Do more expensive seeds of the same plant variety make for better seeds?
Johnny's seems to have expensive seeds compared to some other sources (Henry
Fields, Territorial), but does that make them any better?
No. Two things to look for tho. (1) Amount/number of seeds per packet.
Many of the cheaper companies put a minimal amount of seeds per packet.
(2). Reputation of the retailer. There are a few out there who tend to
sell older seeds. This is more prevalent in the "heirloom" niche than
with commercial cultivars. Some of the "heirloom" venders are not too
careful about varietal purity either. So you might get something quite
different with different vendors, even when the name and description
are the same. Most major retailers buy thiers seeds from the major seed
producers like Seminis , Rogers, Seeds by Design, Sakata ........
Buying organic seeds means the farmer that produced them is trying to
tread lightly on the earth, and I want to support those efforts. Even
if I don't manage to be %100 organic in my yard, I can sure give a
little help to those who do.
No, it doesn't. It doesn't take any longer to set up a flower or
vegetable bed doing it organically than using chemicals. I moved into
the house I'm in now in mid-summer, too late for much of a veggie
garden; but by the next spring, I had a 15 X 20 foot area cleared and
turned. I didn't use any weed killers or chemical fertilizers, just
lots of compost, manure, and a shovel. The second year, after having a
tree cut down and a shed removed, I extended the garden another 20
feet. This time I had a tiller, which was lovely when it came to
getting all those tree roots up.
I'll assume you're speaking of your own efforts, otherwise I'll have
to ask for a cite. I also note your deliberate negativity. Using the
words "sucked into" implies that organic gardening is some sort of
scam that people, to their detriment, are deceived into attempting. It
not, it's a very legitimate and pleasant way to manage a farm or a
garden. It's not for everyone, but it's not a scam.
Oh hogwash. With all the information the Internet puts at your finger
tips, anyone can get all the help they need to garden exactly as they
want. The most important part of putting in a garden is good soil
prep, but that's true for both organic and chemical users.
I'm sorry your attempt at gardening organically left you so twisted
and bitter, but not everyone has that much trouble. I don't own a hoe,
and the biggest problem I have with weeds is the Lemon Basil thickets
that spring up all over my yard.
And Round Up is not the worst thing you can do to a garden, it doesn't
linger in the soil, and it only affects the plants sprayed. It
doesn't, however, kill the seeds in the soil; either, so you have to
keep spraying and spraying and spraying over the growing season, and
that makes it easier to damage the garden plants accidentally. I,
personally, would rather till the garden once in the spring, then use
mulch and weed paper to keep weeds from coming back; much better use
of my time, and I don't have to buy several expensive bottles of Round
Up. And, as a bonus, the mulch and weed paper conserve water and
prevent splash up of soil that can cause some plant diseases. The very
few weeds that do manage to get a roothold are easily pulled when I'm
I'm not a fanatic, I've used the poison ivy Round Up on some poison
ivy in the yard. I'm very allergic to it, and I can't get close, much
less chop it down. I used Andro on fire ant* mounds when I first
moved in, just until I could get the nematode populations in this yard
up high enough to keep them under control. Now, of course, I watch
with amusement as my neighbor scatters Andro about all summer, while
I've had maybe two or three mounds in the last couple of years.
I believe that working with nature is much better way to solve
problems than applying chemical band aids, both for me and for the
earth as a whole; but I recognize there are times when a little help
from a chemical goes a long way. Setting up to garden organically is
just not as hard as you make it out to be, though, and it's not an all
or none proposition.
*Just to nip it in the bud...No, sprinkling grits on a fire ant mound
does not kill the ants. They do not eat the grits, swell, and explode.
All you get from sprinkling grits on a fire ant mound is fat, happy
ants. Adult fire ants do not swallow anything solid, they feed the
solid to their larva, which chew the grits before swallowing them, and
then regurgitate nutrients that the adults eat. Fire ant colonies that
disappear after the application of grits are moving because of the
disturbance to the mound entrance and not because of death. They'll
just open another entrance a few yards away.
"Maybe you'd like to ask the Wizard for a heart."
"ElissaAnn" < email@example.com>
I think you said it well for most of us gardeners. I try to be as organic as
it is resonable but sometimes the wonderful world of chemicals has the right
answer. The prudent use of Roundup is a god send, and to those organic
fananics just can't come up with a better solution, learn to cope.
I've had good luck with both cheap and expensive seed. Expense is only
one factor. Generally speaking, organic and open pollinated (esp
heirloom) varieties are more expensive. I imagine that has something
to do with the "economy" of scale. Some things are easier for mass
production (like iceburg lettuce - blech!). Some companies print
great varietal information in their catalogs, others just print the
basics. Usually that means the seed costs a bit more $.
If you feel that seeds are too expensive, you can also consider buying
fewer seeds (try to stick to that and see how long it lasts :) ). Buy
open pollinated varieties. Save your own seeds.
WRT organic vs chemical.. I wonder how we ever got along without the
chem/Ag industry for 2,000+ years.. Sometimes you just have to dig in
and do your own research. You can put 10.10.10 on your garden or you
can grow a catch crop of winter rye over the winter and undersow a
green manure crop of white clover.. Gardening is all about choices!!
I have started eliminating midifed or synthetic chemicals in my household &
garden for a number of reasons. One is cost, not just to my pocket but also
the environment. I stopped using laundry powders and detergents in favour of
washing soda (sodium carbonate). In my opinion it does a very similar job to
commercial powders, though I may need to use a little more than I did of the
powders although I never used the amounts recommended on the packaging so it
may be like for like had I used the recommended rates. Moreover, washing
soda is a product I can buy in bulk (10 kgs or more at a time, I take my own
sack) and therefore it comes with less packaging than commercially packed
detergents. As a simple product, and in bulk, it utilises less energy to
produce ans transport. It does not contain phosphorous or other aspects
harmful to water ways (though in large quantities it can in itself have
negative effects on waterways) and best of all it is cheaper than commercial
supermarket packed powders. Alternatives to synthetic or complex chemicals
do exist that can save money as well as our environment.
And what about the insects and diseases that grow immune to DDT?
Is it right to poison and murder kids and children in your quest to
kill all diseases, all bacteria and all life?
Go drink a cup of DIET COCA-COLA (or any aspartame chemical,
created, sponsored, supported and promoted by the WHOLE George
Bush family and Donald Rumsfeld, the President of the company that
created and hired an FDA commissioner who accepted bribes to get
aspartame approved). The Gulf War Syndrome occured because of...
a chemical produced by the George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and others.
Ask yourself why the Gulf War Syndrome happened and why the
United States Government refuses to investigate 200,000 armed
service members which died within 4 years of returning from the
first Gulf War. So go ahead, drink Diet drinks promoted by the
American President, by a Vice President that shoots his friends.
And stand outside for eight hours each day during the hottest days of
the month and we'll see if your here in 4 years.
More chemicals promoted, supported and delivered by George
Bush, Bill Clinton and their WHOLE FAMILIES...
The poisonous soft drink list...
And to think that the FDA ALLOWS and supports feeding such
drinks to children, to 3 year old kids. Don't put it off on the parents,
yeah, they're at fault as well, but it's the United States Government
that keeps quiet about such things and ALLOWS such things.
She wasn't calling you any names. She was just pointing out that you
shut your eyes on purpose to things that occur around you, hoping
that you might acknowledge things your missing.
Again, your eyes are closed. Look at it this way... "organic" IS
a marketing word and nothing more, when talking about things
on a store shelf. To the people involved in Organic Farming, it
tends to carry different definitions and some use chemicals, and
some believe in and support the promotion of life, including the
promotion of fungai and moss and all sorts of bugs and worms.
Think about this...
Life breeds life more than it breeds death. Death breeds death
more than it breeds life.
Your talking about commercialization and advertising there, and
nothing more. If you buy a bag of bread marked "Organic" and
its produced in the same way the unmarked bags are produced,
but you pay a higher price, what are you talking about? People
tag a bag of bread as "Organic" as a marketing ploy. They put
a higher price on it, and IF they sell more of it, they then mark
ALL their bags with the word. It's 100% legal.
If you insist that everything the United States Government sells
you and tells you, that's your own fault.
Think about George Bush, the United States Congress, and the
words they love to hear coming out of George Bush's mouth.
Their favorite words seems to want to inflict fear upon the
citizens of the United States of America. What is their favorite
word? And who are the objects of their affections, and who do
they refuse to protect? "Fahmy Malak"
Post replies to the newsgroup.
Life breeds life more than it breeds death. Until it's unbalanced.
Death breeds death more than it breeds life. It's always unbalanced.
In Memory Of...
Kevin Ives (dead, 17 years old, murdered by law enforcement)
Don Henry (dead, 16 years old, murdered by law enforcement)
The FBI refuses to investigate these deaths. The FBI operative
that did the initial investigations discovered that the Governor of
Arkansas and his hired State Medical Examiner covered of the
deaths and issued a statement that the boys fell asleep on some
train tracks and were run over by a train. They were run over,
but they were taken in by two Arkansas policemen first. The
Arkansas policement were the last ones to see the boys alive.
Read the reports put out by the lady hired by the FBI to
investigate the crimes.
I hesitated when I posted and answered for Penelope. I don't
know what she wanted to say. I'll let her answer for herself. My
apologies, even if I correctly worded it.
Anyways, you seemed like you knew the answer to the question
above and I asked for the answer. I wouldn't have asked if I knew.
I'm ignorant about the topic. Only you can answer the question
you left open. Don't play word games. Just answer the question.
Specifically, you wrote:
Could you cite where this research was performed? What makes
you even suggest or hint that such a study ever existed? I'm not
telling you how to think or talk. I'll let you do that yourself.
Your statement above insinuates that you know of something that
benefits us all. It even slightly insinuates that DDT saved the human
race. I'm curious as to what you exactly wanted to say and if you
can cite something that will help yourself.
If you don't have anything, then perhaps think a little more before
you post something of the likes. Be prepared to back your opinions
up with fact. That's the message I'm conveying.
Take a moment to re-read the quoted lines above. It leaves the
reader open to alot of ambiguity. Should it have been posted?
Do you really want to stand behind it and support it? IF you want
to support it, feel free to support it. I'm eager to see what YOU
can provide, as it was YOU that made the statement. So either
stand behind it or tell me it was a mistake.
Post replies to the group.
the crap was even used as a fertiliser as it spread up the rate of growth.
As a weed killer it caused the plant to increase its rate of growth until,
in laymans terms, it exhausted itself and decided dying was a better option
than growing. We still have pockets of pastoral land contaminated by DDT.
Nasty shit and if stuffs up exports of pastoral products.
As I typed out my previous response, I thought about misquitoes
as well. There's some misquitoes that travel around giving diseases
in Florida. The first thought that came to mind involved a natural
predator. And there is more than one natural predator. The one
that folks in Florida are familiar with is the lizard. I've seen a lizard
literally jump 6 feet to snatch a bug. The bigger ones end up going
after cockroaches and canibalistic behaviour, you'll find that a
bigger lizard running around with a smaller lizard's tail hanging
out of its mouth. Then there are frogs as well.
So perhaps this has nothing to do with "organic", but it's an argument
against the use of DDT or any other chemical. IF there are a lot of
misquitoes around, set up a pond. You will draw frogs and misquitoes
to the pond. It's quite effective at getting rid of misquitoes in Florida.
And if you need some lizards, selling lizards could become a profitable
business for folks that want to sell lizards. No one ever seems to think
about breeding and selling these little things, they don't make very nice
pets, but with the right advertising, people WILL buy them.
Organic Misquito PacMan...
Get rid of poisonous chemicals. Safe for the family, safe for the
pets, safe for the children and safe for your home. Be adventurous.
Natural Misquito Predator $10.00 for 10 Misquito Munchers.
A Real LIVE Mini Jurasic Park... $50.00
Live Miniature Dinosaurs. Live Hunters.
Predatory extremes. The animals jump 6 feet to catch their misquito.
Natural organic misquoto eradication carnivores.
Thanks for the post.
Post replies to the newsgroup.
You have obviously never camped in the heart of the Everglades, as I
have. They do not allow spraying there except at Florida City. You
can almost cut through the cloud of mosquitoes with a knife. Even Florida
City in the summer is almost unbearable.
You may wonder why there is famine in Africa. It is because they do not
the chemical insect control to stop the swarms of locusts that devastate
I think organic methods have their place in our modern society, and we
to replace chemicals whenever possible. However, we are still a long ways
eliminating the need for chemicals.
Yes, it was that potent chemical H2O that finally ended the Dust
Which one? Please, give me a specific disease or insect pest that
you believe can't be controlled except through manufactured
chemicals. I can't effectively debate vague, hand-wavy stuff
like "disease and insect pests". Some are very controllable by
husbandry practices or organic methods; some are more difficult.
One that I've had personal experience with was <spit!> thrips and
their Weapon of Mass Destruction, Tomato Spotted Wilt virus. It
hit this part of the country hard a few years ago, and as anyone
who has tried to control <spit!> thrips can tell you, it's almost
impossible to eradicate them. Western Flower <spit!> thrips are
already highly resistant to many currently registered pesticides,
and they have a very short life cycle.
So, universities and commercial agricultural companies teamed up
and developed several strains of tomatoes that are resistant to
Poor little lost locust! Maybe it would solve the problem if we
equipped them with little GPS devices and gave them tiny maps.
Actually, the FAO has been testing biopesticides spray like a
natural fungus called Metarhizium. It takes several weeks to kill
the locusts, and they spread it to other locusts before they die.
They're also interested in trying IGRs, because they feel the
amount of chemicals it takes to control a plague is dangerous to
the people who live in the sprayed areas.
Chemical spraying also hasn't stopped the plagues, it just
manages to shorten the duration.
It's not an either or situation. You keep trying to polarize the
debate, when more than one person, myself included, has said that
there are times when using chemicals is either unavoidable or
preferable to the alternatives.
Personally I would rather not die of starvation or a cancer
caused by pesticide exposure, but that's just me.
Most of the agronomists I know recommend integrated pest
management systems when possible. Your local extension office can
give you more information on the subject, but the definition is:
"Integrated Pest Management is the coordinated use of pest and
environmental information along with available pest control
methods, including cultural, biological, genetic and chemical
methods, to prevent unacceptable levels of pest damage by the
most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to
people, property, and the environment".
You need to embrace the power of "and".
And exactly where did you get your information? C'mon, put up or
shut up, I'm calling you on your bullshit.
The truth is that it varies by crop, and that a gardener or
farmer has to evaluate for themselves which system or combination
of applications will best fit their crops and philosophy
I saw one last fall. Manure is big business these days.
*dreamy look* I love manure. You know, the best Valentine's Day
present I ever got was a load of mushroom compost.
Way, way better than the severed sexual organs of hormone primed
and pesticide laced plants.
Now you're comparing apples and oranges. The seasons and methods
of applying the two are different.
That's a useless statement. I don't use commercial chemicals, and
my plants grown just fine. Same with the organic farmers at the
Farmer's Market this morning.
Gosh, no one here would have ever guessed that.
It was a little more complicated than that, but it serves your
rhetorical purposes to diminish the problems caused by pesticide
residues in the environment. It doesn't strengthen your case, it
makes it weaker.
Insect resistance to DDT started less than 10 years after it hit
the market. It was the eradication of malaria in the south that
prevented my potential death*. There are still mosquitoes
capable of carrying malaria buzzing around here.
No, I don't "got" to ask, because I know we would. What is so
difficult about the concept of developing resistance that you
can't grasp it? And, how, exactly, would DDT use have prevented
Killer bees? Please, lay out a detailed plan of action that would
have prevented the introduction of killer bees, and wouldn't have
wiped out honey bees.
There are more effective and less dangerous products on the
market that might not have ever been developed if we had depended
solely on DDT. As a dog and cat owner, may I say hooray for
Frontline? And may I say how worried I am over reports of flea
resistance last summer? I don't ever want to have to go back to
that endless cycle of spraying poison on the yard and fogging the
The point is that there are alternatives to chemicals, and using
them is both cost effective and environmentally friendly. I will
repeat myself and say what I've been saying; and that is that
there are situations where commercially produced chemicals are a
better choice. I'm not anti-commercial chemical, and I have given
examples where I used chemical; but your dogmatic insistence that
organic gardening and farming methods are inherently inferior to
using commercial chemicals is just wrong.
Wow. The irony is staggering.
I'm not calling people misinformed. I'm calling you misinformed.
It was the kindest descriptor I could come up with.
You can lead a horticulture, but you can't make him think.
Penelope, not gonna present an economics lesson, too.
*for which, I'm sure, you're crushingly disappointed.
You have proven yourself to be the most malicious,
classless person that I've encountered in years.
Yes, poor farming practices that were touted by most experts as
sustainable. The minority that expressed concern about soil
erosion were ignored.
You know, sort of like those who point out the danger of relying
entirely on chemical fixes for farming and gardening problems
If there hadn't been a drought, there wouldn't have been a Dust
Bowl. The plains were very productive in the twenties, they
helped to turn the US into an agricultural exporter.
Guess you're foolish enough to believe a product that temporarily
slows water loss by reducing transpiration is the solution to a
drought of nearly a decade.
But, I have to thank you for the delicious tidbit of irony on
such a glorious sunny spring day. Wilt-Pruf is a natural product
made from pine sap. It's 100% biodegradable.
<giggle> It's *organic*.>> "Integrated Pest Management is the coordinated use of pest and
I think you mispeeled "you need to stop using facts that refute
That happens when you snip out all the bits that refute your
I have a degree in Animal Husbandry, and, apparently, I'm the one
who actually paid attention during my agronomy classes. I have
tried to keep up with the literature over the years, too,
although most of my reading is dedicated to the animal end of
things these days.
Once again, productivity of crops varies, some appear to be more
productive with use of manure compost, and others seem to do
better with chemical fertilizers, some benefit from combinations
of the two. There's not much I can find on-line, but here's one
paper that compares manure vs chemical in India.
You can see how the various combinations worked in this case. A
dedicated gardener would need to take their local weather,
environment, and soil structure into account to formulate the
best system for themselves.
No, you started it by attacking organic gardening, an attack
you've continued. You still insist that organic gardening is less
productive, more work, and that chemicals you espouse are
harmless and more helpful. You don't offer any real facts to back
up your accusations, but seem to operate on the principle of
"Because I said so."
For certain values of loon that mean "disagrees with me".
I already did, but one doesn't need a degree to make any of the
points I have. I've already pointed this out, but it was in one
of those bits you snipped. Google is your friend. Anyone can find
just about all the information they need to successfully prepare
and maintain a garden with either chemicals, by organic methods,
or by a combination of the two.
You have proven yourself to be the most malicious,
classless person that I've encountered in years.
I *am* old and feeble! I was just complaining about how long it takes
to recover from an injury anymore. I have to yoga, which I hate,
because I'm so inflexible now.
A few weeks ago I was helping my 13 year old neighbor with a science
project, and she was sitting next to me while we worked on the
computer. She told me, "Your hair is really cool, it's not just blonde
like everybody else, it has all this silver in it." *grumble*
Or, you can lay down a little weed paper and mulch and be done for the
season. Newspaper works really well, too. If you prevent the weeds in
the first place, you don't need Round Up to kill them.
I think that if everyone would make an effort to use just a few less
chemicals there would be a dramatic improvement in our environment. No
extremism, just integrating more organic methods where possible.
"Maybe you'd like to ask the Wizard for a heart."
"ElissaAnn" < firstname.lastname@example.org>
My belief exactly. Female mossies require blood to produce their next
generation; it's expecting too much to think they could be diverted
from the overpowering instinct to breed merely by some harmless natural
plant odour. (DEET is not a natural odour; and apparently it's far from
harmless to humans with the directions for use warning against its use
for extended periods.)
For a moment there, I feared you were edging towards endorsing the
vitamin B myth. It's a wonder someone hasn't already joined this thread
espousing vit B, even though as a mozzie repellent it's been thoroughly
John Savage (my news address is not valid for email)
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