introduction to organic gardening

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Introduction to Organic Gardening. Week 1. “Organics”. Permaculture. Soil. Sand Silt Clay Humus. Chemistry. Nitrogen Encourages leafy growth Phosphorous (Potash) Encourages root growth Potassium Encourages fruit and seed setting, and woody growth. Mycellia. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Introduction to Organic Gardening

Introduction to Organic GardeningWeek 11Organics



4ChemistryNitrogenEncourages leafy growth

Phosphorous (Potash)Encourages root growth

PotassiumEncourages fruit and seed setting, and woody growth

5MycelliaOne single spore can produce an oganism40 acres in diameterOne species covers 1500 acres

Saprophytes secrete enzymes that break down these organic remains, then they absorb soluble breakdown productsChemical communication and movement of nuclei between body parts.

6Digging/Not digging?

7CompostsPeat destroying bog plant and rare animal habitat, difficult to keep wet and re-wet after dryingComposted bark/wood/fibre can take Nitrogen from plants or lock up micro-nutrients which stunt plant growthLoam (e.g. John innes) better water/nutrient holding capacity

John Innes Seed compost2 sterilised Loam1 Peat 1 Sand 0.6kg ground limestone 1.2kg superphosphate Potting Compost #17 Loam 3 Peat 2 Sand 0.6kg ground limestone 1.2kg hoof and horn meal 1.2kg superphosphate 0.6kg potassium sulphate Potting compost #3 (veg)7 Loam 3 Peat 2 Sand0.6kg ground limestone 3.6kg hoof and horn meal 3.6kg superphosphate 1.8kg potassium sulphate 8Home CompostsMicrobial relationships are much better for plant rootsHas to be made properly and mixed with loam and other materials in order to be used for bringing up plantsBest put on bottom of pots, dug into soil, or used as top dressing/mulch

9Sowing Seeds1. Sterilize seedtray (1 drop thyme/teatree essential in 2l water or a few tablespoons of cider vinegar in 5l bucket)2. Allow seedtray to dry in the sun3. Fill with compost without pressing down4. Tap/Bang tray on flat surface to settle compost5. Fill with more compost6. Water with fine-rosed can, imitating rain, or soak from below6. Sow seedsa) in small holes up to twice the seed diameter deep, covering with dry compostb) On surface, before covering with thin layer of seived compost or vermiculite

10Sowing SeedsFor big seeds like peas, sweetcorn, beansSow in large trays or pots


Keeping your seedlings healthySowing compost has enough nutrients for about a monthPlants should then be potted on, however if they are too small, try feeding them with a bit of diluted seaweed concentrateSigns of nutrient deficiency is yellowing of leavesTry not to allow compost to ever dry out, water from below or use a spray bottle until seeds are germinated, then use a fine-rosed can

12Solanum tuberosumPotato

Family:SolanaceaeGenus:SolanumSpecies:S. tuberosum Domesticated 7,00010,000 years ago in southern Peru Now over a thousand different types of potatoes Late blight caused by the oomycete Phytophthora infestans Spud traces back to the 16th century used as a term for a short knife or dagger

High carbohydrate content resistant starch comparable with fibre Offers protection against colon cancer, improves glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivityContains toxic compounds known as glycoalkaloids, e.g. Solanine, also found in deadly nightshade, henbane and tobacco - affects the nervous system, causing weakness and confusion


Highland Burgundy RedShetland BlackPink Fir Applecatrionahuakaroro agriagladstonetutaekuri or urenika ladies fingerte Maorijersey bennesred rascalEdzell Blue14Categories of MaturityVery early earlies: 75 days to matureEarlies: 90 daysSharpes express, Orla, Red Duke of York, Accent, Colleen, HomeguardSecond earlies: 110 daysCharlotte, British Queen, Nadine, Nicola, KestrelEarly maincrop late maincrop: 135 160 daysRooster, Valour, Marris Piper, King EdwardCategories of TasteBoiling, Baking, Roasting, Chips, Mashing, Salads. Inherant dry matter makes potatoes waxy (low dry matter boiling/salads) or floury (high dry matter chips, roasting, baking)15First EarliesAll first earlies boil well Second Earlies AnyaCosmosEdzell Blue

MarfonaMaris PeerEstima


KestrelWiljaMain Crop AmboArran VictoryCaraCelineMaris PiperMaxinePentland SquirePicassoRomanoSarpo MiraStemsterPink Fir AppleDesireeHarmonyKing EdwardKondorBoiling First EarliesArran PilotDuke of YorkEpicure

Red Duke of YorkRocketSwift

ForemostPentland JavelinVanessaWinstonSecond Earlies CosmosEdzell BlueEstima

Maris PeerNadine

KestrelMarfonaSaxonWiljaMain Crop AmboArran VictoryCaraCeline

Maris PiperMaxinePentland SquirePicasso

DesireeHarmonyKing EdwardKondorPink Fir AppleRomanoSarpo MiraStemsterBaking First EarliesAccentUlster ChieftainSwiftSecond Earlies CatrionaCosmos

Mona LisaOsprey

Edzell BlueKestrelWiljaMain Crop Arran VictoryCaraCelineDesireeMaxinePicassoRemarkaRomanoDunbar StandardKing EdwardKondorMaris PiperSanteStemsterValorChippingFirst EarliesAccentInternational Kidney


PremiereWinstonSecond Earlies Kestrel


Yukon GoldNadineMain Crop CaraCelineDesireeKing EdwardMajesticMaris PiperDunbar StandardGolden WonderKerrs PinkPentland DellStemsterValor17Mashing First EarliesAccent

WinstonEpicureSecond Earlies CosmosKestrel


MerlinWiljaMain Crop Arran VictoryDesireeHarmonyKerrs Pink

MaxinePentland CrownRemarka

King EdwardMajesticMaris PiperSanteSarpo MiraStemsterSalads First EarliesAmandineBelle de FontenayBF15International KidneyPomfineRed Duke of YorkCherieAnoe (Claire)Duke of YorkRosabelleSwiftUlster ChieftainSecond Earlies AltesseAnyaCarlingfordLinzer DelikatessMaris PiperNicolaCharlotteFrancelineJulietteRosevalWiljaMain Crop Pink Fir AppleRattePompadourSarpo Mira18Step 1: Chitting seed potatoesRose end up in egg cartonsCool, light room/shedNo frost, no direct sunlightShoots should go purple/hairyPotatoes probably go greenChit sprouts to an inch or moreWhite sprouts means light deficiencySpray with seaweed every 10 daysParticularly important for earliesCan speed up crop by weeksMay reduce overall yieldIncreases blight resistance

19Growing PotatoesG

Usually grown in deep, fertile, well-drained medium loamSoil should be 6C for 3 consecutive daysFertilized previous autumn hungry cropCleans the soil by removing pests on exteriorEarthing up: soil is drawn up around the plants as they grow to increase yield and reduce solanine production (greening)Usually set in holes or shallow trenches

20Technique 1Conventional techniqueManure ground previous autumnDig a drill 6 wide and plant tubers 2 below soil level (earlies), 4 below soil level (maincrops)Spacing: Earlies: 1215 apart, rows 15-20 apartMaincrop 15 apart, rows 30 apartCover with 6 compost, rotted manure and/or strawProtect from frostWater heavily (~20l per m2) every 10-14 days during dry spells once plants begin flowering

21Technique 2 Lazy Beds (for new ground)Cut grass down to ground level, removing docks or thistlesMark out area using string to ensure straight linesPlace tubers on ground (earlies 30cm apart, mains 40cm apart)Cover lightly with soil or compostPile on manure or compost at least 6 high, 2 wide, Leave 2 path between rowsCut sods 1 wide from paths and fold over on top

22Technique 3 Intensive small-scaleDig down 24 beyond subsoil layerPlace chitted tubers at closer spacing (10X10 earlies in polytunnel, 12X12 outside, 13X13 mains)Cover with a little soilPile on 18 manureReplace soilDo not water until plants flower (unless your soil is very dry)When plants flower, water heavily (25l per m2) until finished floweringHarvest as needed 1kg per stalk


Use compact varieties likeForemost, Swift and Dunluce or early salad crops like Marris PeerUse home-compost, well rotted manure and multi-purpose compost in a good consistency filling up the container as the season continuesTechnique 3 Containers1. 4 layer of compost 2. Use four sprouted tubers to 2 diameter3. Add another 4 compost 4. When plants are 6 high, add another 4 compost

5. Ensure compost is moist but dont water too much until the plants flower6. Apply weekly seaweed foliar feed7. When they flower, dig down to check the size of the tubers. Harvest now or in another week or two (& increase watering)24

25BlightBrownish black spots appear on stems and leaves which later spread to tubersWorst in warm, moist weather late summer on

Prevention: Spraying with seaweed to strengthen immune system of plantsSpraying with copper (Atempo Blight spray)Spraying with Horsetail tea (Equisetum)Choosing blight resistant varietiesGrowing earlies

Cure Cut back plants to 2 Leave tubers in for a couple more weeks Remove leaves and stems and cover in the compost or burn them

26VirusesAphid-borne diseasesRemove and burn diseased plantsPotato virus Y (PVY)Potato leafroll virus (PLRV)

Prevention:Increase biodiversity, particularly hoverflies which eat aphidsSpray with garlic or seaweed s[ray to kill aphids and boost immune system27Potato cyst nematode eelworm/wireworm(Globodera rostochiensis & Globodera pallida)Soil-based pest, causes potato sicknessTiny brown, white or golden cysts arise to surface when put in waterReduces yield

Grow resistant varietiesConcentrate on earliesIncrease soil diversityAlways rotate28Scab (Streptomyces scabies)Mostly cosmeticOften present in high lime sandy soilsAvoid planting in areas directly after grassEnsure plenty of organic matter is addedWater lightly and continuouslyAvoid alkaline organic fertilisers (such as ashes, poultry/fresh farmyard manure)

29Harvesting & StorageFlowers indicate tubers are reaching edible sizeWait until haulms die back, or cut back in AutumnAllow to sit in the soil to toughen their skinsHarvest on a warm day and leave on the surface of the soil to dryStore in double paper sacks or hessian bags (block light but allow air no plastic)Ideal storage 4-10 (frost-free shed)




BroadbeansAlso good to grow with Onions, Horseradish, Peas, Brassicas, Flax and Deadnettle31

Tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum esculentum)roughly 400 acids, sugars and other volatile elements in constantly varying ratiosweaker malic acid and glucose (green colour) changes to the sharper citric acid and fructose (red colour)Native to South America (Peru)High in Vitamins A, C and B (including niacin and riboflavin)Helps prevent a variety of cancers, including prostate, colorectal, breast, lung, endometrial, pancreatic, bladder, cervical and skin cancerVery nutritious raw and cooked - magnesium, phosphorous and calcium, chromium, folate and fiber

32Varietiesaround 7500 tomato varieties

ShapeSlicing" or "globeBeefsteakMarmandeOxheartPlumPearCherryGrapeCampari

HabitIndeterminate/CordonDeterminate/BushDwarf bush/tumblingColourRed, orange, yellow, green, purple... blue?33Indeterminate/Cordon/Tall typeMain shoot grows highSide shoots can be left to developGrown vertically and tied to supportsSide-shoots and growing point removed

Determinate/Bush typeSprawls on ground over 3Good for limited space and outdoorsLess intensive

Dwarf/Tumbling TypesIdeal for pots or hanging basketsSmall & compact (8 high)


AlicanteArarat FlameAuroraBlack CherryBlack CrimeaDe ColgarEvergreenForest FireGardeners delightHarbingerLatahMoneymakerMr. NovakPersimmonPurple Prince

Red CentiflorRed cherryRomaRose De BerneSan MarzanoSt. PierreStupiceTangellaTangidelTommy ToeTumblerYellow CentiflorYellow SubmarineZapotec pink ribbed

Brown Envelope SeedsLocally saved heritage varietieswww.brownenvelopeseeds.com35Growing Tomatoes1. IndoorsPlantingTall/cordons are space efficientMore susceptible to disease blight, eelworm, red spider miteSow seed on heated propagator (20C) starting in FebruaryPot on plants at least once to 3 pots (still heated underneath)Dig trench 12 deep, 12-18 wide, 3 between rowsLine the base of trench with comfrey/nettles or rotted compostPlant grown plants 18 apart mid-late spring (May)Mulch well with comfrey, seaweed or rotted compost, keep ground coveredWater well when planting

36Growing Tomatoes1. IndoorsMaintenanceTrain vertically until reaching maximum height(7/8 trusses if healthy, 5/6 otherwise)Nip out growing top and side-shootsWhen fruits set, water heavily (10l per week)Begin feeding weekly with potash (seaweed/comfrey)At 4 begin removing leaves at bottom, ensuring good ventilationTap plants to encourage pollination

372. OutdoorsSow outdoor varieties in propagator (20C) 7-8 weeks before last frostOnce established, must be kept above 10C (higher for beefsteaks)Pot on to 3 pots, short, sturdy plants are better than leggy pale plantsPlant out 7-8 high when first flowers are coming 15-18 apartMulch wellProtect against frostsPlant dwarf types 112 apart, bush types 18-24 apartRequire less feeding than indoors, more susceptible to blight

383. Containers

Layer comfrey/wood ash and nettles Use nutrient rich home compost Support and feed as before Minimise growth to 4/5 trusses

39CompanionsCalendula officianalis & Tagetes speciesPot marigold and french marigolds