. We still barley getting by.


Replied by Orh
Ten Mile, Tn

HI U OLE PATOOTS DOIN, ORH here, and after 5 hours at the farm, we are eating raw veggies from our garden for supper. At my age, bowels in not too good a shape and raw veggies help. Ask my Tractor Driver if that would work and she did an outstanding job. She had green onions, sliced beets with carrots, banana pepper, cucumbers, sliced yellow squash and zucchini and a z-muffin to finish it all off. Sprayed the garden with a solution of epsom salt and borax and just hope I did not destroy months of work. I have never done this before, but I's a gammer. Lots of folks on the net said it was the thing to do. Now, I got to live up to my anniversary pledge and give her a massage, and a mineral bath that I promised once a week. Lordy, that was a weak moment. Should have just bought a vase of flowers. This is hard work.


Replied by Cindy
Illinois, Usa
201 posts

I've come across a lot of references to boron deficiency in crops. Very interesting. Borax seems too alkaline for vegetation, to me, but I look forward to reading of your experience with it.

Paramagnetic Rock Dust

Posted by Cindy (Illinois, Usa) on 04/30/2015 201 posts
5 out of 5 stars

I can't say enough about "paramagnetic" rock dust. I'm not much of a gardener but have a small patch that is basically an 8 foot tall "raised bed" on three sides that gets full sun all day and is right in the path of a sort of wind tunnel created by this hilly area, so it's dry as a bone and, I discovered a couple of years ago, full of earwigs! YUCK!! Those are creepy little things!

Anyway, it's only about 20' x 20' and rock dust made a world of difference. I also put it around the foundation along with some diatomaceous earth because I was a little concerned about where those evil-looking little buggers ran off to and didn't want them coming into the house. LOL! So far so good!


Posted by Robert Henry (Ten Mile, Tn) on 08/04/2018

HI U GOOD FOLKS DOIN,,,,,,,,, dug our potatoes today and normally we dig our potatoes on July 4 when the vines die. This year because of the rains they never died until a month later. Wow, have never raised potatoes this large.

What most folks don't know it that store bought potatoes are sprayed to prevent sprouting, thus, you eat the skin at your own risk. With ours we eat skin and all. The potatoes we save, we coat with lime to prevent rot and bugs. Common sense using natural products.

Even these natural potatoes have a limited life. You can't eat them when they sprout, but you can replant them and that is exactly what we do every year. We never buy new seed potatoes. We raise them. If this picture does not excite you, then you have never raised potatoes.

ATS ====ORH====

Share With Your Neighbor

Posted by ORH (TEN MILE, TN) on 10/20/2020

HI U OLE PATOOTS DOIN, ORH here, and was on the net looking for walnuts. Found that they also sale most all the fruit and veggies that we raise. I knew that we had a good garden site, but did not know that we had a gold mine. I saw the price for dried cantaloupe and it blew my mind. We can't eat all we raise, but never knew that you can dry them. Got a call to a neighbor about his pecan trees. Will swap him apples for his pecans. It's hard living on the frontier because you have to make deals like this full time just to get by. Think good food is the way to good health. I's 84 and let's see how many more years I post. Then ya'll will know, but I won't. I think I's gonna mess with ya'll for many years, before I am silent. Keep that in mind. Gardening vs supplements. I do both. ====ORH====

Slugs and Snails

Posted by Michael (New Zealand) on 08/04/2016

For the "Organic Gardening Section" and "Dealing with Slugs and Snails".

I don't garden on a large scale but have been gardening and composting for many years and still learning. When I mentioned a few years ago to a neighbor that I was having trouble with the above critters, she gave me some Chinese vegetable protectors. You probably know about them? These are round, green, plastic jobs about the size of a saucer. They taper outwards towards the top and then curve over at the top to point slightly downwards. I have never had a problem with my few lettuces or brassicas since then, by gently pressing them into the soil. I used to protect my young seedlings from the wind, the cold, slugs and snails by cutting out the bases of large fruit or baked-bean tins but these Chinese things last longer and are more efficient. Wouldn't be without them now. But our Army Worms devastated our crops this year. Best way is to go out an hour after sunset with a torch and laboriously go round picking them off with long-nosed pliers and dropping them into soapy water.

I am still battling white fly and will try to invent a solar-powered, yellow light to attract them away from my Kale. Yellow sticky pads cannot keep up with the sheer numbers we have. Any good suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

Posted by Staff (Earth Clinic) on 09/30/2012

You want to grow a nice organic garden full of pesticide-free goodness, but the snails and slugs are always claiming the first bites on everything! What's to do? From the shear number of folk remedies available to combat them, you can easily see what a problem snails and slugs can be in the garden. Their aesthetic failings aside, these munchers can ravage a plant's leaves in no time at all. Prevention goes a long way. First remove the clutter from your garden, including decorative elements that give these guys shelter. Morning watering allows the soil to dry before night-feasting snails can come out to enjoy the moist environment. Rough mulches can deter these pests as well. Then give some of those folk remedies a try, but remember that what works in one place might not be right for another set of pests and conditions. Try, try again!

Replied by Timh
Louisville, Ky, Usa
2109 posts

A good size slug will make a catch for a fish like Bass or Catfish. Be careful to not eat fish from large rivers and reservoirs in densely populated, dense agricultural or industrial areas as the fish could contain high levels of pollutants and heavy metals. Always wash hands after handling snails as they are the primary source of the Liver Fluke.