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Growing Fruit Organically in Northwest Arkansas Guy K. Ames, Horticulture Specialist.

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Presentation on theme: "Growing Fruit Organically in Northwest Arkansas Guy K. Ames, Horticulture Specialist."— Presentation transcript:

1 Growing Fruit Organically in Northwest Arkansas Guy K. Ames, Horticulture Specialist

2 In the beginning… 2 What are fruits and why are they so appealing? Botany of Desire! Why perennials? And why in the Ozarks?

3 So why is it so danged difficult??? Diseases and insects uncontrollable…and the heat—whew! Organic controls expensive and too often ineffective Some of our soils are poorly suited for fruit plants Big-box stores offer wrong varieties on wrong roots Cultural prejudices??? What should we be growing?

4 Remedy: Try “unusual” species Get the right varieties on the right roots Shade; evaporative cooling; mulch; choose north slopes Berm, ditch, fracture, amend Optimize water retention ACCEPT SOME DAMAGE— change our notions of beauty and health. Local & fresh trumps!

5 Very difficult to grow organically in the Ozarks: Most apple varieties Most pear varieties All peaches, plums unless… Most bunch grapes, but… Raspberries w/o shade Cherries…except “tart” Quince, cranberry, lingonberry, currant, etc. Kiwifruit, pomegranates, guava… yet

6 Serious and Common Apple Problems in AR & OKLA: 1.Summer rots 2.Plum curculio 3.Fireblight 4.Cedar apple rust 5.Deer, squirrels 6.Borers! 7.Heat 8.Fly speck & sooty blotch 9.Poor soil

7 Serious and Common Pear Problems in the Ozarks: fireblight, fireblight, and fireblight…

8 Serious & Common Peach Problems in the Ozarks Brown rot!!! Plum curculio!! Peachtree borers! Bacterial spot Oriental fruit moth June beetles Bacterial canker Root rots Peach leaf curl

9 Serious and Common Grape Problems in the Ozarks 1.Black rot 2.Black rot 3.Black rot 4.Downy mildew 5.Powdery mildew 6.Grape root borer 7.Grape berry moth 8.Eutypa + phomopsis=dead arm 9.Birds 10.June and Japanese beetles

10 Do Grow: Persimmons Strawberries Blueberries if … Select Munson grapes Elderberries Select apple varieties on MM.111 Blight-resistant pears on calleryana or ?? Muscadines Jujubes

11 Do Grow (cont.): Blackberries (U of A !!!) Pawpaws! Juneberries Tart cherries (if soil…) Raspberries w/shade … Peaches and plums IF Gooseberries Experiment with: cold- hardy figs, zombie fruit and other heat-tolerant plants

12 More specifically: PEARS Europeans: Magness & Blake’s Pride Maxine Potomac Pineapple Tyson Keiffer & Seckel* Asians: Shinko Korean Giant Koyama Clear Moon* Seuri*

13 More specifically… APPLES (on MM-111): Arkansas Black King David* Arkansaw Pristine Williams Pride Enterprise Florina Liberty * Orleans*

14 More specifically (cont): GRAPES: Carman Champanel America (& other Munson varieties?) Edelweiss & Swenson Red Mars* & others w/organic copper

15 Pest and Disease Management Right varieties Right site or modify Be watchful—direct action! Be patient w/beneficials Seldom intervene; right tool at the right time Diversify and prevent Accept some damage

16 Eco-logical Pest Management? “Bringing knowledge to bear in a timely fashion.” “Tolerance” vs. “resistance” – keep plants healthy … But remember: “pests” have their own imperatives!

17 Processing as Part of Pest Management

18 Experiment?

19 Soils and Fertility Heavy clay soils Rock Weathered Low fertility (“ultisol”) Low O.M. Organic fertilizers expensive

20 Soils and Fertilizers (cont.) Solutions: –Right plant/right roots –Fracture, ditch, & berm –Add O.M. but … –Mulch heavily –Source local fertilizers and mulch –Adjust pH as per soil test

21 summary Get the right plant from the start!!! Common sense pest control Mix it up/diversify Know your soil and adjust accordingly Always mulch Accept some damage

22 ATTRA publications on fruit: Access: attra.ncat.org or Tree Fruits: Organic Production Overview Apples: Organic Production Guide Blueberries: Organic Production Grapes: Organic Production Organic Culture of Bramble Fruits Climate Change and Perennial Fruits and Nuts: Investing in Resilience Pawpaw — A "Tropical" Fruit for Temperate Climates Peaches: Organic and Low-Spray Production Pears: Organic Production Persimmons, Asian and American Strawberries: Organic Production Plums & Apricots: Organic Production Community Orchards Cherries: Organic Production

23 Thanks to DigIn! and NCAT

24 The End


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