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Organic Gardening

Organic Gardening

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Organic Gardening

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  1. Organic Gardening

  2. Organic Gardening • Rodale’s • The organic gardener’s bible • http://www.rodaleinstitute.org/

  3. National Organic Program • Developed national organic standards and established an organic certification program • http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/nop

  4. National Organic Program Organic crops are raised without • most conventional pesticides • petroleum-based fertilizers • sewage sludge-based fertilizers

  5. National Organic Program • Prohibits GMOs • As a general rule, natural substances are allowed • Synthetic substances prohibited

  6. Does Natural Mean Organic? • Natural and organic are not interchangeable • Free-range, hormone-free, and natural don't mean “organic”

  7. Certification • Accredited by USDA-accredited certifying agents • The information an applicant must submit • organic system plan • substances used • record keeping

  8. Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) • National nonprofit organization that determines which products are allowed for use in organic production • OMRI products • http://www.omri.org/

  9. Crop Scheduling • Burpee • http://www.burpee.com/gygg/growingCalendarWithZipCode.jsp?catid=1000&_requestid=647487 • Southeastern States • http://www.thegrower.com/south-east-vegetable-guide/pdf/ • Clemson • http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/plants/vegetables/gardening/hgic1256.html

  10. Log Gardening • Hugelkultur • Bury logs in a mound • Retain moisture • Decomposition provides • Nutrients • Aeration • Boosts microorganisms

  11. Heirloom Plants • Open-pollinated • Grown in an “earlier era” • Before 1951, before hybridization became popular • Better flavor

  12. Cover Crop • http://www.clemson.edu/sustainableag/IP024_covercrop.pdf

  13. Cover Crop Catch Crop • Reduce nutrient leaching

  14. Cover Crop Improve soil • Increases organic matter in soil • Improves soil structure • Increases microbial activity

  15. Cover Crop Nature’s fertilizers • Nitrogen production from legumes • Clover, beans, peas, vetch

  16. Cover Crop Rooting can aerate soil • Blue lupine a biological plow in compacted soils

  17. Cover Crop Weed suppression • Smother weeds • Allelopathic effects • Inhibit or slow growth of weeds by releasing natural toxins, or allelochemicals • Small grains (rye), sorghum, sudangrass

  18. Companion Planting Certain combinations have synergistic effects • Improve growth • Prevent pests • Attract beneficials

  19. Companion Planting • Rose and garlic • Tomatoes and cabbage • Corn and beans

  20. Crop Rotation • Don’t grow the same crop in the same soil year after year

  21. Crop Rotation • The longer the rotation, the better the results • 4-year rotation: Corn, soybeans, oats, alfalfa • Break up insect and disease life cycles • Reduce weeds • Improve soil nutrition

  22. Crop Rotation • Iowa State University • Marsden Farm rotation experiment started in 2003 • The longer rotations produced better yields • Reduced fertilizer/herbicides up to 88% • http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/19/a-simple-fix-for-food/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=1

  23. Organic v. Conventional • Standford study suggests no health benefit • However, do recognize reduced exposure to synthetic pesticides, growth hormones and GMO • http://med.stanford.edu/ism/2012/september/organic.html

  24. http://gothamgreens.com/our-farm/

  25. http://brightfarms.com/s/#!/retail_partners

  26. Vegetable Gardening • Minimum of six hours of sunlight • Best with eight to ten hours • Leafy crops, like lettuce, are more tolerant of shade

  27. Three Sister’s Garden • Sweet corn planted first • Green beans planted a week later • Climb the corn stalks • Beans are legumes • Fix nitrogen

  28. Three Sister’s Garden • Squash planted a week later between the corn and beans to shade out weeds

  29. Square Foot Gardening • Grid pattern to conserve space • Often raised beds • http://timssquarefootgarden.com

  30. Organic Gardening Compost • Yard and food wastes make up approximately 30% of the waste stream in the United States

  31. Compost • Transforming organic matter into soil-like material • Invertebrates (insects and earthworms) and microorganisms (bacteria and fungi)

  32. Compost Improves • Aeration • Water retention • Increase microbes

  33. Compost • Fast or active composting done in 2 to 6 weeks

  34. Carbon-to-Nitrogen(C:N) • Bacteria and fungi digest carbon as an energy source and ingest nitrogen for protein synthesis • Carbon, the "food" • Nitrogen, the digestive enzymes

  35. Carbon-to-Nitrogen(C:N) • Brown • Carbon • Green • Nitrogen

  36. Carbon-to-Nitrogen(C:N) • 30:1 (carbon to nitrogen) (Clemson) • 30 pounds of carbon for every 1 pound of nitrogen • Another source reports 4 parts brown to 1 part green

  37. Carbon-to-Nitrogen(C:N) • Too much carbon, turns cold • Too much nitrogen, stinks (ammonia gas)

  38. Carbon-to-Nitrogen(C:N) • Carbon are “browns” • Leaves • Dried grass clippings • Straw • Sawdust (moderation) • Nitrogen are “greens” • Fresh grass clippings • Fresh manure • Kitchen scraps (fruit, vegetables, coffee grounds, tea bags)

  39. Materials to NOT Compost • Meat • Attract scavengers • Ashes from grill  • Dog and cat feces • Disease risk • And it stinks

  40. Surface Area • Decomposition takes place when particle surfaces are in contact with air • Chopping, shredding, mowing, or breaking up the material • Increased surface area increases decomposition • And heat

  41. Aeration • Decomposition consumes oxygen • Aerobic decomposition • Anaerobic decomposition occurs with low oxygen • Stinks • Turn pile frequently • Pitchfork

  42. Moisture • Moisture content of 40-60 percent • Below 40%, microbial activity slows • Above 60%, anaerobic decomposition

  43. Temperature • Microorganisms generate heat as they decompose organic material • 90F to 140F is ideal • Activity slows down if too low or too high

  44. Vermicomposting • Worm composting • Redworms • 50F to 70F