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Banana Plant Soil, Additives, and Fertilizer This forum is an area where you may discuss the soil to grow banana plants in, as well as soil additives such as teas, composts, manures, fertilizers and related topics.


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Old 08-15-2009, 07:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Oil and Water.(Conventional vs. Organic)

The basics of organic gardening is simple.
Organic gardening focuses on life in the soil, we "feed the soil".
Conventional gardening feeds the plant directly, it is the chemical salts the plants are actually consuming.
This is the distinction between the two. This is also the reason why feeding a 15-5-15 chemical salt, essentially broke the very first rule of organic gardening. That chemical salt is meant as nutrition for the plant, not nutrition for the life in the soil.
Anyone who tells you differently is wrong and is displaying a lack of education of the "soil food web".
The two systems do not compliment one another. It is very much a situation of trying to mix oil and water.
Nature is trying to work in one aspect, and humans are trying to work in "our" manmade aspect. Man created one system, nature has been doing its own system, without the need for human interaction... forever (roughly 2-3 billion years).
Organics is nature, everything else is not organic.
Old growth forests are great examples of this and why the need to "feed" plants is a fallacy.
Nobody ever poured chemical salts on those trees for nutrition, so where did this "food" come from that allowed such growth for all these years?
The answer to that question is a cycle of life, known as the soil food web.
Soil Foodweb, Inc. is a research lab with some excellent research materials. We will be discussing these materials from here on.

But for now, the dinner bell is ringing.
Class dismissed till we return.

Tonight's homework question is
"In the old growth forest, where did all the nutrition for 100's of years of growth come from?"

Garden Gnome is not the answer either
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Old 08-15-2009, 07:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oil and Water.(Conventional vs. Organic)

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrganicBananac View Post
Soil Foodweb, Inc. is a research lab with some excellent research materials. We will be discussing these materials from here on.
Copied from the above mentioned site:

SOIL FOODWEB NEW YORK, INC.
THE LABORATORY MEASURING THE LIFE IN YOUR SOIL

-WE PROVIDE THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE SOIL TESTING IN THE
WORLD TODAY, LOOKING AT SOIL BIOLOGY then we...
-HELP YOU CREATE THE BEST POSSIBLE SOIL CONDITIONS FOR YOUR PLANTS.
-DEVELOP AN EASY TO FOLLOW PROGRAM FOR YOUR PLANT CARE.
-WORK WITH YOU TO REDUCE OR ELIMINATE INORGANIC APPLICATIONS, AND SAVE YOU MONEY.
-HELP YOU SELECT THE CORRECT PRODUCTS TO GET YOU THE BEST RESULTS.

HOW DO WE DO IT?

-WE USE SPECIALIZED MICROSCOPES, EQUIPMENT AND METHODS TO TAKE A MORE COMPLETE LOOK AT YOUR SOIL THAN ANY OTHER LAB.
-WE PERFORM DIRECT COUNTS OF YOUR SOIL MICROBES.
-SOIL FOODWEB LABS HAVE AN EVOLVING DATABASE CURRENTLY CONSISTING OF OVER 100,000 SOIL BIOLOGY SAMPLES FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD.
-WE COMPARE YOUR SOIL TEST RESULTS TO SOILS WHERE YOUR PLANT SPECIES ARE GROWING IN HIGHLY PRODUCTIVE OR NATIVE ECOSYSTEMS. THIS INFORMATION IS THEN USED TO SHAPE A SOIL PROGRAM TO CORRECT
IMBALANCES.

So your source material is a company profile? Do you own stock in them as well?..or just a pitchman?

I'm reporting you to the principal!
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Old 08-15-2009, 08:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oil and Water.(Conventional vs. Organic)

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrganicBananac View Post
Organic gardening focuses on life in the soil, we "feed the soil".
At a dilution of 100ppm to 1000ppm (0.1%), a chelated 20-5-5 also feeds the soil, benefits the microbial life, and causes no harm to the soil or plants.

Quote:
Where are the Epsom Salts?
??? Epsom salts and Potassium Nitrate are both chemical salts, and both are found in the chelated 20-5-5 I use.

"Organic" is a very interesting term. Motor oil distilled from crude oil with no synthetics added is 100% Organic.
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Old 08-15-2009, 08:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oil and Water.(Conventional vs. Organic)

Glad everyone can make it tonight.
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Last edited by OrganicBananac : 08-15-2009 at 09:18 PM. Reason: non-offensive i guess
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Old 08-15-2009, 09:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oil and Water.(Conventional vs. Organic)

Lagniappe,
A low dose for feeding beneficials is irrelevant. The reason is, people applying chems are not focused on the soil food web, but feeding the plant, the exact reason the chemicals, directly available to the plant, are used.
This is again the first rule, being broken.
If your soil food web is correct, there would be no need for the application of a directly available nutrient.
These quick fixes are always at the expense of something else.

One of the things I recently researched was that low doses of chemical nutrients are more beneficial to the "bad" microbiology rather than the "good". (Hence the reason problems appear and require something else to fix it, in conventional ag.) There is that distinction and when we start to talk about microbes, we want the good guys. E Coli is a good example of microbiology I personally would rather avoid.
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Old 08-15-2009, 09:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oil and Water.(Conventional vs. Organic)

Matt,
The materials you are advocating contain the same low doses of the same chemicals you are criticizing.
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Old 08-15-2009, 10:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oil and Water.(Conventional vs. Organic)

Quote:
Originally Posted by supermario View Post
SOIL FOODWEB NEW YORK, INC.
-HELP YOU SELECT THE CORRECT PRODUCTS TO GET YOU THE BEST RESULTS.
Organicbananac,

I'm just curious as to what products the "soil foodweb" usually recommends..? Have you used/purchased any?
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Old 08-15-2009, 10:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oil and Water.(Conventional vs. Organic)

The below info is copied and pasted from a web site that apparently reviews gardening books..

----Why Natural Gardening?
The scientific definition of “organic” is a compound that contains carbon. The term organic as it is used today has strayed far from the scientific designation. Both synthetically produced and naturally produced compounds contain carbon. Only naturally occurring compounds can be called organic. However, what most people do not understand, and what the book helps explain, is that a product labeled as organic or natural is not necessarily safer (food or chemicals) or more nutritious (food) than a synthetically produced product.

The Truth about Organic Gardening helps gardeners understand how to choose products that have low environmental impacts and are relatively safe for humans, plants and animals. Some of these products are organic, some are synthetic. Gillman presents an explanation and description of each product or technique and then gives a summary of the products benefits, drawbacks and the bottom line (final conclusion). He describes products and processes, helping the gardener understand how natural fertilizers, watering techniques, planting plans, and more can work together for a safe, natural gardening process.----

The above review is of a book called "The Truth About Organic Gardening" by Jeff Gillman.

I have never read, nor am I promoting Jeff Gillman's book. Just pointing out how to properly reference educational material.
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Old 08-15-2009, 10:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oil and Water.(Conventional vs. Organic)

Rather than Oil vs. Water, a better metaphor for my practices are (a) a healthy person who walks casually each day for exercise, vs. (b) a healthy tri-athlete who trains for and competes in triathelons. The casual walker eats a healthy 1200 to 1800 calories per day, while the triathlete consumes a healthy 3000 or more calories per day just to match their activity level.

Ornamental plants comprise about 1% of what I grow. I "feed the soil" to keep them healthy. The other 99% are production fruit and vegetables. From them I require vigorous output. I not only feed the soil to keep them healthy but also feed them additional nutrients to match their activity level.

In contrast, my friend Pete (Lagniappe) is not interested in high production levels from his fruit plants. He feeds them very little. The plants are very happy and produce sufficient fruit for him. I'm all for it.
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Old 08-15-2009, 10:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oil and Water.(Conventional vs. Organic)

Soil microbes need the same "toxic Chemicals" as the plants do--Yes they need N to make protein, P to process energy just like plants --in addition they only release them to the plants when they die! That is why it is not recommended to add organic carbon rich materials directly to your plants--the soil microbes will take up all the available nutrients faster than the plant. That is why it is best to compost the organic material and let the microbes take up the available nutrients and then run out and start to die--therefore releasing nutrients for the plants and new microbes.
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Old 08-16-2009, 06:12 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Oil and Water.(Conventional vs. Organic)

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrganicBananac View Post
Tonight's homework question is
"In the old growth forest, where did all the nutrition for 100's of years of growth come from?"
Okay, the answer to this question is Plant Succession. Old growth forest represent approx 150 years of different plant life from annual to perennials to shrubs to pines to hardwoods. The nutrition for an old growth forest came from years and years of death of plants. There was no feeding of the soil but rather a plant war was waged and those that could not successfully compete died and were replaced by more adapted plants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OrganicBananac View Post
Man created one system, nature has been doing its own system, without the need for human interaction... forever (roughly 2-3 billion years).
And doing it I might say very slowly and very inefficiently. Without the advent of 'syntheitc' fertilizer we would be a 3rd world country based on subsistence farming. 'Synthetic' fertilizer allowed our country to move from an agrarian to an industrialized society. Take a look at 3rd world countries today. Like it or not, without 'synthetic' fertilizer and the resulting high yield acre production, that would be our normal standard of living. Anyone who tells you differently is wrong and is displaying a lack of education of our nation's agricultural history



Quote:
Originally Posted by OrganicBananac View Post
Organics is nature, everything else is not organic.
I disagree. As a science teacher and an Ag Teacher the last time I checked there were only 20 man made or truly synthetic elements listed on the periodic table. For you benefit here they are: technetium (Tc), promethium (Pm), neptunium (Np), plutonium (Pu), americium (Am), curium (Cm), berkelium (Bk), californium (Cf), einsteinium (Es), fermium (Fm), mendelevium (Md), nobelium (No), lawrencium (Lr), unnilquadium (Unq), unnilpentium (Unp), unnilhexium (Unh), unnilseptium (Uns), unniloctium (Uno), unnilennium (Une), unununium (Uun). Now when my granular 5-10-10 contains one of these elements I will agree that I am feeding inorganic nutrition to my plants. Inorganic or synthetic fertilizer is nothing more than organic fertilizer without filler. Nothing in granular fertilizer is created, it may be recombined into another form but everything in that bag had its origin from the Earth from either a dead plant or animal.

No matter the form of fertilizer provided, plants and fungus can take up only certain types of N-P. Nitrogen must be in the form of nitrate, ammonium or urea and urea only falls loosely into the classification of organic fertilizer and phosphorus must be in of the form of orthophosphate ions.

To each his own. personally I am not willing to purchase over a ton of organic fertilizer every year and lug a whole bag of it to each banana plant. I don't feel bad because I am not buying the roly poly and worms their high priced meals. I would much rather fill my 5 gallon Homer bucket up with 20lbs of granular and be done with it.

IMO, anyone that espouses organics and uses and enjoys the benefits of our industrialized society is nothing more than a hypocrite or someone who just isn't educated.

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Old 08-17-2009, 09:34 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oil and Water.(Conventional vs. Organic)

Well stated TX. In this day and age, most eveyone knows about evolution and the process of natural selection. Questioning how a forrest survived before us is just silly. I was going to respond to the "old growth" question.. but, before I replied I clicked on the link he kept advocating. Turn's out it's nothing more than a business trying to sell it's services...so, I decided to call him out on that.

He is either a salesperson for the company(a really bad one), or he is a customer with his blinders on.
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Old 08-17-2009, 01:29 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oil and Water.(Conventional vs. Organic)

I wouldn't say that organic and conventional are like oil and water, I've got a field of bananas that have never been sprayed with anything. The only thing they have ever gotten in a good dose of chemical fertilizer. I've been controlling the weeds by mowing and I am doing an alright job but it is hard work to keep everything under control. However, very shortly I am going to be out there spraying round-up to try to get some longer term control, because guess what, weeds increase humidity and can aggrevate disease and they can also increase the likelihood of frost and I'd rather not get into a major losing battle with sigatoka.
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Old 08-17-2009, 02:14 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oil and Water.(Conventional vs. Organic)

I agree Nick, They go together quite well in my garden.

Just in case you have any worries about roundup--it is very non toxic to mammals and degrades quick in soil--It is basically glycine and phosphate--in essence an organic fertilizer!
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Old 08-17-2009, 02:53 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oil and Water.(Conventional vs. Organic)

Glyphosate overspray is very toxic to banana plants.
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Old 08-17-2009, 03:02 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oil and Water.(Conventional vs. Organic)

SBL, Roundup has been found to be toxic for humans and extreemly toxic for amphibians.
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Old 08-17-2009, 03:20 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oil and Water.(Conventional vs. Organic)

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SBL, Roundup has been found to be toxic for humans and extreemly toxic for amphibians.
Roundup contains glyphosate and other chemicals (mainly soap). Commercial farmers do not buy Roundup, but instead one of several generic brands containing glyphosate alone. Straight glyphosate out of the canister is no better than drinking seaweed extract (toxic). Decomposed glyphosphate (chemical 1/2 life = 2 hours) is non-toxic to humans. However, excessive use leads to excess phosphates that are a significant problem in water ways and bad news for the amphibians you mentioned. A once-per-season spraying of farmland by aircraft 7 days prior to planting row crops creates zero runoff. Overuse by consumers is a serious problem.
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Old 08-17-2009, 03:21 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oil and Water.(Conventional vs. Organic)

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IMO, anyone that espouses organics and uses and enjoys the benefits of our industrialized society is nothing more than a hypocrite or someone who just isn't educated.
You opinion is ridiculous and insulting to say the least, IMO.
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:02 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oil and Water.(Conventional vs. Organic)

Quote:
Originally Posted by supermario View Post
... He is either a salesperson for the company, or ...
I wonder how many people have been dupped on other sites by salespersons for this company?
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:05 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oil and Water.(Conventional vs. Organic)

Quote:
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Glyphosate overspray is very toxic to banana plants.
You are right Richard,
I should have mentioned that. I have even had some effects on non-target plants from the weeds that were sprayed making contact with the non-target plants--transfer by contact.

As for the mammalian toxicity--this is from the MSDS:
TOXICOLOGICAL INFORMATION GLYPHOSATE
This section is intended for use by toxicologists and other health professionals.
Data obtained on similar products and on components are summarized below.
Acute oral toxicity
Rat, LD50: > 5,000 mg/kg body weight Practically non-toxic.
FIFRA category IV.
Acute dermal toxicity
Rat, LD50: > 5,000 mg/kg body weight Practically non-toxic.
FIFRA category IV.
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