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Organic Vegetable Gardening What makes it organic??

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Presentation on theme: "Organic Vegetable Gardening What makes it organic??"— Presentation transcript:

1 Organic Vegetable Gardening What makes it organic??
Presented by JCC/W Master Gardeners Virginia Cooperative Extension Service Organic gardening is a constantly evolving dance that allows you to be a full participant in your garden. How we garden is as important as what we garden. Most of us grow our own herbs and vegetables so that we can provide our families with healthier and better tasting food. To make sure that we do this—as well as to protect our wildlife and our water—we really need to garden as organically as possible.

2 “Food grown without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or hormones”
Just what is meant by “organic gardening”? Put simply, it means gardening without chemicals, with no insecticides or pesticides, and with no growth-manipulated hormones. People grew their own food for many centuries without chemicals—and the fact that we’re here today to talk about it proves they were pretty successful. They were successful by using natural controls to help their plants produce. So today we’ll gives you a basic game plan for gardening organically in your own vegetable garden. How did plants thrive B.C.—(Before chemicals)?

3 Start with Healthy Soils!
Natural fertilizers, such as composts and pasteurized manures Cover crops over the winter to add nitrogen Soil testing before gardening and every two years following Treat your worms with loving care! Composting and soil testing are a must with organic gardening. On April 6 we will have a presentation devoted to composting successfully and urge all of you to attend. We have soil testing kits here today with directions so that you may test your garden soil before planting your garden. When you receive your test results, you will be told what nutrients to add to your soil. Healthy fertile soil is the basis of organic vegetable gardening. Do not add fresh manures; they can burn the roots of your plants as well as carry weed seed. When your garden is at rest in the winter, plant some hairy vetch or red clover to draw nitrogen from the air. When you are ready to plant your spring crop, incorporate these plants into your garden when turning over your soil. This replenishes the nitrogen naturally each year. If you are fortunate enough to find worms living in your garden, treat them with care as they aerate your soil and replenish nutrients. If you do not have them, you may purchase some from a nursery to add to your garden. Remember-feed the soil & the soil will feed your plants!

4 Gardening Site Must have 6-8 hours of sunlight
Keep garden small- never step on tilled soil Have watering source nearby Consider raised beds or “lasagna method” of preparing soil You want your vegetable garden to be in a spot that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day.— if you can find a site that provides 8 or even 10 hours that is even better! Always choose a well-drained soil for growing vegetables. Root rot and other soil-borne diseases thrive in wet soils. Avoid planting close to trees or buildings that may reduce air circulation Your garden should be somewhere that is accessible by a hose. Vegetable gardens require a minimum of 1 inch of rainfall per week. If it doesn’t rain it is up to you to keep your garden adequately watered. And finally..if tilling up the soil seems like too much work, consider creating a raised bed, square-foot garden, or container garden. Raised beds allow soil aeration and good drainage. Container gardens will be explained at our next presentation; square-foot gardening on April 6. The lasagna method is another option. Cover the ground with thick pads of newspaper soaked with water. Then, you layer green and brown yard waste and other organic materials, at a ratio of one part green to four parts brown, until the garden is layered up several inches high—like a lasagna. Then let it decompose naturally.

5 Planning Your Garden Plant what your family will eat
Allow breathing space between plants Plot your garden on graph paper Make use of vertical space- trellises, stakes, cones Select plants that you like and that are suited to the climate of the Tidewater area. Try to create diversity in your garden. Why you should do this is much of what we’ll be focusing on today. Actual plant selection and garden design will be explained at our next workshop April 6. At that presentation you will be given ideas on how to design a vegetable garden that will produce the harvest you desire for yourself and your family. Square foot gardening, which allows you to plant more with less care than the tradition garden, will be explained. Some vegetable plants are tall-some grow so tall that they need support to stand. Some plants sprawl out and take up a lot of ground space; others are vines and need trellises to reach the sun. When you plan where to plant your different vegetables, you need to think about how you can provide for all these different needs. Our next presentation on container gardeners and trellises should give you many ideas on how to achieve this.

6 Plant Selection Look for plants with healthy roots and leaves
Plant only certified seed Buy plants from reputable growers Think of the plants you purchase as an investment—if you start with healthy seedlings and plant them in a nutritious soil, they will generally bear a prolific harvest. So carefully inspect the leaves and roots before you buy those seedlings for your garden. Look for signs of insects or fungal infection. If the soil is dry and the plant large, the roots are probably impacted. That means you need to prune them back and untangle them before planting. If you plan to plant seed, only purchase from a reputable company. Check the expiration date; seeds from last year may not propagate. Read the needs of the plant and planting directions before buying to make sure you will be putting the right plant in the right spot at the correct time.

7 Discourage Insects & Disease
Water in the morning Cover your soil with mulch Use organic herbicides to control weeds Inspect plants for insects Dispose of diseased leaves & plants You can cut down on problems with insects & diseases simply by how you care for your garden. Spread a thin layer of mulch over your garden after it is planted and remove all the weeds. Many insects bury their eggs in the ground; a layer of mulch discourages them and keeps the babies away from your plants. Weeds take nutrients from the soil and provide shelter for insects. If you see new ones sprouting, spread some corn gluten or vinegar over your mulch and they won’t germinate. Plan your day so you can take care of your gardening chores early in the morning. First—its generally much cooler then. When you water your plants in the evening, the leaves don’t have a chance to dry before the sun goes down. This may promote fungus or mildew. So its much healthier for your plants if they get a morning drink. And finally take a few moments to check your plants for insects and eggs. Carry a paper bag or jar of water with you to dispose of any you find. Dispose of them outside the garden area . Keeping the garden area clean takes little time and helps keep your garden healthy!

8 Keeping Critters Out! Build a fence to keep the big critters out!
Use row covers when plants are tiny If necessary, hang strong-smelling soap or shiny objects to deter animals If there are deer around, build a fence if possible! It is the easiest and most efficient way to protect your garden. Floating row covers allow air, light, and water through to plants, but not pests. Place over young crops until they are large enough to fend off pests themselves, or until the pest is no longer around. Remove covers about 4 to 6 weeks into the season before temperatures under the covers get too hot for crops. Crops such as cucumbers, eggplants, melons, and squash need pollinating insects to set fruit, so remove row covers before plants begin to flower. Commercial covers are made from spun polyester or other synthetics and are reusable. Deer normally run away when they smell something human. So sprinkle hair clippings around the perimeter of your garden, and the deer won't bother it. Or you may use soap. Punch a hole in the soap, tie pieces of string through the hole and attach the soap to a stake For smaller critters such as rabbits, sprinkle some bacon grease around your plants, Another method for critters of all sizes are shiny objects such as foil pans. Tie one or two to a stake and let them twirl in the sun.

9 If you can’t say it, don’t spray it!
You will still find some insects and diseases in your garden. And, as you know, walk into any big box store and you can find all sorts of powders and sprays that claim to get rid of all those nasty things that can attack your plants. Resist that urge! Start reading labels. Most of the insecticides you find on the shelf are poisonous. Do you really want to spray poison on the food that you plan on eating? Do you want the birds in your garden to eat poisoned insects? Do you want poison to wash off your plants and into the soil? Try an organic method first. Most of the time this works!

10 BeneficialS of Organic GardeninG
YOUR GARDEN HELPERS! Beneficial Insects Beneficial Birds BeneficialS of Organic GardeninG Companion Planting A little planning and extra planting can give the gardener an advantage over the insects that are lying in wait to attack your beautiful plants. Most of these techniques have been used for generations. First, know the insects that help you and invite them into your garden. Attract the birds who thrive on devouring insects. And add some plants to help you grow healthy produce and keep damaging insects away. Create diversity in your garden. A mix of plants will attract beneficial insects and prevent problems from spreading. We will focus on techniques for protecting those vegetables that you are most likely to select for your vegetable garden. Plants That Attract Beneficial Insects

11 Ladybug Beneficial Insects
Probably the most familiar of our beneficial insects is the ladybug…and for good reason. Whether you find just one—or are lucky enough to find a large cluster—welcome the ladybug into your garden. She will happily devour those insects we call garden pests! Everyone recognizes the familiar Ladybug, or ladybird beetle. Many species have an enormous appetite for aphids--one of our most common plant pests. Others prefer scale insects and mites and are very effective in reducing infestations.

12 Beneficial Insects Ladybug Eggs and Larvae
The ladybug’s eggs look like tiny yellow jellybeans. It generally takes eight to ten days for them to hatch into ladybug larvae. A mother ladybug always makes sure that she lays her eggs in a place where her babies can find lots of food. So let her eggs hatch and then look for the ladybug larvae. Ladybug larvae take after their mothers and are equally relentless predators. They may look ferocious, but don’t assume that they must be harmful! They remain larvae for about a month and are as helpful as their mother in eating those aphids and other insects that harm your plants. Ladybug Eggs and Larvae are colorful, but their ferocious appearance often causes unknowing gardeners to assume that they must be harmful. Nothing could be further from the truth. The larvae devours aphids and hundreds of other insects.

13 Plants That Attract Beneficial Insects To Attract Ladybugs, Plant…
Prairie Sunflower Fern-leaf Yarrow Tansy Garlic Chives Dill Add plants that attract Ladybugs and other beneficial insects. A general rule of thumb is to designate between 5 and 10 percent of your garden space to plants that control damaging insects. Another important thing to remember is to plant so that there are blooms all summer — the beneficial insects will not stay or survive through a season if no food is available. Ladybugs eat two things, pest insects and pollen. They need both of these things to survive and when both of these things are in abundance they will happily relocate to your garden. There are several flowering plants from which ladybugs like to eat the pollen. The flowers on these plants normally have flat flowers (like landing pads) and tend to be white or yellow. Fern-leaf yarrow, prairie sunflower and butterfly weed also attract butterflies and are nice as a cut flower. Dill, tansy and garlic chives are also versatile herbs. And all these plants attract the helpful ladybug! Butterfly Weed

14 Beneficial Insects Praying Mantis
The Praying Mantis is another widely-recognized insect predator. Nymphs and adults alike lie in wait for an unlucky insect which strays too close, then strike out to grab it with their modified front legs. Praying mantis is another insect you should welcome in your garden. They feed on a variety of insects, including moths, crickets, grasshoppers and flies. If you find one in your garden, you can be sure there are insects around for them to eat. Praying mantises are another great biological control of your pest population. Just be aware that the mantises will eat good bugs as well, including perhaps what one may consider "good" caterpillars”, those yellow, black and white striped ones feeding on your parsley or dill who will turn into pretty swallowtail butterflies. But, you'll definitely want your mantis eating the dreaded tomato hornworm that will devour your tomato vines. Other bad pests that are on the mantis menu: Earwigs and hungry, greedy grasshoppers. Butterfly Caterpillar

15 To Attract Preying Mantis…
Plant a flowering shrub nearby Provide lots of pesky insects and moths Praying Mantis like to hide out in low flowering shrubs. So plant a flowering shrub near your garden for the preying mantis to sit and wait for its prey. He also gets quite thirsty, so provide some water for it to drink. Other than a woody plant to call home and water for drinking, the Preying Mantis is always looking for more insects, caterpillars and moths to eat. Like the ladybug, he is always hungry. The special bonus, which I mentioned before, is that he loves to eat tomato hornworms, which all gardeners dread seeing on their tomato plants! Place water nearby

16 Beneficial Insects Green Lacewing Larvae
Another beneficial is the Green Lacewing and her larvae. As their name suggests, the adult Lacewings boast green-hued wings with a delicate, open-lattice appearance that resembles lace. Adults are light green in color and approximately 1/2 to 4/5 inch in length. Both larvae and adults hunt and kill the pests on tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and other plants in your garden. Green Lacewing Larvae look very different from their mother Lacewing and are gray-brown predatory bugs about ½ inch long with protruding curved jaws. Green Lacewing Larvae are a good natural control of a number of insects, including: Aphids, Spider mites and Red mites, Thrips, whiteflies, long-tailed mealybugs, Small caterpillars, and beetle larvae. They especially like to live on the potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and strawberries you may have in your garden. The Green Lacewing Larvae are miniature monsters when viewed at close range. They are deadly enemies of small caterpillars, aphids, and other soft-bodied insects.

17 To Attract Lacewings, Plant---
Dill Coriander Fern-leaf Yarrow You can see that many plants, like Yarrow, Dill, Fennel and Caraway. attract both Ladybugs and Lacewings, so simply choose the herb of your choice. Or, if you’d rather not use up so much of your garden space, place a nice pot of yarrow beside your garden. As yarrow is drought-tolerant, it requires little care and can be enjoyed throughout the gardening season. And make sure the Lacewings babies, the Green Lacewing Larvae, have enough to eat simply plant potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, or strawberries in your garden. Those Lacewing babies will try very hard to keep these plants pest-free. Caraway Fennel

18 Beneficial Insects Small Parasitic Wasps
Parasitic wasps on a tomato horn worm Parasitic wasps serve as another natural control of insect pest populations. They lay their eggs on or inside their host then as the wasp develops it feeds on its’ host, slowly destroying it. The hosts are usually what we consider to be nasty garden pests like the tomato hornworms, aphids, cabbage worms, armyworms, and strawberry leaf rollers. Other small wasps eat things like spiders, caterpillars, ants, bees, and flies. Some of the flies these wasps eat are the ones that attack flowers, so despite their reputation wasps are a benefit in both flower and vegetable gardens. Many Small Wasps are important parasites of other insects. Adult parasites are quite small. Most range in size from 2 to 15 mm. Larvae of most parasites develop inside the bodies of their prey, but some feed externally or pupate outside the host's body. These parasites are important in suppressing populations of many insects. The adult small wasp also feeds on many destructive insects as well as providing food for birds.

19 To Attract Parasitic Wasps, Plant……
Mint Fennel Chervil Because parasitic wasps tend to have different feeding requirements during the various stages of their development, a diversity of plant material is essential to attracting them. Although all beneficial insects do feast on pest insects, there are certain points in the wasp and ladybug life cycles when their diets are confined to nectar and pollen. So to attract these insects to your garden, you will need to provide host plants and even plants for shelter. Members of the carrot family such as angelica, chervil, fennel and cilantro, bear umbrella-shaped clusters of minuscule flowers that are known to provide shelter for the mother of the parasitic wasp. Plants that are attractive to parasitic wasps include the mint family and the aster family. Cilantro

20 Companion Plantings Some Plants Help Other Plants
Companion Plantings Some Plants Help Other Plants. Some Plants Are Mutually Beneficial. Some herbs and flowers naturally attract insect predators. Some herbs and flowers have substances in their roots, flowers or leaves that naturally repel insects. Companion plants are another beneficial. Companion planting is planting two or more plants in close proximity so that some cultural benefit, such as pest control or increased yield, may be achieved. Through the many centuries that humans have grown gardens, people have noticed which vegetables grow well together, which plants seem to stunt each other's growth and which deter pests from one another. Today we’ll discuss how some herbs and flowers protect certain vegetables by repelling the insects that harm them. Even planting some vegetables next to each other can protect them from hungry insects. More on companion planting will be addressed in other presentations. Companion planting can help with space management in your garden. Plants can be planted together based on soil requirements, seasonal timing, root depth, lighting needs, and/or watering needs. For example, you might trellis sun loving plants such as melons or squash over partial shade loving plants such as lettuce to save space & create an environment that works well for both. Some herbs and flowers naturally attract pollinating insects.

21 Insects you do not want in your garden!!
Potato beetles chew up the leaves of both potato & eggplant, weakening the plant until it cannot produce. Leaf miners chew up your spinach leaves. To understand companion planting, you must first learn about some insects that you definitely do not want in your garden. Leaf miners appear in both spring and fall and feed on any leaf that happened to be around. In the case of vegetables like lettuce, spinach, chard and beet greens, leaf miners can mean a complete loss. Potato beetles favor potatoes, but they also feast on tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and petunias. The beetle and its larvae eat the plants' leaves and shoots, weakening them and reducing your harvest. Adults overwinter in the soil, emerge in late spring and walk to host plants, where they lay clusters of yellow, oval-shaped eggs. The larvae hatch and feed for up to 3 weeks before they return to the soil. There may be as many as three generations per year in the South. The asparagus beetle and its larvae feed on asparagus tips and spears giving them a scarred appearance. Frass also stains the spears making them very unappealing. The larvae also eat the ferny foliage, and if there are enough of them, can defoliate the asparagus, weakening the plants and making them more susceptible to disease. The asparagus beetle feeds on the asparagus spears, causing browning and scarring. So Plant…

22 Companion Planting Plant vegetables together that protect each other.
Plant beans next to eggplant and the beans will repel Colorado potato beetles which harm eggplant. Planting radishes among your spinach draws leaf miners away from the spinach. The leaf miners will eat the radish leaves, but not harm the radishes! Use green bush beans as a pest-repelling companion plant to help you to cut down or eliminate the amount of pesticides you use on your eggplants. Bush beans deter potato beetles from your garden naturally. Bush beans also helps the eggplant as it adds nitrogen to the soil as it protects the eggplant from the potato beetles. The leaf miners eat the foliage of both radishes and spinach. However, when given a choice, they prefer radish leaves. So plant radishes among your spinach and your spinach will remain whole. You cut off the radish leaves anyway, so your harvest is not harmed. Plant asparagus, tomatoes and parsley together and all benefit. Tomatoes and parsley smell bad to the asparagus beetle who attacks the asparagus. A chemical from the asparagus kills nematodes with can do great harm to your tomatoes. And the parsley improves both the flavor and taste of the tomatoes. Parsley also makes a great home for swallowtail butterflies to lay their eggs, so take this into consideration when planting and plant more than you can use. It might be a good opportunity for you to supply a home for these beautiful insects, that don't have to be harvested for your own use. Plant parsley or tomatoes next to asparagus as either repels the asparagus beetle.

23 More insects you do not want in your garden…
Tomato hornworms are voracious, munching entire leaves, small stems, and even parts of immature fruit. Aphids enjoy eating most vegetable leaves, drawing out their sap and spreading viruses. They are one of the most common garden pests. Aphids are tiny green, pink, yellowish, black or powdery grey pear-shaped bugs. They feed on most vegetables and reproduce like there is no tomorrow. As aphids feed, they drop a sticky honeydew that allows mold to grow. Not only does this mold damage and weaken the plant, it also spreads viruses that cause plants to die. Tomato hornworms begin as moths that emerge from the soil. These moths lay greenish-white eggs on the underside of the tomato leaves that quickly hatch into hornworms. These hornworms spend four weeks goggling the tomato leaves and growing into large fat caterpillars, They can completely defoliate a tomato plant in days. If removed from the plant, the plant completely recovers and produces healthy tomatoes. Cabbage moths are white with black spots on their wings and are often mistaken for butterflies. If you spot one in your garden, look under your cabbage leaves. There you may find their yellowish eggs along the edges of the leaves. Remove them and their mothers and your cabbage will be fine. Leave them and they will become tiny cabbage caterpillars who will make large holes in your cabbage leaves. Cabbage moths may look pretty, but their eggs turn into hungry caterpillars that gobble up cabbage leaves. So plant..

24 Companion Plantings Plant herbs that protect vegetables near them .
Plant pot marigold or opal basil next to tomatoes to keep the tomato hornworm away. Plant chives & coriander to keep aphids out of your garden. Herbs work especially well as companion plants. They multitask by attracting beneficial insects and repelling pest insects and their fragrance and foliage make them good companions. Chives repel aphids while also improving the growth of carrots. So plant them together and get double duty. Coriander not only deters those aphids, but potato beetle and spider mite as well. If you still have spider mites, pour a tea made from the coriander on them to keep them away. Pot marigold not only helps keep the tomato horn worm away, it also does the same with asparagus beetles. Opal basil not only deters the tomato horn worm, it also has a hormone that benefits the growth of tomatoes. Plus it makes a great garnish when serving tomatoes. Rosemary repels the cabbage moth and caterpillar and also keeps the bean beetle and carrot fly away. Plus it is wonderfully aromatic. Sage, as well as tasting delicious on pork, keeps cabbage moths, black fly beetles, and bean parasites out of your garden. Just don’t plant it close to cucumbers as it may slow a cucumber’s growth. Plant rosemary or sage with cabbage to keep the cabbage moth and caterpillar away.

25 More insects you don’t want in your garden…
The squash bug loves to eat up all your squash leaves, weakening the squash plant. Look for the eggs of the potato beetle and remove them before the beetle hatches! Both larvae and adult potato beetles feed on the foliage of potatoes and can completely defoliate your plants. In addition to potato, they also feed on eggplant, tomato, pepper, and other plants in the nightshade family. Potatoes can usually tolerate substantial defoliation when they are very young, but they are much more sensitive to the effects of defoliation when tubers are beginning to grow large enough to harvest. Squash bugs feed on all members of the cucurbit family, which includes cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, and summer and winter squash. The adults begin laying eggs in early summer. It is best to scrape off their eggs before they have a chance to hatch as the adult squash bug can be very destructive. The adult bug eats all parts of the squash plant, often killing the plant. Nematodes attack a wide variety of plants and can become serious pests in the home garden. They feed on plant roots, damaging them to the point where the plant cannot properly absorb water and nutrients. The bean beetle larvae eats much more than the adult beetle, eating large holes in the bean leaves and weakening the plant. Nematodes can seriously damage most garden plants by puncturing cell walls and sucking out their insides.. Bean plant leaves are the favorite food of the bean beetle. So plant..

26 Companion Planting Some flowers do more than look pretty!
Nasturtium repels squash bugs, attracts beneficial insects and tastes good. Sweet alyssum repels the potato beetle and other damaging insects as well as attracting beneficial insects. Marigolds repel many types of beetles, aphids and nematodes and attracts pollinators as well as enhancing the growth of many vegetables. Sweet alyssum repels the potato beetle and aphids and attracts a number of beneficial insects such as the predatory wasp. In addition, sweet alyssum makes a wonderful living mulch, keeping weeds away and attracting pollinators. Nasturtium is one of the best at attracting predatory insects. It also helps cabbage, collards, cauliflower and squash, deterring aphids, squash bugs, and striped pumpkin beetles. It keeps whiteflies and cucumber beetles out of your garden as well. The leaves, flowers and seeds of nasturtiums are all edible and wonderful in salads! Because marigolds are hardy, prolific and deter numerous pests through its leaves, flowers and even its roots, it is often considered the champion of companion plants. As some varieties of marigold are scentless, use only the scented varieties for companion planting. Scented marigolds deter beetles, beet leaf hoppers, Mexican bean beetle and nematodes and enhances the growth of many plants. It helps melons by deterring the root knot nematode and melon beetles.. But one warning—never plant marigolds near your beans, they stunt their growth .

27 Beneficial Birds Blue Bird Wren Cardinal Swallow
Often we concentrate more on keeping wildlife out of our vegetable gardens than on inviting them in. When we think of birds in our gardens, we might cringe at some images that come to mind like tomatoes being pecked to shreds or melons being nibbled back to the ground. However, most birds don't care to eat your garden produce. Birds do devour insects however. Bluebirds are especially good for your garden as about 70% of their diet is made up of insects, usually ground-dwelling ones like grasshoppers. Other insect-eating birds that you might want to invite into your vegetable garden include swallows and wrens (their diet is often 100% insects), and cardinals (they eat beetles as well as grasshoppers and aphids). During the spring and summer months, while your garden is in full swing, these birds are busy rearing their young. That means that they need lots of protein to feed themselves and their growing families. They get the nutrition that they need from insects. In fact, some of their favorite insects, beetles, grasshoppers, caterpillars, grubs and aphids, are among the most destructive insect pests in your garden. So invite them into your garden as helpers. Cardinal Swallow

28 To Attract Beneficial Birds, Add…
Bird Feeder Birdhouse Lots of Bugs Bird Bath Birds have three main requirements if you want them to visit or reside in your garden — food, water, and either houses or plants that supply shelter and nesting sites. The insects and spiders they want your garden will provide. Seeds, nuts, flower nectar, berries, and suet are easily added by hanging a feeder or suet block . You have already created a heaven for birds by planting flowering herbs and beneficial flowers. Add some sunflowers for height and food. This gives birds a low perch for pouncing on their prey. In winter, you can wire the seed head to a tree or a feeder. Then add some flowers around the edge of your garden such as daisies and coneflowers. Daisies and coneflowers also provide the seed birds eat along with insects and gives them some shelter for landing. Add a bird bath nearby and enjoy the birds as they help your garden plants stay pest-free. Daisies Sunflowers

29 Keeping Your Garden Healthy!
Remove rotting leaves immediately Pick ripe produce every week Cut back overgrown plants Resolve pest & disease problems as they appear Always pick the most environmentally-friendly solutions first Now that you’ve gotten all this help, what else do you need to do? Remove all dead leaves and ripe produce every week. If its too much for your family to eat, share it-take it to FISH! Rotting leaves and damaged produce can be nesting grounds for weevils and slugs as well as breeding grounds for disease. Always bring your clippers to the garden and look for any plants that are trying to take up more space than it really needs. If a plant overgrows its area, cut it back. Plants need air almost as much as sunshine Don’t crush every bug in sight. Decide which are beneficial and which are damaging. You’ll be surprised by how much work some creatures do, such as the ground beetle and the centipede. Practice the art of relocating snails and slugs rather than crushing them. And remember birds come to your garden to eat as well as bathe, so they need to find some bugs. If you discover damaging bugs or a disease on a plant, start with the least invasive method. Perhaps you can solve the problem by squishing the bugs or washing them off with a hose. Only as a last resort should you resort to the more aggressive use of approved, environmentally-friendly organic pesticides. .

30 Removing Pests Organically The Least Invasive Methods
For insect eggs and aphids-scrape them off or spray them off into a jar of water.,,or spray with insecticidal soap For tomato hornworms and slugs-pick them off and dispose of them or stamp on them. Even though you have attracted beneficial insects and practiced companion planting by by planting recommended flowers and herbs and have beneficial birds around to help you, you will still find insect eggs and aphids on some of your garden plants. Start attacking them by scraping off the eggs or spraying water on the aphids to remove them. Carrying a jar of water with you to dispose of the eggs and then dumping it outside the garden helps insure they will not return. If aphids keep reproducing, spray them with homemade insecticidal soap. Once the soap residue has dried on the plant, rinse off the film. Reapply about once a week until no signs of infestation are visible. Tomato hornworms are among the easiest garden pests to handpick because they’re large, easy to spot and produce a telltale, pebbly trail. As soon as you spot one, start plucking them off and dumping them into a bag. Hornworms work quickly, so its important to keep looking until you have disposed of all of them!! If you spot a tomato hornworm covered with rice-like cocoons of parasitic wasps, let them stay for the wasps to take out! Remember to always dispose of all you remove outside the garden. And always remember to work with all those bugs that are here to help you. As well as leaving tomato worms covered with parasitic wasps, keep any ladybug eggs intact so they can hatch and let those lacewing larvae keep eating away! But leave the ladybug eggs and let them hatch!

31 Removing Pests Organically Another Less Invasive Method
Insecticidal Soap Spray 2 tbs liquid soap without additives or perfume 1-3 tbs horticultural or canola oil quart of water Soap has been used for centuries as an all-purpose pesticide. Adding oil makes it more effective. When sprayed on insects, it breaks down the insects’ protective coating, causing them to die. However, be careful that the soap you use does not contain any perfumes or dyes as these may burn your plant. Homemade insecticidal soap is a safe product for control of most insects including aphids, mealy bugs, spider mites, leafhoppers, brown scale, earwigs, and whiteflies. It does not harm ladybugs or praying mantis. Make sure that you spray directly on the insects you want destroyed and also on all sides of the leaves and stems of the infected plant. It is best to do this in either the evening or early morning. Let the spray dry thoroughly and then rinse off completely, then repeat again weekly for 2 to 3 weeks. Protect nectar-feeding beneficial plants by not spraying during peak flowering times and by not spraying blossoms. Fill spray bottle with solution. Spray small invasive insects thoroughly. Let dry and rinse with clear water.

32 Removing Pests Organically More Less Invasive Methods
Use floating row covers to protect squash from squash bugs or beans from the Mexican bean beetle. Use sticky traps for any insects that are attracted to color such as aphids. They are also useful in protecting cucumber from the cucumber beetle. You can use floating row covers as temporary barriers to get plants past the time the pests attacking them are most active. Never keep plants covered for the entire growing season as this causes excessive heat buildup and plants need air circulation and pollination. Row covers are especially useful against cabbage moths, Colorado potato beetles, most aphids, Mexican bean beetles, flea beetles, squash bugs and tomato hornworms. Sticky traps—a rigid material of a particular color that's coated with a sticky substance—are used to catch insects that are attracted to that color. To be effective, the traps must be clean and sticky. Hang traps at plant height and close to the plant. Many insects that prey on plants are attracted to the color yellow, so many tags are bright yellow, with adhesive all over both sides. Just slip a tag into a wire stake, put the stake in the soil beside the plant you want to protect, and watch the insects flock to their doom! These tags are effective against aphids, fungus gnats, whiteflies, leaf miners and carrot rust flies. For cucumber beetles you can make a mobile trap. Wrap clingy plastic food wrap around a white bucket or other large object, then coat the plastic with a commercial sticky trap liquid such as Tangle-Trap. Carry the bucket along the cucumbers, shaking and brushing the plants as you go. The beetles will fly up and stick to the traps.

33 Blossom End Rot Tomato Blossom End Rot Try to prevent it organically
Blossom End Rot Tomato Blossom End Rot Try to prevent it organically. try to prevent it! Plant in warm soil & water often. Blossom end rot is common in our area, so try to prevent it by doing the following when you plant your tomatoes. First, wait for the soil to warm before planting. Tomatoes shouldn’t bee planted before the last week of April. Work compost into the soil when planting. And try some of the companion plants that help promote the tomato’s growth After your tomato is planted, maintain a uniform supply of soil moisture through monitoring, careful watering and mulching. It is best to add the mulch after your soil has warmed in the spring; adding it too early can result in your soil staying cold longer than it should. But remember, the best defense against blossom end rot is a nice, consistent soil moisture level. Also tomatoes require more calcium than most plants. So add extra calcium around your tomato ‘s roots by adding crushed egg shells and the shells of shellfish. If your tomato still gets blossom end rot, insert some calcium around the roots in the form of some Tums, Epson Salts or a human calcium supplement. Watch carefully. If it continues, the skin of affected fruit will become black and leathery. The fruit will not soft rot unless the spots are invaded by secondary organisms. So many of the affected tomatoes are still edible. Work in plenty of rich compost & mulch well. Add crushed egg shells and/or clam & oyster shells for calcium.

34 Squash Vine Borers An Effective Organic Method of Control
There are three stages of the squash vine borer. The first are minuscule eggs, then a red-bellied adult and finally a hungry caterpillar that devours the stem. Your squash plant looks fine, then suddenly it begins to wilt. If you look at the stem, you can often see a small hole and something looking like sawdust. That tells you that squash vine borers have attacked your squash plant. This will cause your plant to wilt and ultimately die. Multiple borers can be found in one stem. One way to hopefully avoid this is to cover your squash when first planted with floating row covers which allow water, light and air through, but prevent bugs of all kind. Remove the covers by mid-June as all the egg-laying action will be over and the good bugs need to come in. If you still spot the small brown eggs or the adult squash borer, spray weekly with insecticidal soap (for this use a commercial product, not home-made). If the caterpillar is boring into the stem, use BTK. BTK is one of the oldest organic pest controls sold under brand names like Dipel, Thuricide and Green Step and only kills caterpillars that munch on the sprayed plant part. Spray the vines once a week and you should save your squash A product found at Lowes made by Organic Laboratories, Inc. called Organocide is a multi-spectrum product that will handle 25 critters and at least 4 major diseases common in plants and vegetables. We used it on our squash last year to control the insects and powdery mildew that had begun to destroy it and found it quite effective. A floating row cover early, then a commercial organic insecticidal soap, and finally, if the caterpillar still appears-an organic BTK such as Thuricide are efficient organic controls.

35 Recommended Organic Pesticides
Product1 Insects Controlled Remarks Bacillus thuringiensis Most caterpillars, loopers, This product, also known as Bt., hornworms, bagworms is sold under many trade names M-One, M-Track, Colorado potato beetle Two strains of Bt will control potato Foil, Novodor beetles: Bacillus thuringiensis ssp san diego & ssp.tenebrionis. Insecticidal soap Works well on soft bodied insects, in This product is sold under many particular aphids, mites, mealy bugs trade names & is a fatty acid soap. Rotenone Colorado potato beetle, aphids, Usually sold as a dust, but some weevils, Mexican bean beetles can be mixed with water, Pyrethrum/Diato- Whiteflies, fire ants See label for precautions Maceous Earth Neem Broad spectrum See label for precautions. Hot Pepper Wax Aphids, mites, thripes See label for precautions There are many pesticides and insecticides labeled organic on the shelves of most big box stores and nurseries. These pesticides typically come in the form of dusts and sprays. Many of these pesticides are biological, but others are made of mineral or chemical compound. Although the pesticides labeled organic are generally safer than synthetic pesticides, this is not always the case. Because of this, we only recommend the organic pesticides approved by Virginia Tech. We’ve passed out a handout of some the basic organic pesticides Virginia Tech recommends. Most can be found on the JCC/W Master Gardener website. The most commonly used are listed here.

36 Ode for Organic Vegetable Gardeners
When we try to control nature, we’re on the losing side. One of the hardest lessons for first-time organic vegetable growers is that organic gardens don't look perfect. They've achieved a balance where there's usually some form of damage from pests and diseases. We allow nature to come to the rescue before that spotted leaf becomes a plague. Organic gardening differs from "conventional“ gardening mainly in the areas of fertilization and pest control. The organic gardener prefers to use natural and organic materials and methods, and avoids using practices and synthetic chemicals that may be detrimental to one’s health or environment. The biggest part of growing a healthy garden is simply paying attention. Pay close attention to your garden so that you both avoid problems and catch pest and disease problems right away. If you do this, you're well on your way to a healthy, bountiful, organic vegetable garden. Our gardens don’t always look perfect… we are respecting all life on our planet.

37 Thank You Any Questions??
…but our harvest is beautiful and delicious!! We hope that we’ve given you an idea of how to create and maintain an organic vegetable garden. We’ll be happy to try to answer any questions you might have.

38 Our task must be to free ourselves
By widening our circle of compassion To embrace all living creatures And the whole of nature in its beauty ..Albert Einstein or This presentation is prepared by volunteers of the JCC/W Master Gardener Association. We are sponsored by Virginia Extension and are trained by the land grant universities of Virginia. You may check our website listed here— for many Virginia Tech publications on vegetable gardening and organic gardening.

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