Organic Farming and Gardening is not as visible as using Chemical Fertilizer. Monsanto has used the visible for years to swindle the Farmers and Gardeners. The invisible is more important than visible when it comes to root growth. The following will explain my knowledge of facts and theories for over sixty years of Observation and Logic practicing Organic Farming and Gardening.
I started in 1950 on my Dairy Farm in Vermont doing Organic and Conventional together. I had been conventional for four years previous. My first concern was the chemical fertilizer was killing the earth worms. I learned that sulfuric acid to make super phosphate was 20% available to the plants was the cause. It takes the moisture from the earthworms and burns them up. The earthworms are the best for the soil. In the three years doing both, I did two simple experiments that convinced me that Organic was superior to chemicals of any kind.
In 1953 I changed completely to Organic and no more chemicals. I would like to explain my experiments as one was root growth. It is in my book, Learned by the Fencepost, Lessons in Organic Farming & Gardening. Published in March 2011. I was encouraged to write it as I talked so much about Organics.
More about what chemical does to root growth and Organic promotes it
I did a simple experiment with tomato plant since I wrote the book. I started some tomatos from seed with Organic potting soil. In the other pots I used potting soil with chemical fertilizer. When I trans planted the Organic tomatos the pot was full of roots. The chemical pots had hardly a root to be seen. When the roots are burned at the start, they never come back. I planted both in my Garden with 9.6% Organic matter. The Organic tomatos survived the 48 days without rain. The chemically started tomatos died during the dry spell. I mulched the plants as the hot sun will bake the soil and dry up faster if not covered. Anyone can try this simple test. I have tried to get some FFA chapters to experiment, but have no success. Monsanto keeps them happy with big money for their promtion.
Chemical Fertilizer has the big three Nitrogen (Ammonia Nitrogen blew up the Oklahoma Government Building) 40% available. Phosphate (Is rock phosphate with sulfuric acid added to make it 20% available). I have not studied the Potash so will not comment (NPK). These are the big three that just stimulate plant growth and is very visible to the eye. They over ride all other minerals and elements that make plants healthy. They also cause the soil to harden into dirt and adds more water to the plants as it is 100% water soluble and 100% available to the plants. The Chemicals burn the hair roots, I call scouts, that search for plant food and minerals naturally that feed the plants. I read that hair roots anchor the plants. The most unbelievable thing that any Scientist could say.
Orgnaic roots will keep the soil more pourous for the rain, nitrogen and oxygen. The nitrogen is for the plant growth and the oxygen is for the microbes that make the plant food available. The nitrogen comes down with the rain from the 78% in the atmosphere. When it stays on top of the hard ground it evaporates back to the atmosphere.
Organic is not 100% water soluble and 100% available to the plants. My other experiments proved this to me. The soil samples I took every two weeks gave me a clue as how Mother Nature makes plant food available as the plants need it. We have to have sufficient Organic Matter. All Organic matter will break down through decomposing (Composting in the soil) it is the life cycle we are blessed with. More root growth makes more Organic matter for the next plant cycle. All the above ground plants should be returned to the soil as the plants only take 10% nurtients from the soil or less depending on the plant. The seeds and vegetables are a small percentage of this.
Chemicals are man made and will not break down. The farmers have been over-loaded with chemicals for years and are 100% water soluble. The plants can not use all that the Chemical companies over-load them with and it ends up in the water ways. The chemical fertilized plants just need dirt to ancher the roots. It does not take much logic to see why the food is unhealthy when it is just stimulated. Then the scientists put synthetic vitamins and elements in to the food that should be there at growing time. The Soil is the Life Blood of the Earth and all Food comes from the Soil. Food and Health in this Order. This will not be called Scientific as I am not a Scientist. I call it Logic and I have proof with my crops and soil tests.
The other big mistake that hinders the roots growth is shallow till and shallow hardpan. The chemical fertilizer just needs dirt (not soil) to anchor the roots. The plants cannot reach for the trace minerals that are so essential for their health. All healthy plants make Healthy Food, Healthy Humans and Healthy Animals, naturally. The Scientists and Chemical Companies try to add all the Vitamins and Minerals to our food that was lost by limiting the roots. There are so many chemicals added to our food that it is impossible for any lay person to understand what they are. I have tried to explain my reason for being Organic for all these years and I know my experiments are true. I won many awards on my Organic Dairy farm over thousands of Chemical Farmers.
Donald Lewis is author of the Book, Learned by the Fencepost, Lessons in Organic Farming & Gardening. He started dairy Farming in Vermont after graduating from High School in 1946 and was the FFA Chapter President for four years, State President in 1946. Donald eceived the American Farmers Degree in 1947 and went into partnership with his father and brother, purchasing the farm in 1956. It was a run down farm when his father bought it in 1921. He brought it into good production with cow and chicken manure. It was Organic then, but not recognized as such. In 1950 Donald did all the farm work and his partners ran the saw mill, using Organics and Chemicals together for three years. In 1953 he went totally Organic after doing two simple experiments. His dairy herd responded to the Organic roughage. In 1958 Donald won the New England in Winter Green Pastures Contest over several hundred chemical farmers, because of the best roughage and the healthiest dairy herd they saw on their 2000 mile trip through New England. Donald also won many hay awards at the Vermont farm show, receiving 99.7 and 99.5 points out of 100 for three years. The hay was not Judged the fourth year as he was accused of cheating -sure did he was Organic. Not one Farmer nor agriculture adviser came to the farm to see how he did it without chemicals. He left the Farm in 1963 because of uncontrollable circumstances and worked on a Florida farm in 1963 to 1966. Donald went to Computer night school starting in 1964 and finished in 1966, working as a computer operator in computer technology and retired in 1993. He now has a four acre organic farm and gardens in Goode, Virginia and out-grows all chemical gardeners. Soil test are proof you don’t need anything but organic matter.