Organic AND Inorganic Gardening
Sodium carbonate is another material that in excess is quite toxic to plants and causes effects which seem to support organic gardening claims. Another such material is potassium chloride (muriate of potash). This chemical kills certain kinds of bacteria that are able to fix nitrogen from the air. Destruction of these beneficial organisms could degrade the soil to a point where effects would be harmful.

Here an organic source of potash-wood ashes would do a better job than muriate of potash. However, the other garden form of potash, sulfate of potash, will also provide the needed element without destroying helpful bacteria.

Ferrous ammonium sulfate, or F.A.S. as it is called, is a valuable material for producing a quick green color on a sickly lawn (a good trick to use when you want a quick treatment to put a lawn in top-notch condition for some special event). However, F.A.S. is known to be harmful to a number of soil organisms if watered into the soil or compost pile. For this reason, it is best used as a foliar application on grass, as a light spray. Do not use so much that it drips freely and runs onto the soil.

Danger from F.A.S., however, is lessened if the soil is well aerated.

In dense, tight, waterlogged soils, ferrous ammonium sulfate stimulates bacteria that produce hydrogen sulfide, a chemical harmful to garden plants.

CHAPTER DIGEST
Whenever you think of organic/inorganic gardening, be sure to use "and" and not "vs" between the two words. Organic gardening "prohibits" the use of chemical fertilizers, insecticides, etc. Inorganic gardening, in its strict sense, employs only chemical materials. But actually, "inorganic gardener" is a term invented to identify one who is not wedded to organics. Both kinds of fertilizer, in particular, are vital to a balanced soil that can properly support plant growth.

The organocultists have performed a good service in calling attention to the waste of natural sources of fertility, to the vital nature of organic matter in good soil condition, and to many other phases of culture which were being forgotten in the mad modern rush for high production with chemical fertilizers. But these contributions are spoiled by the organo­cultists' refusal to see any side but their own. If science and common logic mean anything, the organocultists will never prove the existence in organic matter of any vital ingredient for plant growth which cannot be supplied chemically, or demonstrate the existence of a pure toxic element in chemicals that is not present in organic materials.




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