My question https://gardening.stackexchange.com/questions/3262/are-there-any-proven-health-benefits-of-eating-organically-grown-food was closed. I'm not too bothered, but would like to have a better understanding of what's in scope and what's not for this site. The FAQ is pretty empty compared with other SE sites for the section "What kinds of questions should I ask here?".

I have a strong interest in organics, so am likely to ask further questions on the topic. Decisions/questions I can see are important include things like: "Should I garden organically?", "Are there health benefits for a gardener to use organic practices?" (this is getting very close to the one linked above that was closed, but is a step closer being the gardener rather than the consumer). Would such questions be on topic?

How about questions that request information on research about organic gardening? (say, if it's about health of soil or plants and not about the health of the consumer)

Can I have some advice that might help me guess whether the response is favourable or not? Thanks

  • Its true! we haven't really done much with our FAQ, but its editable, we just need some ideas as to what to put there!
    – wax eagle
    Jan 19, 2012 at 20:32

2 Answers 2


Organic gardening is definitely on topic. However there are a couple of caveats to that.

Nutrition is off topic here, so questions about the nutritional benefits of anything will be off topic.

Things that should go on skeptics are probably off topic here. So a question like "does x really do y" probably will not fit here.

However, feel free to ask questions about organic gardening, this proposal was combined with one about organic farming during its proposal days so that stuff is definitely on topic here.

However, do be aware that questions that are unanswerable will be closed (Should I garden Organically?is one of these).

  • Good point about "Should I garden Organically?". It's not a good fit with the SE Q&A format. Jan 19, 2012 at 21:49
  • 3
    "Nutrition is off topic here" - presumably you mean whether various nutritional qualities are beneficial to people. I'd expect questions like "How can I raise the vitamin C levels of my plants?" to be on topic, and maybe "Do some varieties of apples have more anti-oxidants than others?" - do you agree?. But we'd leave "Are anti-oxidants beneficial?" to the skeptics. I would expect some "does x really do y" questions to be ok though, such as "Does glyphosate leave residue in the soil?" Jan 19, 2012 at 21:55
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    Yes. improving vitamin/anti-oxidant content in your plants is definitely on topic. Determining what is beneficial to a person is off...is that more clear?
    – wax eagle
    Jan 20, 2012 at 12:29
  • @HighlyIrregular: +1 to your comment, I agree with your assessment of those sample questions.
    – bstpierre
    Jan 20, 2012 at 15:52

Questions like those you listed are more persuasive and less informative in a pragmatic sense of the word. If the person is here asking an organic gardening question, you're likely dealing with somebody who doesn't need any convincing.

That kind of information I would recommend for the community blog.

I would definitely approve of questions like...

What are organic ways of increasing nitrogen in my soil? (plant beans)

How would you solve an aphid problem organically? (garlic oil spray)

I would also approve of questions like...

Does aspirin really help tomatoes grow?

If a skeptic had an issue with it, he could bring it up in his own community and leave a comment here with a link and the conclusion. It is still a valid question for gardeners and completely belongs here.

I would not approve of questions like...

How do beans "fix" or concentrate nitrogen in the soil?

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