Saturday, November 30, 2013

Organic Basil in the works, and how to protect your plants from illness


I have been growing plants for some time now, and it is time for me to start my next season of Basil. I grow organic, heirloom Basil. But what does organic mean? It's important to understand if you want to grow plants in an environmentally friendly way. Do you want to learn how to grow organically?

Have you wondered what it means to grow food organically? At the very least, it entails that you use only natural means to grow your plants and reduce disease, weeds, and the instances of pests. Compost is one great example. You do not buy commercial, synthetic insecticide. Instead, you decompose organic plant matter(among other things), and put it down into your soil where the plants are.

On the topic of organic disease-control, there is one option that I've looked into. I do not buy this chemical for my household(since I'm not the man of the house), but I do use it, in small amounts. I use it to control a deadly disease that hurts the economy as much as it does our beloved tomatoes. What disease is that, might you ask?

The Dreaded Fusarium Wilt

Fusarium wilt is a plant-only fungal infection that attacks a lot of tomato and basil plants, just to name a couple. Naturally, this evil disease does not target just these two. The link above will give you the whole story.

Fusarium Wilt is a real stinker to deal with. I saw its vile works with my own eyes. Thankfully, I learned how to build up my plants' immune systems early in their lives—hydrogen peroxide. Taking a spray bottle, filling it with water, and adding a tablespoon of this chemical, I can set my plants up to have oppose fungal infections...or that is the idea, anyway.

I do not know for certain if this chemical has an effect on plants. More than likely it doesn't harm the plants, but I am hoping that it helps the plants fight off infection. How safe is this chemical anyway, one may ask? This quote is from Snopes, and is the summary of how they feel is the appropiate use of this chemical:
Gargle with it, wipe wounds with it, foam the wax out of your ears with it, bleach your hair and your clothes with it, but don't drink it or let someone shoot it into your veins.
SOURCE:; author: Barbara "dose of common sense" Mikkelson

This article, if you've read it, only talks about human health in relation to the use of hydrogen peroxide. What affects a human does not have to necessarily affect a plant. We are not one and the same; in fact, there are quite a few differences between us. I can tell you this much: if hydrogen peroxide is good for killing germs, maybe it would be good for plant immunity as well? That may sound like a long shot, but one does not figure nature out with hasty decisions. I've seen just how crazy and complex nature can be.

For my part, I cannot confirm or deny any of these claims; and really, my only concern right now is figuring out if hydrogen peroxide can protect my seedlings from the nefarious fusarium wilt. It would certainly make for a great all-natural, organic germicide though, as it is said to a product of our immune systems. Anyone who begs to differ can tell their story down below.

For all the uncertainties that plaque me, I am certain of one thing—my Basil plants that have survived, are on the road to full growth. I managed to keep two of my plants from dying off; and thereafter, I will be getting Basil leaves all winter long. In order to achieve that, I have a full-spectrum plant light. In conclusion, I plan to continue using this chemical until I find out whether it works. I have done this for my previous Basil plant as well, and it has not harmed me.

Sourdough Article

In other news, I have not yet started to write the article on sourdough. I need inspiration...and ideas. When I have those two, I will start preparing the article.

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