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Tips to Garden Organically Down to Earth Ideas for Good Health and a Safe Environment By Paule Hjertaas, B.Sc. Copyrighted Paule Hjertaas. Permission granted.

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Presentation on theme: "Tips to Garden Organically Down to Earth Ideas for Good Health and a Safe Environment By Paule Hjertaas, B.Sc. Copyrighted Paule Hjertaas. Permission granted."— Presentation transcript:

1 Tips to Garden Organically Down to Earth Ideas for Good Health and a Safe Environment By Paule Hjertaas, B.Sc. Copyrighted Paule Hjertaas. Permission granted for personal use. Other uses please contact the author at dp.hjertaas(at) Photos credits: Paule Hjertaas and the Insect Images, a joint project of the University of Georgia and the USDA Forest Service.

2 Organic Gardening  Is an approach based on observation and prevention  Deals with the causes of problems  Pays attention to garden design and garden and plant siting  Builds up soil, stability and bio-diversity  Starts by using the safest methods  Is not simply replacing one chemical by a less toxic product  Treated wood of any type has no place in an organic garden ( CCA creosote, penta )

3 Topics Covered  Why not use pesticides?  Timing of Seeding and Transplanting  Indoor or Greenhouse common problems  Organic Fertilizers  Beds vs Rows  Companion Planting  Pest Control  Disease Control  Weed Control  Products Discussion and Demonstrations

4 Factors Affecting Plant Health, Insects and Diseases  Light  Length of Frost-free season  Soil quality –Type (sand, clay,etc) –Soil test so you can correct deficiencies  Wind  Air Circulation  Watering  Proper pruning and thinning  Not to much Nitrogen

5 10 Lines of Defense against Pests and Diseases  Good Husbandry  Hygiene  Resistant Varieties  Cunning Cultivation Methods  Encouraging Predators and Parasites  Mix and Match Companion Plants  Barriers and Traps  Direct Action  Brought-in Predators and Parasites  Organic Pesticides including enzyme cleaner

6 Fertilizers  Manure  Green Manure  Compost  Supplements  Used to build soil  As soil amendment  As foliar spray (Seaweed emulsion, well finished compost tea)

7 Fertilizer Recipe  Complete Organic fertilizer Blend (West Coast Seed) –4 parts seed meal (I.e. flax) –1 part rock phosphate or ½ part bone meal –1 part lime –½ part kelp meal Prepackaged equivalent is All- Purpose Blend (Gaia) or Power Bloom (Gaia)  Some catalogs offering organic and natural fertilizers –West Coast Seeds –William Dam Seeds –Territorial –T&T –Vesey Seeds –NIC Ontario

8 Alfalfa - best soil builder  Seed in August  pH 6.6 to 7.5  Needs lots of K and P (bonemeal and greensand)  Good drainage  Inoculate seeds and only loosen soil a little  Cover with ½” compost  Next year, each time 10 % flowers, mow to 1 “ tall  Spread clippings around garden  At end of summer cut to 3-4 “ tall  Ass greensand and bonemeal 1-2 times /yr 5 lb/2 lb respectively for 10 ft bed  Stand lasts 5 years  Choose disease-resistant varieties  Can be used to break up compacted subsoil in problem areas  Or buy good-quality pellets (OG Aug 06)

9 Indoor Seeding 1  My mix: 1/2 peat moss ½ vermiculite 1 handful bonemeal 1 handful rock phosphate 1 handful organic fertilizer  Water with  Water  Seaweed emulsion (and foliar feed)  Aquarium water  Manure Tea

10 Physical Insect Control  Use barriers  Spray water  Prune and destroy  Hand-picking  Sticky and other traps (including tree bands)

11 Indoor Seeding 2  Damping off solution  Cinnamon on surface Fungus gnat solutions  Yellow sticky trap  Insecticidal Soap  Hypoaspis miles Predatory mite  Steimernema feltiae Parasite  Sand on top of soil

12 Neem Oil  In Cda, registered as leaf shine  Acts as anti-feedant and pseudo-steroidal IGR  Can prevent swallowing and affects digestion  Chitin synthesis inhibitor  Generally must be eaten  Effectiveness may depend on concentration of azadirachtin  Most effective on larval forms on insects with total metamorphosis (caterpillars, including sod webworms, gypsy moth and cutworms, larval beetles. whitefly nymphs), leafminers and mites

13 Neem Oil (2)  Low mammalian toxicity  Works slowly  Washed off by rain  Reentry as soon as spray dries  Does not persist in environment

14 Ants  Pour boiling water down the hole  Citrus oils  Diatomaceous Earth in hole  Borax-based bait  Repellent garlic spray  The tunnels vary tremendously in length and shape between species  Most published controls for indoors or for fire ants which we don’t have  Some species are useful

15 Aphids  Row cover  Spray with water or insecticidal soap  Yellow sticky traps or yellow pail with soapy water (flying)  Reflective mulch  Predators  Parasites  New horticultural oils

16 Asparagus Beetle Control  Plant in full sun, in area where neither asparagus or onions grew recently  Best in sandy loam  Enrich with compost  Neutral pH (low pH increases Fusarium rot)  Well-weeded site  Choose crowns over seeds  Prepare soil properly  Remove asparagus ferns in fall to prevent beetle overwintering  Plant oregano nearby as a living mulch to attract beetle predators

17 Blister Beetles Hand Pick with gloves  Row Cover  Lime or lime spray or soap and lime spray  Not all bad: Larvae eat grasshoppers

18 Colorado Potato Beetle  Row Cover  Clean cultivation  Heavy mulching  Plant near green beans, coriander, nasturtium  Vacuuming  Handpick and remove eggs  Diatomaceous earth .5 % solution of black pepper for adults

19 Black Pepper .01% extract for tent caterpillars,European Sawfly and some Ermine Moths .01-.02 % for adult striped cucumber beetle, larval lily leaf beetles, Viburnum leaf beetles  Also a repellent at.1 % solution  Caution: Watch your eyes!

20 Imported Cabbage Worm  Row cover  Garlic spray  Btk  Diatomaceous Earth  Plant near mint, sage, rosemary, hyssop

21 Cabbage(Root) Maggot  Transplant into protective screen cones or use collars  Dust plants with wood ashes, rock phosphate or diatomaceous earth  Encourage predators: Rove beetles, parasitic nematodes,centipedes  Had success digging the root some and scraping off 1 st generation emerges mid-May-June 2 nd generation possible 4- 8 weeks later * Destroy all diseased material * Rotate crop * Control weedy Brassicas  Row Cover  Start inside

22 Carrot Fly, Onion Maggot  Row cover  Crop rotation  Alter Planting dates  Clean cultivation  Rock Phosphate or Diatomaceous Earth around plant base  Nematodes in furrow  Early mulch

23 Cutworm  Row Cover  Collar or 2 toothpicks  Reduce weeds, especially grasses  10 day weed free period before emergence of crop  Tack Trap sticky barrier  Mix Btk 12% by weight with wheat bran and grape or apple pomace. Place on soil surface or on boards

24 Flea Beetles  Row Cover  Insecticidal soap or surfactant  If late in season, harvest plant  Brush onto sticky trap  Lime  Diatomaceous earth  Would black pepper work?

25 Grasshoppers Natural Control  Eggs eaten by bee flies, blister beetles, ground beetles, crickets and others.  Parasites, predators and Diseases Control  Early Seeding  Trap Strips  Row cover  Safer’s Insecticidal Soap  Bug Juice  Chickens, ducks, etc  Nosema locustrae

26 Grasshopper Damage in 2003 1  Yellow Bush Bean – Nugget  Hit hard

27 Grasshopper Damage in 2003 2  Green Bean Jade  Less damage

28 Grasshopper Damage in 2003 3  From left to right potatoes  Ruby Gold  Kennebec  Eramosa  Purple viking

29 Grasshopper Damage in 2003 4  Potato Purple Caribe

30 Home-made Grasshopper Solution  Bags of leaves covered with Tanglefoot around the garden (left)  The 1930’s drought saw a lot of home- made grasshopper harvesters. They were then dried and used for livestock feed.

31 Mosquitoes  Clean standing water around home  Cover yourself. Avoid mosquito times. Use a good herbal repellent.  Bti (bacterial larvicide)  Mosquito larvae zapper

32 Scale insects and mealybugs  Dormant oil before bud break (trees and shrubs)  Gently Scrape off the Plant or touch with cotton swab soaked with alcohol  Insecticidal soap  Enzyme Cleaner (recipe 2)  Parasites  Predators  Top: scale; bottom: mealybug destroyers eating mealybug

33 Slugs and Snails  Cultural control:  No objects or refuse on soil  Dry surface between watering  Plant unattractive varieties  Biological: encourage toads  Mechanical: Copper bands

34 Slugs and Snails  Handpick at night and drop into soapy water  Agricultural Lime  Pick under boards or other traps (grapefruit rind) during the day  Destroy eggs  Boiling water or salt  Best bait: Crushed slugs  Spray plants w ½-1/2 vinegar-water early am. When #s down, every 2 weeks (untested)  Traps  Safer’s bait  Diatomaceous earth  5 % garlic solution provides best barrier and kills 95 %  As the clay hardpan improves, the numbers decrease

35 Wasps and Hornets  Eliminate food sources (empty garbage cans frequently, proper fitting lids, no pet food outside)  Add lids and straw to sugary drinks  Traps  Wet Vac at nest  Diatomaceous earth squirted into nest

36 Thrips  Sticky traps - usually blue; to some degree can trap out population.  Biological controls  Application of compost to soil may help.  Deadheading and removing infested foliage is an option. Do not shear or stimulate new growth. Prune by cutting plants just above branch crotches and nodes.  Insecticidal soap, Horticultural oils and neem oil containing azadirachtin are effective  Spinosad  Spray a test area first to see if not phytotoxic.  All degrade very quickly. Due to overlapping generations, may have to apply several times

37 Avoid Ticks wear clothes that fit tightly around your wrists, ankles and waist. Tuck your shirt into your pants and tuck your pants into your socks. Discourage animals such as mice, chipmunks and deer that "host" ticks. * Perform tick checks.

38 Trap Ticks Tick Flag (for med.height brush)  Staple 1 sq yard piece of white flannel cloth with heavy knap to a stick ( hem one end if used often)  Sweep flag ahead. Captured ticks show well.  Turn over, pick ticks and drop in plastic container with cap. Will die in 24 hours. Or drop in soapy water.  Tick Drag (grass or low brush)  4 ft wide x 6 ft long.Velcro strip one end  Add lead weights to lower end  Make a clothesline handle through plastic pipe.  Drag besides and behind.

39 Birds  Crows dig up seeds  House Sparrows eat seedlings –Row cover –Netting –Mulch?  Grackles squish all peas  Robins eat Fruits -- timing -- row cover -- netting

40 Ground Squirrel Protection –Seed early –Row cover –Fences  Trap to kill (e.g. Lee’s trapworks)  AC Greenfix (variety of Chickling Vetch - Lathyrus sativus)  Gas

41 Meadow Voles  Modify habitat  Mow lawn closely in fall  Remove mulch from perennial beds  Intensive fall trapping program  Traps in vole’s runway system  Bait with apple  Check and rebait daily for at least 5 days or until no more voles captured

42 Pocket gophers  Build raided beds with 1/2” hardware cloth at bottom  Use wire baskets to pretect tree and shrub roots and bulbs  Dogs and cats deter gophers

43 Lawn insects 1  Grubs  Walk on lawn with long spike sandals in late spring or late summer  Basin of soapy water under a light at night  Nematodes  Milky spore disease for Japanese beetle

44 Lawn Insects 2  Chinch bugs  Wet vac removes 100% all age classes  Water area with water or soapy water frequently  Id but cover areas with flannel sheet. Bugs will collect on it. Scrape and destroy.  Nematodes  Permanently deepen your soil with good garden loam or compost

45 Lawn insects 3 Webworms  Resistant grass cultivar  Reduce thatch  Correct hot and dry day conditions (water, compaction)  Predators/parasites conservation  Use soap drenches and raking for moderate populations  Btk

46 Trees and shrubs  Pear Slugs  Forceful spraying with water  Home recipe 1  Insecticidal soap on larvae  Try.01 % black pepper spray  Lime sulfur  Cankerworms  Banding, but may blow in  Insecticidal soap sickens  Btk

47 Lures and Traps 1 Garden  Armyworm  Beet Armyworm  Cabbage Looper  Corn Earworm  Diamondback Worm  European Corn borer  Fall Armyworm Orchard  Apple maggot  Codling Moth  Oblique banded Leafroller  Omnivorous Leafroller  Oriental Fruit Moth  Peachtree Borer  Grape Berry Borer  Available from Natural Insect Control

48 Lures and Traps 2  Home  Indian Meal Moth  Clothes Moth  Fleas  Fruit Flies  Cluster flies  Flies  Tree  Gypsy Moth  Sm. Elm Bark Beetle  Traps  Lygus Bug and European Sawfly  Ash/Lilac Borer

49 Disease Control  Keep things clean  Discard diseased material, don’t compost  Mulch  Baking Soda Recipe  Compost Teas Sprays  Competing Organisms

50 Diseases  Identify and find the source  Fungi spread by spores  Viruses when sap from infected plant transferred to healthy plant  Bacterial D transmitted by insects like leafhoppers, aphids and thrips  Prevent stress from over- or under- watering, overfertilization, extreme weather or other.  Beware of family connections (i.e petunias, tomatoes, delphiniums are in different families but all host the tobacco mosaic virus)  Get rid of infected plant

51 Anthracnose on tomatoes  This disease splashes from soil  Spread several layers of newspaper around the plants; moisten; top with 2-3 “ grass clippings  This traps the disease into soil  (OG Aug 06)

52 Powdery Mildew  Spray solution of 1 pt milk to 2 parts water on plants  Make sure stems and underside of leaves sprayed too  Repeat after rain  (OG Aug 06)

53 Blackspot on roses  2 tbsp baking soda + 2 tsp liquid hand soap + 2 quarts water  Put in spray bottle and coat the leaves  The change in pH maes leaves inhospitable to the fungus  (OG Aug 06)

54 Weed Control Invaders:  Don’t plant any in your garden  If you do, keep them dead-headed, and the perennials in one spot  Know Your Weeds and choose the proper control method  Looser soil means easier weeding

55 Weed Control Methods 1  Minimize Imports –Clean tools and shoes –Don’t throw flowering weeds in compost –Pick seeds with lowest % weed seeds  Don’t disturb soil unnecessarily  Don’t till areas infested with perennial weeds, dig them up  Encourage healthy competition  Anti-weed Watering

56 Weed Control Methods 2  Timing is everything  Hot water works  A little salt will do the trick  Sprout them out  Crowd them out  When in doubt, mulch  Action must follow planning

57 Weed Control Methods 3  Organically herbicide them –Corn gluten  Cook them out –Solarize –Propane weeder –Infrared weeder  Choke them –Green manure  Cut of their heads –Before they go to seed with mower or string trimmer  Mow them down –Before they go to seed  Pull them out  Dig them out –Follow the roots to China if you have to!  Graze or eat them

58 Weed Control Tools  Weed Barriers  Sweep and Vac  Cultivators  Hoes  Japanese Weeding Knife (Maria Rodale)  Dandelion Digger  Water-Powered Weeder  Garden Fork  U-Bar Digger  String trimmers  Lawn mowers  Rototillers  Herbicidal Soap  Propane Weeders  Eco-Weeder – Infrared  Grazers

59 Herbicidal green manures  A solid stand of Buckwheat (photo) suppresses all annual weeds and deters some troublesome perennials such as quackgrass, nutsedge (here?) and Canada Thistle  Mow after 5 weeks, no more, to prevent volunteers.  (OG Feb 07)

60 Fir and pine mulch  Needles are compostable but better as mulch  Slow decomposers and don’t blow away as much  Do not really acidify the soil  (OG Feb 07)

61 Creeping Charlie  Use de-thatching rake to remove  Most critical time to weed is spring before flowers set, and fall  After thorough weeding, plant dense ground covers in ornamental beds and keep lawn thick and healthy  Renovate thin lawns in fall and reseed with shade- tolerant grass such as fine fescue  (OG Feb 07)

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