The Battle of the Veggies: Organic Vs. Nonorganic Soil Part 3

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Well, apparently not all soils are created equal!

A few months ago I filled two large pots; one with regular potting soil and the other with organic soil (read about it here and here!). Each pot was planted with:

  • 3 seed potatoes
  • 14 sugar snap pea seeds
  • 8 red onion bulbs
  • 6 strawberry plants
  • 6 lettuce starts

When I  harvested my lettuce this week, I noticed almost every head of lettuce I was growing in the regular potting soil had been nibbled on by some sort of bug. What kind of bug? Well I’m not sure, but oddly enough, when I harvested the lettuce grown in organic soil, the lettuce leaves were virtually nibble free!

How can that be?

Is growing vegetables in organic soil really better? Even though I was totally “rooting” for the organic soil, I was still pretty shocked to find out the jacked up, chemical-filled regular potting soil didn’t perform as well. I mean, chemicals are supposed to be our friends, right? (Not really, but that’s what fertilizer companies want us to believe, isn’t it?)

After all was said and done, I ended up harvesting 3 pounds, 12 ounces of edible lettuce from the regular potting soil and 4 pounds, 3 ounces of edible lettuce from the organic potting soil. What a surprise!

At first I thought maybe the bugs were just feasting on the lettuce I had planted in the regular potting soil, but after harvesting the leafy greens I noticed tiny little holes in the potato leaves as well. There’s clearly no debate on which soil the bugs favor in this experiment

I suppose the final test will be next month when I harvest the remaining vegetables (potatoes, peas, onions and strawberries) and tally them up.

Garden experiments are cool! Especially when the outcome totally surprises you.

Keep calm and garden on,

~ Mavis

All photos courtesy of Mavis Butterfield

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