organic gardening week 1

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What is organic gardening?

Author: guest6e1a8d60

Post on 15-May-2015




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The following is some great basics about organic gardening that a former professor of mine presented. The slideshow of the Power Point is embedded below. Tell me what you think!


  • 1. What is organic gardening?

2. What is your definition of organic gardening? 3. Meaning of the term organic gardening:

  • Many definitions
  • Producing plants and maintaining landscapes without the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides
  • Gardening style friendly to people and the environment
  • Emphasis on what you should and shouldnt do to garden organically

4. Definitions of Organic Production

  • USDA

A production system that is managed in accordance with the Act and regulations in this part to respond to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. 5. Definitions of Organic Production

  • CNN

Organic is a labeling term that denotes products produced under the authority of the Organic Foods Production Act. The principal guidelines for organic production are to use materials and practices that enhance the ecological balance of natural systems and that integrate the parts of the farming system into an ecological whole. 6. Background

  • Artificial fertilizers invented 150 yrs. ago; but didnt gain wide acceptance until the 1940s; farming used organic practices prior to WWII
  • Fertilizers and pesticides (ie, DDT) were widely used post WWII
  • Pesticides:chemicals designed to kill living things (DDT used to control malaria)
  • These and improved breeding practices spurred increased yields but also caused failing soil health


  • Organic production for food gained in popularity in the 60s, 70s and 80s and has increased every year since then.
  • To sell organic produce today, growers must be certified by state and or national certifying organizations.
  • More attention is being focused on the overall organic landscape including lawns, trees, shrubs, and other landscape plants.No standards to date for parks or other public areas.

8. Basics of organic gardening:

  • Emphasis on soil health
  • Compare soil to the human body (feed your body, feed your soil)
  • Soil:synthetic fertilizers vs. human body and vitamins

9. Basics of organic gardening (continued)

  • Control of insects, diseases, and weeds
  • Proper plant selection
  • Proper cultural practices

10. Organic Gardening Today

  • Organic gardening is similar to methods used prior to WWII
  • Advantages now are new resistant varieties, techniques, and equipment
  • Biological disease, insect controls

11. Sustainable Approach

  • Each plant is part of a whole system
  • Starts with soil health and management
  • Choose the right plant for the site and climate
  • Control weeds, insects, diseases
  • Use correct cultural practices
    • Variety selection, mulching, planting dates, etc.

12. Sustainable Approach (continued)

  • May take several years to amendment soils, control weeds
  • Not an overnight fix, but will show improvement over time
  • See what methods work best for you and the areas you are gardening

13. Strategies for Organic Gardening

  • Soil care (composting, cover crops, etc.)
  • Crop rotation
  • Variety selection
  • Encourage natural predators
  • Timing of seeding and planting
  • Traps, row covers
  • Give in gracefully if some methods dont work

14. Basic disease and insect control to help reduce plant losses

  • Key is prevention
  • Plant disease resistant varieties
  • Remove and dispose any diseased plants
  • Use mulch


  • Hard pick insects
  • Rotate garden areas
  • Keep out weeds which harbor insects and diseases
  • Water plants early in the day so foliage has time to dry; dont promote diseases

16. Organic Products in the Marketplace

  • More products being sold for organic gardening
  • in retail outlets, garden centers
  • Amendments, fertilizers, organic seeds


  • Carry organic label or are suitable for use in an organic garden
  • Mail order sources (Johnnys Selected Seeds; Gardeners Supply Catalog)

18. H.D.R.A. Organic Guidelines

  • Henry Doubleday Research Assoc.
  • No legal standing, just guidelines for organic gardening methods
  • Closely match European Union Guidelines for organic production in the U.K

19. H.D.R.A. Categories

  • Best Practice, Acceptable, Qualified Acceptance, Not Recommended
  • Soil, manures and waste plant materials, fertilizers, rotation, pest management, etc.

20. Our Organic Approach:

  • Supply effective methods for growing organically
    • Soil management, diseases, insects, weeds, proper plant selections
  • Back to the basics approach
  • Take it or leave it

21. When problems occur, get the diagnosis right

  • Insects, diseases
  • Insect vectored diseases
  • When and when not to control; experience
  • Moisture levels and fungal infections (wilts) may look similar

22. Why Garden Organically? 23. Why would you grow your plants organically?

  • Safer for humans
    • food crops : pesticide residues, carginogens, grow your own organic products; no human exposure
    • ornamental and turf : children, lawn care chemicals, fresh cut flowers

24. Advantages of Growing Your Produce Organically

  • No residues in food; less in human blood and fatty tissue
  • Fresher- no long distance shipping
  • Studies show organic produce is higher in some vitamins, especially Vitamin C
  • Washington State University study compared conventionally grown and organically grown apples; organic had a higher sugar content: acidity.Verified by a taste test panel.

25. Health Benefits of Organic Gardening

  • Phytonutrients (many antioxidants) are higher in organic produce because crops rely more on their own defense system compared to chemical pesticides.
  • Organic produce can contain 10-50% more phytonutrients.

26. Health Benefits (continued)

  • Dietary intake of pesticides can cause:headaches, tremor, lack of energy, depression, anxiety, poor memory, dementia, convulsions, nausea, indigestion; diseases such as cancer, others
  • Hawaiian research:conventional fresh fruits and juices raises the risk of Parkinsons disease.
  • Reduces overall exposure to pesticides used for overall gardening needs.

27. Health Benefits for Children

  • More susceptible due to developing organs, brains and immune systems
  • Children consume more food per kilo of body weight
  • Effects their mental and motor skills as well as aggressive behavior
  • Preservatives and additives in processing can lead to hyperactivity in children

28. Organic Food Benefits

  • Many EPA approved pesticides were registered long before extensive research linked these chemicals to cancer and other diseases.
  • Now:EPA considers 60% of all herbicides, 90% of all fungicides and 30% of all insecticides as potentially cancer causing.

29. Why would you grow your plants organically?

  • Safer for the environment(air, water, soil)
    • No unwanted nitrates and salts
    • Reduces groundwater contamination
    • Residues in soil

30. Why would you grow your plants organically?

  • Safer for wildlife and animals
    • Birds(encourage wildlife to control pests) robins/cutworms
    • Insects(no disruption of beneficial insects) lady bugs/aphids
    • Pets may carry in chemicals on their paws; breakdown is slower when no water or sunlight

31. U.S. Organic Market Statistics

  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Growth 20-25% per year for nearly 10 years
  • U.S. Sales $8 billion in 2001
  • 1% of sales

32. Myths & Realities

  • Myth:yields will be miserable
  • Reality:yields are comparable under well managed systems
  • Myth:pests will eat you up
  • Reality:most pest problems can be prevented using an integrated approach
  • Myth:weeds will takeover
  • Reality:weed management takes constant attention

33. Myths & Realities

  • Myth:transitioning to organic is impossible
  • Reality:transitioning can be challenging
  • Myth:for food sold labeled organic paperwork will kill you
  • Reality:good recordkeeping can help in any operation

34. Myths & Realities

  • Myth:youll never make money
  • Reality:expands new market options
  • Myth:cant be done
  • Reality:it can be done if you plan, persist and seek help when needed