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Our file of questions from visitors on everything organic - from how control pests, diseases and weeds organically, to organics in the glasshouse - courtesy of Christchurch Polytechnic's Holger Kahl and organic students. Browse through the list or search by topic (Search button located at the top of each webpage). Sorry, we cannot accept any more questions from readers as this service is no longer available.

The Questions
Two years ago I planted a black passionfruit in a large pot in my conservatory. I regularly water it and feed and it grows vigorously. The major problem I am having is, it appears to get very tiny flowers only then to die before even develo...
Where can I buy a tofu press?
I have grown an orange tree from a seed. It is three years old (2 feet tall) and growing well. I don't know what type of orange tree it is but do you know on average how long it take before the tree starts flowering? thanks
Please recommend a natural fertilizer for rose bushes. What do you recommend for getting rid of bugs on rose bushes?? My yard is full of white flowered clover. Any natural weed killer that won't hurt my grass?
Are you able to tell me how I can get lichen to grow on totara fence posts? Thanks
Hi, We have got a 2 acre property covered in Kikuyu grass. Being close to spring now we want to establish a big vegetable patch that is currently covered in Kikuyu. What is the best way to get rid of it with the least physical impact and w...
I read somewhere that NZ flax has many medicinal purposes for diary cows. If they chew the flax it helps rid them of something, can someone please elaborate on this? What is it good for? If I remember correctly it was something to do with w...
we have a problem with oxalis Is there any way to get rid of it ?
Hi! what an amazing site you have! Found the answer to one of my questions (how to deter houseflies after covering/putting food away) but have a second one: I have a small collection of mainly quite ordinary houseplants which are all doing ...
We are thinking of growing YAMS. We live in the deep south and the property is very peaty any guidance on this subject would be much appreciated,also any ideas on the proper name of PUHA which I guess is some sort of thistle.
What is the organic means of dealing with phylloxera on grape leaves? thanks
Do you have any idea of how I can get rid of tiny little black bugs on my new tomato plants? These bugs eat little holes into the leaves, and propagate like crazy. You can just brush them off, but they return soon. My tomato plants are p...
we are architects in the uk and have a plants question for you that you might be able to help with ... we are building a copper roof very close to a pear tree and are worried about the formation of copper sulphate killing the tree, the ro...
We cannot get our Kiwi fruit to ripen the size is OK but they remain lilttle rockets no matter how long we take them inside any ideas/ the vine is full of useless fruit HELP please
I read somewhere that NZ flax has many medicinal purposes for diary cows, if they chew the flax it help rid them or something, can someone please elaborate on this, what it is good for, if I remember correctly it was something to do with wo...
Could you tell me if there is a good, safe, and organic way to treat apple trees that have "rust" on their leaves? Thank you!
I'm doing an assessment involving a community garden and was wondering how much space would need to be allocated for 150 people.
I imagine you've had this question before but here goes. Is it possible to crop organically, commercially when it is predominantly kikuyu? If so (and I'm hoping it is) how? Toni
I intend to use sawdust as a soil conditioner and as a mulch. I have a good supply of (naturally) untreated Macrocarpa from a nearby mill. Is there a problem is using Macrocarpa sawdust? I would imagine that Macrocarpa waste would tak...
Question 1: Im looking for a recipe on sheep drench (an organic one) Thank-you. Hannah Question 2: We are very interested in farming (cattle & sheep) organically. Please could you tell me where can I find information on alternative d...
I have a tangerine tree that is kept indoors and I have located in a easterly facing light. I purchased as a bare root tree and have had for 3 years. It has grown respectfully but to this day there are no blooms and the leaves will curl ...
My friend has just started to grow organic veges and is having some problems with weeds and pests. What kind of chemical free weed killers and pesticides can this person use to get rid of them?
I am searching for environmentally safe materials (from NZ) that behave similarly to mdf (environmentally safe mdf?) wood after assembly. My designs need a "dead" material since the joints are very exact. May I ask you to connect me in any ...
My son has been diagnosed with ADHD and I was wondering if you could send/email me some information on safe food for him? Thank you
I have started a home-based natural products delivery business in Singapore and need to source good and genuine products for my business. Can you help me.
How do you treat large batches of potting soil to destroy weed seeds? What temperatures and how long? We are mixing reed sedge, with yard waste compost and sphagnum moss, but we are getting rye grass sprouts. Any information on this and ...
Hi could you please tell me why copper sulphate prevents germination in seeds.
Is it advisable to develop a compost pile on a vacant vege patch and then once pile has composted, sow or plant directly on this?
Hi! I am just starting to take care of a strawberry patch at my new home where it hasn't been taken care of in almost two years. My question is: To weed in the patch do I just pull everything out except the leaves for the strawberries, or a...
I have tried Pyrethrum, dish soap, canola oil, insect oil, sticky whitefly traps, and every other "solution" I have heard of, to no avail. My garden is so infested with whiteflies that I had to pull out all of the plants last year, and now ...
Is there any spray for weeds that is organic? We have a lavender crop which we had hoped to keep organic but the weeds are beating us. Thank you for any suggestions. Ann Chaney
Hello, I have an small organic market garden in the Waikato. I am wanting to create raised beds but can not find a cheap method to do so. (timber is too expensive) can you suggest a practical alternative for an area of around 1 acre? Cheers
I found a small insect with a fluffy, upright white 'tail', and they seem to have matured to a brown lacy winged insect. They can be found mainly on the underside of leaves or at the tips of new shoots. I imagine treating them would be diff...
What do you think about using commercial products to speed up composting? Are they necessary? Are they effective? Someone mentioned to me a product now available in NZ you could add to your kitchen compost container which would help the was...
Hi, I have three children with serious health problems who are unable to eat more than a tiny trace of sucrose or starch. To this end, I would like to have a go at growing their fruit and vegetables organically (chemical sprays on bought...
I have a couple of rhubarb plants and would like to share with my children. How do we - or can we - start plants from the seeds?
Hello, Can you please suggest a recipe(s)/directions for preparation of liquid fish fertiliser for the organic home garden/orchard. We live by the sea and have plenty of fish waste. We need some guidance on how/how much/how long etc. Al...
Question 1 from Bev: I have just planted some cabbage plants, and what strategy can I adopt to prevent white butterfly laying their eggs? I am on the coast of the Coromandel Peninsula Many thanks, / Question 2 from Robin Sage: I live in...
hello I am in south Western Australia close to the beach, our soil is rather sandy and coastal. What nutrient does my lime tree need in this type of soil and climate. Would the sea-weed remedy help for this situation??? I have fed the l...
I have a peach tree which produced large tasty peaches last year with no spraying or special care. I would like to transfer the tree to another property. Is it possible to take cuttings as it produces really nice peaches, better than the...
Hi there. I live in Massachusetts, USA. I'm a vegetarian and environmental artist working on starting a greenhouse up here (being that we have very cold and snowy winters) and want to grow some dwarfed fruit trees. I was hoping you migh...
SIR I AM AN INDIAN NATIONAL LIVING IN THE SEMI ARID REGION OF INDIA. WE ARE HAVING SOIL TYPE SILTY CLAY LOAM WITH PH 8.6 WE ARE HAVING LEMON PLANTATION OF ABOUT 2200 PLANTS.WE INTEND TO SUPPLY ORGANIC MANURE TO THIS PLANT POPULATION OF OUR...
I have been misinterpreting what organic farming is. For some odd reason, I thought organic farming did not include faeces, but I have been corrected. I would like to know what companies sell food grown organically, but also veganically, or...
I think I have curly leaf, the leaves have these amazing lumps and bumps. Does it affect the fruiting. I am determined to find a natural way. Thank you
I would like to harvest the rose hips from my rose bush because I have heard such good things concerning hips. We had our first frost last night and the rose hips have turned a yellow color. I only have one bush that has very limited hips b...
I have acquired a property with unused glass houses and would like to convert them to Certified Organic. Could you please advise how to establish what organic produce is in high demand for export markets. Thank you.
I am a tubestock grower of grevilleas by cutting. Whitefly has been a constant problem. In the past I have used a systemic insecticide to control them but am desperate to find an alternative. I have used parasitic wasps and sticky trap...
I am hoping you can help me with a problem we have with young immature (green) fruit bearing on our citrus (late naval oranges). The problem is we have small brownish indented spots developing on the skins which looks similar to scale howev...
We are having trouble with root maggots damaging our rutabagas. We planted hairy vetch as a companion crop to attract ladybugs. We had some beautiful rutabagas but lost many, as consumers demand near perfection. We grow two acres of rutabag...
I am interested in looking at the possibilities of Nut Farming in Central Otago. What would be the best options which could be grown organically and what courses are available to learn about this?
I have a hive of ground bees that have taken up residence next to one of my blueberry bushes. How can I remove them in the least invasive way possible without disturbing or poisoning my bush? Help! Thank you.
How do I organically control codlin moth in Granny Smith apple tree in central valley in California (Fresno USA)? Neighbor has pecan tree that is untreated and may be contributory. Thanks
Hi, we have a big problem with white aphids in our garden, I'm going to try the rhubarb spray that I found on your site. If you have any other sprays that might help I would appreciate it Thanks
I grow tomatoes in a greenhouse and am wanting to convert to organic methods of cultivation. While I don't usually use sprays, I would like some alternatives to sterilising the soil. Do you have some suggestions? Many thanks, Lyn Mow...
Question 1: My name is John Feary. I am in the 5th Form and go to Liston College in Henderson. We are doing a research project for N.C.E.A English and I chose as my topic G.E testing. I was wondering if you could answer a couple of questi...
Hopefully you might be able to point me in the right direction - we have an infestation of slaters in our house and hence around the house - any idea how to get rid of them?
Dear Sir: We produced Organic oil, and we are interested to take contact with Companies in Europa in Organics Products. We are in Argentina Thanks Your faithfully
I note you have already had a question on blackberry infestations. I have a 20 acres of very steep country that is almost totally covered in blackberries and would like to know more about organic weed control - can you suggest some good ref...
HELP!!! We live on 10 acres in Queenstown. We have a huge garden that has been invaded by spittle bug! They are through all of the garden, flower beds, vege garden and more keep appearing! Would love to know what to do!
Hi there, I have a small section in a rented house and therefore have a lot of plants in pots. One of these is a recently obtained Gardenia. I know these like acid soils and it is just showing signs of not being too happy (yellowing leave...
Your article "How to build a raised bed garden" mentions (in point 2.) using newspaper, what I have a problem finding is newsprint without colour. Does the colour print have a "bad" impact at all? Any help on this would be appreciated. ...
I have a mixed orchard in Bombay Hills and in November/December all the new growth on my fruit trees especially feijoas, cherry and berry fruit is being eaten by a little brown beetle (I think it is the grass grub?) is there and organic con...
We live in Central California with hot, hot summers and winters down to about 30F. We bought an older home last year with four citrus trees; two orange and two lemon. Crop of oranges was very good this winter but now it is Fall and unripene...
Can you suggest any cost effective methods of eliminating weed seeds and plant/animal pathogens other than destroying them through thermophylic composting.
What organic preventatives are there for stem-borer in raspberries? Is there a cure? Are there some varieties of bramble that are more/less succeptible than others? We live in Christchurch.
What do your think about growing veges such as potatoes, tomatoes and capsicums in old car tyres. Are they laden with all sorts of horrible metals etc or is it okay for the family gardener? thanks
My front lawn is currently being decimated by grass grub, can you suggest an organic solution?
Regarding the practice of mowing between rows of fruit trees, this knocks the broadleaf and other 'weeds', and we end up with a predominantly grass/clover sward. Is it OK to mow this grass and use it as a heavy mulch around the trees for we...
I have a small vineyard in Banks Peninsula, Canterbury. For the last two years we have been fighting grass grub, or more to the point brown beetle. During Oct-Nov each year they defoliate the vineyard almost over night. Other vineyards aro...
Since moving into our home which is on a 1021 square metre section we have decided to make the most of the land by planting fruit trees and a vege garden. So as not to have to hand pollinate, what can we plant to encourage the bees and othe...
My wife and I wish to cultivate vegetables in peastraw. Our intention is to use some spare vegetable transport bins to grow the vegetables in. We are going to plant the seeds/seedlings in a strip of potting mix laid into the peastraw. We...
Could you or your students find me some current statistics on organic production in New Zealand, both national and export? I'm particularly interested in vegetable production and nut crops. North Island specifically, but all of New Zealand ...
I am writing on behalf of Tangata Whenua Mai Tongariro Trust, who are interested in pursuing organic farming. We have access to approx 300 acres to utilise and in the past this land was used in the 80's to grow strawberries and raspberries ...
How do I get rid of Lichen that is growing on my stone wall. Over the past two years it has been spreading rapidly.
I have about 10 tomato plants given to me by my mother in law (so I am not sure of the variety) growing in 10 litre pots outside. I feed them regularly and there is an abundance of fruit. (I am in the Northern hemisphere.) However many o...
Hi, I recall hearing that garlic will grow better / bigger if it is placed in the fridge for a while before planting. Would this be right? We get only a few mild frosts per year here. Thanks
Hi, my name is Caroline. My partner and I are extremely keen to buy a few acres north of Auckland and grow selected varieties of organic fruit and produce. We would like to know "what are the pre-requisites and procedure for obtaining ...
Could you or your students find me some current statistics on organic production in New Zealand, both national and export? I'm particularly interested in vegetable production and nut crops. North Island specifically, but all of New Zealand ...
Dear Holger, We live in Wellington on a dry hillsite with yellowish clay, about 200m from the sea. About 6 years ago, the previous owners has cleared some 2nd generation bush when they planned to build on it. The rest of the area around th...
Hello, This is Diana Bergersen, Pyes Pa, Tauranga. We have a fully Bio Gro property and successfully grow lemons with about 1 or 2 copper sprays a year. Last year I cut out the copper altogether hoping that the general environment woul...
Could you please recommend a book on bio or organic farming for the beginner?
Desperately searching for a solution to Porina moth larvae. Eighteen months into organic conversion of 350 acre rolling to medium hill farm. No fertiliser history for the previous 15 years. The above parasite has emerged and is rapidly des...
My wife and I have acquired an active apple farm acreage of 1.9HA in NZ. We have decided to remove the existing apple trees and return the environment to its original condition with native trees, grasses etc. The farm has been used as a com...
I have just found your wonderful site and wonder if you could help me. I live in Dunedin and our property has a huge fig tree that produces an enormous amount of fruit which of course never ripen. What can I do with the green fruit, if ...
Can you please tell me how I can effectively remove blackberry and other weeds from my small farm without using chemicals. Thankyou.
I'm trying to find out whether any research/trials have been done on the cost-effectiveness of organic gardening (in the home garden preferably), as compared to buying vegetables. This is for a polytech research project, and so far I've fou...
Can anyone suggest a treatment for sheep which are severely fly blown. We've shorn it, but need to find something which will kill the maggots that have crawled into the wool surrounding the raw areas.
I was told recently that many organic apple growers are currently using alarmingly high amounts of copper to control the pests that may threaten the success of their crops. Apparently the levels of copper in some apples are so high that it ...
Iím trying to find an organization or grower of old apple trees here in NZ.
Hi Thanks for a very useful service you are providing. I have an ongoing problem with rust on the spring onions. It may have come through some infected bean seed or from the Yorkshire fog on the top paddock. I've tried milk unsuccess...
Is Dutch white clover a good source of food for bumblebees? If not, what is?
We have a ragwort problem on our 100 hectare dairy farm. Can you offer some advice on how best to get rid of it. Thanks.
I plan to grow nectarines for home use in zone 6 and plan to use organic methods to keep the tree healthy. Can you recommend disease resistant varieties of trees that can be purchased?
Hello from Waihaorunga, South Canterbury. My partner and I have recently purchased a 10 acre block of land in Waihaorunga. The pasture is sadly depleted - mostly brown-top. There has been virtually no fertiliser put on for many years. Surp...
Hi there. What an excellent service you provide - thanks very much! I am a beginner organic 'lifestyler', and have a few questions. Firstly, are there any strawberry varieties that are more disease/pest resistant, and any idea where I could...
I've been told last year's damage to my Swiss chard leaves was from leafminer, though my source didn't indicate fly or moth type. I'd like to treat this chard food crop this season. I have seen a product containing "canola oil with pyrethri...
Hello Holger and Team at the ChCh Polytech. We grow macadamia nuts in the South Auckland region. The nuts love our climate and do very well, however we can not grow them organically because of the major damage caused by the green vegetabl...
Hi, I have major numbers of ants in my garden. They appear to be attacking and effecting the growth of small citris trees (peach, grapefruit, manderine)and vegetables (sweet-corn, tomatoes, ...) Is there an organic friendly solution to an...
Hi Holger I did your course back in 1996, it seems to have changed a bit since then. I'm now living in New Plymouth and I am wondering if anyone there knows any organic controls for the green vegetable bug and the passion vine leaf hoppe...
We have a 25 acre block of land near Wanaka and we have an abundance of Sorrel (a reddish colored weed with a very long tap root) growing within the grass. It appears to be killing the grass and everything around it. We have been told that ...
We have a small Meyer lemon bush and after flowering, small lemons formed, but have now started to fall off. Can you please tell us what could be the cause and the remedy for this...Thanks
Practical organic production seems to revolve around Compost. What's wrong with leaving the weeds, grass, seaweed or whatever to lie on the ground or under trees to break down naturally. It seems strange to remove the plant material from th...
I am interested to know whether or not there is a district in NZ which is all organic, or at least, most of it. If not, which areas have the majority of organic farms (animals) and horticulture blocks? I want to get into organics, but don't...
Possums eat nearly all our vegetables. Can you suggest effective ways to keep them out? Fencing? I gather they can jump 1.5 metres vertically. Our interim solution is to take an old watertank (walls nearly 1.5m high), remove the top, knock...
Hi there ChCh polytechnic - I hope you can help me: Can you suggest what combination of herbs I can use to deter the common household fly?? I have plenty of organic herbs growing in the garden, but have been unable to locate a recipe on how...
Hi, I have just moved to the lovely warm climate of the BOP. I am keen to start a container vege/herb garden (I need it to be portable, as I live in a flat). I was wondering what is the best soil mix to use (what should I include/what ratio...
I have fluffy white bugs on my fruit and vegies as well as little black one's with wings maybe whitefly and aphids? Should I concern myself - will they damage the growth? I have been advised on a fish fertilizer which deters the little crit...
Could you tell me if there is any market here for New Zealand organic grown coffee and if so which part of New Zealand would be the best area to grow it in and what would be the best type of coffee bean to grow organic.
Dear Holger We are very fresh to the organic world but would like to move our family to Karamea or Nelson and begin organic farming. Would you recommend these areas and which crops do best down there? We would have about $180,000 to buy an...
What is a herbal ley?
I have been trying with notable lack of success, to remove Californian Thistle. It is growing in my vegetable garden, brought in with horse manure - and subsequently it has been flourishing in three different patches throughout our property...
I have a problem with curly leaf on my three Nectarine and one Peach, (two of the nectarines are not as bad, but they were struck from seed by my neighour, and I guess an older variety). They are young trees, they were planted four seasons ...
Any ideas on how to be rid of two dreaded pests: blackberry and snails? Also, I noticed on the website a query re. mould. I have heard cow's milk applied to the affected plant gets rid of mould, I have not tried this myself however. This ...
I have been trying to find some information (for my husband - the gardener in the family) on the use of oxalic acid as a pest preventative. I have no idea how this is prepared or the strength to use (presumably as a spray). I believe oxalic...
We grow organically, and have mentioned this to our neighbours. What can we do when their superphosphate, spread by truck on a windy day, drifts over our property? Regards
I am trying to find a list of Organic Restuarants or Cafe's in the Auckland area. Do you have a directory of these?
My husband and I have recently purchased a lifestyle block (25acres) just outside of Wanaka. On the land are large clumps of rosehip plants, several are old and quite huge, the majority of them are tiny and all spread out on the land. Do yo...
Can you please tell me the best way to control couch in a commercial mixed crop/vegetable production system. I would like to avoid the carbon destroying process of continual cultivation over a dry period.
Hi team....along with another vermiculturalist I produce vermicast (not your normal run of the mill may or may not be any good variety but a top notch range). Question ....is it or is it not organic...it is produced by worms from a blend of...
I have a problem growing parsnips. They grow well but get attacked by a shoulder rot that renders the top of the parsnip useless. Could you please help.
Hello my name is Rachel Eder and I am at Wai-Ora Trust. We are currently running a school education programme and we are trying to find any information on organic gardening that we could try and include in our programme such as weed control...
Could you please tell me why biological control is a contemporary issue in NZ?
1. Can you suggest where I can source dwarfing stock for apples? On a small hectarage, size is important especially for some of the most recent varieties. 2. Is there a surefire way of getting plum tree cuttings to develop roots? I unde...
Hello there I am looking for a publication that lists organic farms etc that have accommodation for travelers.
I have a friend who is hypoglycaemic and loves wines, is there an organic wine with minimal sugar content that she can drink without it affecting her dietary balance or will she just have to go cold turkey on the wine front, any advice wo...
We live on a small holding in Northland and have a fly strike problem with the few head of sheep we run. We've built flytraps out of old plastic bottles but I would be grateful for advice on what kind of bait would be most effective.
Could you please give me ideas on how to get rid of grass grub (brown beetle)? I have two acres in Queenstown and am considering growing organic strawberries. I have been given four suggestions to date - Invade, Dipel, Bt and potassium perm...
I am a kiwi living in the UK. Over the last year I have become interested in organic farming and would like to follow this line of farming when I come home. As I am not looking at returning home to NZ for at least a few years yet ( I have f...
What do you suggest is the best way to improve pasture fertility on hill country, too steep for machinery? Top dressing, B&B, seaweed meal seems too expensive, legumes (trees) seem to slow. The best I can do is some sort of fertigation ...
Do you know of any herbal or organic drenches for horses. I have heard potatoes are meant to be quite good. I have read Pat Coleby's books which suggest copper supplements, any comments. Carol Head
I am a third year Teachers College student from Wellington. I am wanting to delve into organic farming as part of a research topic for my Environmental Education paper. I need a small bit of information to decide whether this topic is feasi...
What can you use on pea straw to help it break down quickly?
Mine is a simple question. I remember reading somewhere that a new system for classifying and registering the small block holder was about to be put into place this year. Do you know anything about this - or what is best for me to do? I ...
I grow asparagus, certainly spray free but not classed as yet as organic. I would like to know of some good publications on making compost - lots of it, I also breed ostriches; the chicks bedding is sand which I had hoped to use on the aspa...
I would like to raise organic chickens commercially. I find they seem to be very hard to buy. Where could I find some information or help on setting up this kind of operation We have 5 acres and are not certified as yet,but the farmer we bo...
Hi What a good site!:-).I have a wire worm through all my garden, it is prolific. I have difficulty growing any root or tuber vege as they tunnel in and wreck the crop, HELP! I have read about mustard and sacrificial crops but?????? than...
I'm interested in obtaining non-toxic weed sprays. I read on your site that you don't know of any organic sprays for gorse, but what about less hardy weeds, like common roadside ones. Any ideas on what can be used for around waterways, and ...
My wife and myself are currently frustrated at the amount of organic fruit and vegetables that are available and are considering selling our Christchurch home and moving into the country to start an organic farm. could you please give us an...
A couple of years ago I bought a one hectare block of land with a house on it adjoining a kiwifruit orchard. The gentleman I bought it off had subdivided it from the kiwifruit orchard and at the time told me that he was going to farm organi...
Is it safe to compost, rhubarb leaves, flax or lavender flowers?
Can you give me some advice about using BT to control Leafminers?
We have a problem with storing Jerusalem Artichoke tubers over the winter. They are stored indoors on trays of sand in a single layer but are going mouldy. Is it better to leave them in the ground over winter?
We have recently bought a 10 acre block in the far north and there is a bad problem with lichen smothering both fruit trees and native trees including mature totara and kahikatea, some of the trees are in a bad state, although they have ...
We have a quite deep dam approx.10 x 15 m in area covered in a type of water weed, it is browny red at this time although it was greener early on, it has a miniature fern like structure... how can we get rid of it or should we? Does it ...
Hello I am doing a project for school and I need to find out about organic food. I was wondering if you could help me in this area. If you can then I would really appreciate all the information that you could give me on this topic.<br>...
I am wondering why many people are trying to eat organic food and what are the benefits of organic food.Ö I would appreciate it if you could send me email or recommend any book on the benefits to me to read. Thank you.
Could you please help me out with a problem on wasps eating all my apples. What is the best solution to sort this out.
I have already pulled out my Silver Beet because of mould on the leaves - I now have mould on my Dahlias, and a friend mentioned that there is an organic solution to eliminate the problem. Could you please tell me what the solution is? I th...
Do you know of an organic way to cure a severe case of manganese and zinc deficiency in citrus trees? I have 10 acres of three year old mandarine trees planted on ex-kiwi fruit ground. Any help would be of great value to me.
I am an aspiring organic dairy farmer in the Waikato. We have a major problem with pennyroyal on both our clay and sandy loam soils. We are increasing lime applications and I am going to try the biodynamic practice of peppering. Do yo...
I grow Macadamia Nuts in Bay of Plenty area. Can you tell me if Neem Oil is successful in dealing with green shield bugs? Is there a remedy that will kill them. Not sure if we can go organic because of this problem. How do others deal wi...
My husband & I are setting up an olive grove in Hanmer Springs. We plan to have @ 1500 trees comprised of 5 different cultivars. Organic management of the grove is our goal, though we have used contact herbicides and non-organic ferti...
I was recently at a Bio Gro information evening and a side comment on the use of sprays was brought up very briefly and I did not get the opportunity to ask about a clay called Bentonite. Would you elaborate on this material as a spray, pro...
We're planning to farm organically about 20 minutes from Taihape in the North Island. The soil is Kiwitea silt loam with volcanic ash. The area apparently has a high rainfall and a long winter (some snow) and is at 2000ft altitude. We...
Can you help me to locate a Cox's Orange Pippin tree source in Australia or NZ?
I have an infestation of slaters/ wood lice in the vege garden. This year I have been using pea straw mulch which keeps everythign nice and moist - and they just love it! My strawberries get nibbled before I get the chance! What ideas fo...
Do you know where it is possible to get some training on organics by correspondence or extramurally?
I am trying to slowly get rid of using chemicals and using more "user friendly" insecticides and fungacides. I use a Garlic & Pyrethrum spray and a soft soap to control whitefly, thrips and other pests on my hydroponic courget...
I have a problem with garden weevils (phlyctinus callosus) attacking the mature flower heads of my lavenders. As it is the flowers that are required for essential oil, yields have been reduced dramatically due to their presence. I have cont...
I have an aphid problem on my Orange trees. I don't wish to use any insecticides. I have been experimenting with spraying laundry water on the trees and also a spraying oil. It does not appear to be having much impact. Should I be concerned...
Iím looking for an organic control for white fly. Iím growing indoor tomatoes and broccoli.
What should I do about my citrus tree with new shoots appearing yellow and shrivelled? The tree has been covered in creeping vines - which I have removed, but it looks sick.
This is a tough problem for me. We have convolvulus growing through from neighbouring council land. Fortunately, they do not spray it so I'm happy with that. But, of course, it runs underground and invades one side of the property. Any sugg...
My Monarchs have all turned to chrysalises now, but my swan plants are not looking very good at all. I would like to do something to help the plants if I can to get them to grow again so the cycle can begin again.
Do you know of anyone in New Zealand commercially growing lettuce using organic hydroponics?
Thank you for your research and reply. From the Doubleday Dictionary , I note organic described as: pertaining to foodstuffs grown with only natural fertilizers of animal or plant origin. Thinking outside of the square has already been...
I am looking for an effective organic method to remove and control gorse from approx. 20 acres of land other than overplanting with trees. Are there organic sprays, or non toxic measures for clearing out gorse and returning the 20 acres (hi...
Can anyone suggest a suitable dwarf heritage apple tree I could plant? I live near the coast in Kaikoura and would like a sweet tasting apple tree that is disease resistant.
People often talk of using newspaper and peastraw as a mulch in an organic garden. What effect on the organic balance of the environment does newspaper have? Also, is it absolutely essential that the peastraw come from an organic source or...
Do you know of any organic alternative to BT (bacillus thuringensis) for the control of leaf miner on salad herbs like roquette, mustards and chards? What conditions are favourable or not to its life cycle, and could be used as a preventive...
We are looking for an organic remedy for thrips. So far everyone suggests that we get rid of these beautiful specimens. The trees affected are rhododendrons.


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