Composting for Anarchists – Organic Gardening – MOTHER EARTH NEWS

Composting for Anarchists – Organic Gardening – MOTHER EARTH NEWS.   This works with another idea I have had. Crops such as potatoes and tomatoes which can sometimes pass on diseases (like blight) are sometimes suggested to be binned and not composted but that doesn’t sit well with me. Crop rotation is recommended due to diseases in the soil being present and ready to infect the next crop if it’s the same plant family and also because each plant has specific nutrients it requires and the soil will be depleted after a crop. Better to plant something different that uses different minerals or even returns them to the soil (like legumes). Hence, I wondered whether tomato plants could be composted in the garden where they had grown, (aside from clearly diseased plants) thus returning the nutrients the plant has taken back into the soil from whence they were taken. 🙂 If your crop was diseased the soil will likely already contain the pathogens so you shouldn’t plant the same crop again for some years anyway. If someone knows better, please let me know. It’s just a thought I’ve had. 🙂


9 thoughts on “Composting for Anarchists – Organic Gardening – MOTHER EARTH NEWS

  1. narf77 says:

    I am going to weigh in here with “what happens in nature” thang. In nature, sure, birds and “other/misc/boobityboo” chew on the fruit etc. and carry it further from the plant but what about things that seed right next to the plant like silverbeet etc…each year they just dump their payload right on the soil next to the plant and the new seedlings grow right there. Surely nature knows best and if the plant is inclined to deposit it’s future in the soil around it’s person, surely we should learn something from that? I am guessing that it is only carefully tended gardening that needs rotating. A wild hodgepodge of D.I.Y. nature might be a different premise? Just putting my 2 cents in 😉

    • That’s what I’m thinking BUT nature also doesn’t do monocrops which I admit I still do even if in much smaller quantities. If you have everything growing in 1 spot all together then moving it makes no sense at all. 🙂

      • narf77 says:

        That’s what I am doing this year. I am experimenting with my garden. I just planted out okra, roselles, tomatillos, pepinos, spinach and silverbeet all over the place. I am not sticking to one veg, one spot this year. I am going to dot all kinds of things all over the place. I have things planted in my compost piles and just potted up the cherimoya seed so fingers crossed they grow :). I have decided to stop trying to figure out gardening according to mainstream gardening ideas and ideals as I can’t get my head (or my tardy garden practices) around any of it. It just makes me do a snail and pull my head (stubbornly) in and nothing happens SO narf is going to just get out there and speriment her heart out joyfully and lets just see what happens. I have enough info stuffed into my head to grow a continents worth of veggies so lets just see if I can knit it all together with permaculture, agroforestry, simple common sense and my whacked out need to put strange things all over the place. Can’t see any problems there eh? 😉

  2. Chris says:

    I compost everything – just like nature.

  3. Helen says:

    I compost my tomato and potato plants. Not had any problems with that, so I’d go ahead and do it, too, if I were you😊.

  4. Leigh says:

    Very interesting post and I’ve wondered along similar lines. Actually, I wonder if plants can’t develop immunities like people and animals do, but no one can confirm that. For growing, I do like the companion group method. I’ve just had trouble getting everything to grow at the same rate so I can get a mulch in before the weeds take over.

  5. foodnstuff says:

    I don’t ‘do’ traditional crop rotation; it’s too complicated and I have more than enough to think about, but I don’t put obviously diseased plants in the compost and I at least try not to put plants in the same family in successive spots. I think the solanaceae family is the most liable to problems (spuds, tomatoes, etc), so I’m careful with them, but sometimes there’s only that spot available and the plant just has to go there, regardless of whether one of it’s cousins was growing there before.

    I’m inclined to go with narf’s idea, but ultimately it’s ‘do what you wish and if it works, keep doing it and if it doesn’t try something else”

    Gardening is essentially putting a miscellaneous collection of plants together which have no ecological relationships to one another and so some things are bound not to work.

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