I am a brand-new gardener with absolutely no experience growing vegetables.
I am grappling with an issue regarding my intended garden in my Oahu backyard.
I have built a 40 square foot raised bed garden with sheet-mulch filler, lots of compost, and a straw cover mulch. Good stuff. No chemical additives. Ready for planting.
I am interested in growing without insecticides or petroleum fertilizers for the good of my soil and the health of my family. I don't care if it meets any offical organic standards.
Given that, how important is it to the health of my soil and the garden itself that my starter seeds and seedlings be strictly organic? I am not seeking any kind of organic certification, and I intend to nurture the plants organically with compost, mulch, etc. Organic is not a religion to me, but it seems to be a common-sense approach to gardening.
Is starting a garden with seeds and seedlings that did not come into this world organically (i.e. seeds from the rack at the hardware store or basil seedlings from Home Depot), going to put my soil or family at risk?
In other words, if a seedling is raised by a nursery to six inches height using Miracle Grow, is the plant forever tainted or can I restore it to wholesome, chemical-free goodness in my garden with compost and care? Does the answer vary whether we are talking about annuals vs. perennials?
Again, I do not care if the vegetables themselves are certifiably organic, but I also do not want my soil to become irreparably tainted.
I would love to hear your thoughts.