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Re: Fertilizing/ "Organic" Gardening

Sam020857@aol.com wrote:

>    Early on, I believe this discussion centered on Van Wade's hosta culture
> and the amazing results he achieves --- we were not discussing the use of
> something as "lukewarm" as Miracle Grow or Miracid.

Well, not exactly.  The discussion centered on a statement to the effect that
growing hostas without other plants in the garden is bad for hostas.  I said I
don't believe it and asked for some evidence that it is true.  John thinks I'm
being argumentative, Butch doesn't like the way I challenge his statement, and
everyone else starts talking about organic gardening and sustainable agriculture,
ground water contamination, "continued and heavy applications of synthetic
fertilizers and pesticides", and so on.

Nobody, in my opinion has given me one good defense of the statement.  Not to be
argumentative again, or to pick on you, but I question what you consider to be
the problems of monoculture (In fact, I question whether applying the term
monoculture to a hosta garden isn't stretching things a bit):

1. "Different plants have different nutritional needs."  Well, that's true, but
have you ever seen a hosta garden where the hostas have depleted the soil of
nutrients.  And if so, what companion plants should be planted with the hostas to
alleviate the problem?  As I said, I have nothing against organic gardening,
except what seems to be a need to solve problems that don't exist.  This has
nothing to do with mulching or fertilizing, the question is how are hostas hurt
by being planted without companions.

2.  "In monoculture, plant-specific pests and diseases might wipe you out in a
single season."  Again, I agree that that can happen, and again, I would like to
know what companion plants would stop it from happening.  If they are going to
get wiped out, it will happen whether or not you have ferns planted with them.
(By the way, the nematodes will get the ferns too.)  Now you might argue that at
least something might survive, but I don't see what that has to do with hurting
the hostas.  If something is going to wipe out your hostas, the other plants
aren't going to protect them.

3. "And from a purely aesthetic perspective..." has nothing to do with the
question.  I'm not saying that you should plant hostas by themselves.  What I'm
saying is that if you want to, and someone says it's a bad thing to do to the
hostas, you should be argumentative and ask why, cause it ain't so.


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