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Making The Organic Transition
Proper nutrition is the very foundation of organic growing and pest control. Just as a human body that isn't properly fed is wide open to attack from one illness or another, so it is with plants. Chemical fertilizers are not complete foods. They lack almost all of the important trace minerals. There are over 70 trace minerals that plants and humans need, and chemical fertilizers provide only a few of them. If plants do not get the trace minerals they need, as well as a variety of enzymes and bacteria, they will become stressed and will be attacked by disease, or pests.
Keep using the same amount of chemical fertilizer but also spray a liquid seaweed blend (such as Superseaweed, or Nitron or Agri-Gro ) as a foliar feeder. Make sure the soil is in good condition by applying lots of rich live compost. Stop using any chemical pesticides. Start using the many methods mentioned in this book.
Reduce the amount of chemical fertilizer by one third, while continuing to spray the leaves of your plants with the liquid seaweed according to the instructions (Superseaweed is five drops per gallon). Replace the chemical fertilizer with a good compost such as Organa. Apply more compost around plants, turn over soil when possible. Mulch well.
By now you should have reduced the amount of chemical fertilizer to one half the original amount you were using before and increased the amount of organic fertilizer to replace the chemical fertilizer. In other words, you are now using one part organic and one part chemical. You will find that during these months your plants will be under a great deal of stress and may be attacked by various predatory bugs. Use only organic methods to get rid of them. Keep spraying the leaves with a good liquid seaweed weekly or monthly.
Fourth to Eighth month
Stay on the 50/50 basis. This is a good time to see how the plants are responding to their new organic regime. Some plants will not like it at all and may even die, but the majority of plants will do very well. Keep spraying the leaves as often as recommended (as above).
Reduce the use of chemical fertilizers by half again, and increase your organic fertilizer/compost. Follow with a monthly spraying of liquid seaweed.
Tenth month-Twelfth month
Repeat the process. By now you should be using one-quarter of your chemical fertilizer with three quarters organic fertilizer. This is the level you want to stay at for the next two months. By the end of the first year you should have reduced your chemical usage by 80 percent. You should also have increased your organic usage by 80 percent. During the next few years you should work on reducing the chemicals used by « then, eventually not using any chemicals at all. Then you'll be 100% Organic!
Dont Panic Its Organic!
The Invisible Gardener©, Andy Lopez