1

WHAT IS ORGANIC GARDENING?
A Common Sense Approach

December 2013

Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
2

WHAT WE’RE GOING TO COVER
• What is the meaning of “Organic?”
– How do we identify it?

•
•
•
•

How about “Natural? Fr...
3

SHOULD YOU TAKE NOTES?
Please do if you want to remember
any of my ‘words of wisdom.’
However, I’ve posted these slides...
4

How Many of You Are
Organic Gardeners?
Entirely?
Partly?
Not Sure?

December 2013

Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
5

ORGANIC AND RELATED CONCEPTS

December 2013

Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
6

THE DEFINITION OF ORGANIC
Organic is a labeling term that indicates that the food
or other agricultural product has bee...
7

WHAT ORGANIC IS NOT
• Not Just the Avoidance of Conventional
Chemicals
• More Than Just Substituting Organic Inputs
for...
8

PROVIDING THE LIGHT, WATER, NUTRIENTS, AIR
THAT PLANTS REQUIRE

Courtesy Russell Norton
Cape Cod Cooperative Extension ...
9

HOW DO WE IDENTIFY ORGANIC PRODUCTS?

There are other symbols.
This is the official USDA symbol.

December 2013

Mary L...
10

http://theorganicfoodguide.com/location/102/
December 2013

Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
11

RELATED SYMBOL

Certifies products for use
on operations that are
certified organic under
the USDA National
Organic Pr...
12

ADDITIONAL SYMBOL
The definition of organic
specifically excludes
genetically engineered
products (GMOs).
Council for ...
13

December 2013

Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
14

December 2013

Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
15

There is no official definition of

Natural.
‘Natural’ Can Mean Anything a Marketer Wishes!

December 2013

Mary Lou R...
16

DO YOU VISIT THE FM?

December 2013

Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
17

THE KEYS TO ORGANIC

•
•
•
•

December 2013

The Soil
Fertilizers, Herbicides and Pesticides
Maintenance, including Wa...
18

ORGANIC SOIL
As Defined by the NOP

• MAINTAIN or IMPROVE the Organic Content of Soil
– By Using Compost, for Example
...
19

USE ORGANIC FERTILIZERS, HERBICIDES, PESTICIDES
• First, Look for ‘Organic’ and Possibly one of
the Symbols
• Then Rea...
20

ORGANIC AMENDMENTS

Courtesy Russell Norton
Cape Cod Cooperative Extension Education Officer
December 2013

Mary Lou R...
21

MINERALS FOR FERTILIZER USE

Courtesy Russell Norton
Cape Cod Cooperative Extension Education Officer

December 2013

...
22

CONSIDER ALTERNATIVES TO PEST/HERBICIDES
Sticky Yellow Paper

Beneficial Insects

Ladybugs for mail order GardensAlive...
23

PHYSICAL BARRIERS CAN BE HELPFUL

Photo Courtesy Russ Norton, CCCE
December 2013

Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
24

PLANT AN INSECTARY GARDEN

http://www.pallensmith.com/articles/marge-says-plant-an-insectary
December 2013

Mary Lou R...
25

MAINTAIN THOUGHTFULLY
• Water As Needed
– Morning; Keep Water off Foliage

• Intensive Planting and Weed Barriers
• We...
26

THE DEMO GARDEN APPROACH
At the Fairgrounds

Planting Through Black Plastic

Both Photos Courtesy Susan Sweeney, Maste...
27

PLANTING THE RAISED BEDS
Soaker Hose, Hay Everywhere

Black Plastic for Heat Loving

Both Photos Courtesy Susan Sweene...
28

CHOOSING SEEDS AND PLANTS
• To Be Entirely Organic
– Use Organic Seeds
– Organically-Grown Plants

• How Far You Choos...
29

ORGANIC VEGETABLE GARDENING
START EARLY!

December 2013

Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
30

One Raised Bed
Two Crops

Peas Mid-May
December 2013

Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
31

Peas Early June
December 2013
32

Peas in Mid-July When Other Vegs are Established
December 2013

Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
33

Kale, Broccoli Raab and Chard early August
Intensive Planting Chokes out Weeds
December 2013

Mary Lou Roberts, Master...
34

Thin by Eating!
Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
35

BUT THIN ADEQUATELY
Raab Smothering Kale

December 2013

Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener

Raab Gone
36

October 1 – Chard Providing Bountiful Harvest
December 2013

Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
37

Single Plant With Adequate Room Much Larger
December 2013

Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
38

Planting Tomatoes—Getting Manure and Compost Down to Roots
December 2013

Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
39

Seems to Work
Cukes and Beans on Same Trellis Didn’t
December 2013

Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
40

HAVE SOME FUN!

December 2013

Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
41

Purple Beans Get Attention
December 2013

Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
42

Profusion of Sunflowers—Also Edible
December 2013

Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
43

Beans Use Sunflowers for Supports
December 2013

Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
44

Flowers Like Asters Attract Polinators
Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
45

MAINTAIN

WEED AND WATER FAITHFULLY

December 2013

Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
46

PLASTIC, CAGES KEEP PRODUCE OFF GROUND
Zucchini Directly on Plastic

‘Home Made’ Tomato Cages

Both Photos Courtesy of...
INTENSIVE, SUCCESSION PLANTING OF VEG
WITH DIFFERENT REQUIREMENTS

Courtesy of Bob Brancale, Master Gardener
December 2013...
48

Carefully Maintained Blackberries with Bird Deterrent
Photo Courtesy Al Saperstein, Master Gardener
December 2013

Mar...
49

Blueberries in the Demo Garden
Photo Courtesy Bob Brancale, Master Gardener
December 2013

Mary Lou Roberts, Master Ga...
50

ADD EDIBLES

December 2013

Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
51

Calendula, Fennel in mid September
Fall Peas in Background
December 2013
52

Nasturtiums
December 2013

Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
53

Basil Flowers, Other Herbs, are Excellent
December 2013

Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
54

OTHER EDIBLE FLOWERS
• Bachelor’s Buttons
• Dianthus
• Some Marigolds in Addition to Calendula
– Signet Paprika, Mexic...
55

THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF COMPOST

December 2013

Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
56

How Many of You
Make Compost?

December 2013

Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
COMPOSTING
Composting is a process by which organic
wastes are broken down by
microorganisms, generally bacteria and
fungi...
58

BASIC COMPOSTING ISSUES
• Materials – 30 Carbon: 1 Nitrogen
• Temperature = 160°
– 3’ x 3’

• Environment
– Warm, Damp...
59

Note Soil from
Non-Organic
Flower Containers

I Use Both a Plastic Composter and Wire Bins
December 2013

Mary Lou Rob...
60

SOME DESIRABLE MATERIALS

http://extension.umass.edu/cdle/fact-sheets/waste-management-and-composting
December 2013

M...
61

UNDESIRABLE MATERIALS
•
•
•
•

Too Much Nitrogen, Water, Large Items
Cooked Material, Especially Meat
Inorganic Materi...
62

THE ULTIMATE GOALS

• Abundant, Healthful Food for Our Families
and Communities
• Sustainable Practices for the Enviro...
63

MASTER GARDENERS OF CAPE COD
THANK YOU!
Questions/Discussion?

December 2013

Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
64

A FEW RESOURCES
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
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•
•
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UMass Cooperative Extensi...
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Organic Vegetable Gardening

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Organic concepts, organic gardening, vegetable gardening, composting

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Organic Vegetable Gardening

  1. 1. 1 WHAT IS ORGANIC GARDENING? A Common Sense Approach December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  2. 2. 2 WHAT WE’RE GOING TO COVER • What is the meaning of “Organic?” – How do we identify it? • • • • How about “Natural? Fresh? Local?” Organic Vegetable Gardening Flowers? The Wonders of Compost December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  3. 3. 3 SHOULD YOU TAKE NOTES? Please do if you want to remember any of my ‘words of wisdom.’ However, I’ve posted these slides on the Internet. I’ll give you that link and links to Other important resources At the end. December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener Mary Lou Roberts
  4. 4. 4 How Many of You Are Organic Gardeners? Entirely? Partly? Not Sure? December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  5. 5. 5 ORGANIC AND RELATED CONCEPTS December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  6. 6. 6 THE DEFINITION OF ORGANIC Organic is a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods. These methods integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used. From the USDA National Organic Program website http://www.ams.usda.gov/ December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  7. 7. 7 WHAT ORGANIC IS NOT • Not Just the Avoidance of Conventional Chemicals • More Than Just Substituting Organic Inputs for Inorganic Ones Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  8. 8. 8 PROVIDING THE LIGHT, WATER, NUTRIENTS, AIR THAT PLANTS REQUIRE Courtesy Russell Norton Cape Cod Cooperative Extension Education Officer December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  9. 9. 9 HOW DO WE IDENTIFY ORGANIC PRODUCTS? There are other symbols. This is the official USDA symbol. December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  10. 10. 10 http://theorganicfoodguide.com/location/102/ December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  11. 11. 11 RELATED SYMBOL Certifies products for use on operations that are certified organic under the USDA National Organic Program. https://www.omri.org/ December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  12. 12. 12 ADDITIONAL SYMBOL The definition of organic specifically excludes genetically engineered products (GMOs). Council for Responsible Genetics a non-profit organization http://www.councilforresponsiblegenetics. org/ December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  13. 13. 13 December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  14. 14. 14 December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  15. 15. 15 There is no official definition of Natural. ‘Natural’ Can Mean Anything a Marketer Wishes! December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  16. 16. 16 DO YOU VISIT THE FM? December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  17. 17. 17 THE KEYS TO ORGANIC • • • • December 2013 The Soil Fertilizers, Herbicides and Pesticides Maintenance, including Watering Seeds and Plants Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  18. 18. 18 ORGANIC SOIL As Defined by the NOP • MAINTAIN or IMPROVE the Organic Content of Soil – By Using Compost, for Example • WITHOUT – Contaminating CROPS, the SOIL itself, or WATER • Possible Contaminants – Fertilizers with Non-Approved Additives (e.g. Vermiculite with Asbestos Content) – Disease-Causing Organisms (e.g., Salmonella, E coli) – Heavy Metals (e.g. Lead from paint disposal, Arsenic from Old Orchard Insecticides and many others) – “Residues of Prohibited Substances” • http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5087122 December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  19. 19. 19 USE ORGANIC FERTILIZERS, HERBICIDES, PESTICIDES • First, Look for ‘Organic’ and Possibly one of the Symbols • Then Read the Label – Fertilizers Need Appropriate Balance of NPK and other Desirable Elements – Herbicides and Pesticides • • December 2013 Are they Appropriate for Your Issue? At What Time of Year/State of Pest Development Are They Effective? Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  20. 20. 20 ORGANIC AMENDMENTS Courtesy Russell Norton Cape Cod Cooperative Extension Education Officer December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  21. 21. 21 MINERALS FOR FERTILIZER USE Courtesy Russell Norton Cape Cod Cooperative Extension Education Officer December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  22. 22. 22 CONSIDER ALTERNATIVES TO PEST/HERBICIDES Sticky Yellow Paper Beneficial Insects Ladybugs for mail order GardensAlive.com Praying Mantis Egg Case ces.ncsu.edu December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  23. 23. 23 PHYSICAL BARRIERS CAN BE HELPFUL Photo Courtesy Russ Norton, CCCE December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  24. 24. 24 PLANT AN INSECTARY GARDEN http://www.pallensmith.com/articles/marge-says-plant-an-insectary December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  25. 25. 25 MAINTAIN THOUGHTFULLY • Water As Needed – Morning; Keep Water off Foliage • Intensive Planting and Weed Barriers • Weed ‘Mechanically’ As Much as Possible December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  26. 26. 26 THE DEMO GARDEN APPROACH At the Fairgrounds Planting Through Black Plastic Both Photos Courtesy Susan Sweeney, Master Gardener December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  27. 27. 27 PLANTING THE RAISED BEDS Soaker Hose, Hay Everywhere Black Plastic for Heat Loving Both Photos Courtesy Susan Sweeney, Master Gardener Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  28. 28. 28 CHOOSING SEEDS AND PLANTS • To Be Entirely Organic – Use Organic Seeds – Organically-Grown Plants • How Far You Choose to Go is a Personal Decision December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  29. 29. 29 ORGANIC VEGETABLE GARDENING START EARLY! December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  30. 30. 30 One Raised Bed Two Crops Peas Mid-May December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  31. 31. 31 Peas Early June December 2013
  32. 32. 32 Peas in Mid-July When Other Vegs are Established December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  33. 33. 33 Kale, Broccoli Raab and Chard early August Intensive Planting Chokes out Weeds December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  34. 34. 34 Thin by Eating! Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  35. 35. 35 BUT THIN ADEQUATELY Raab Smothering Kale December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener Raab Gone
  36. 36. 36 October 1 – Chard Providing Bountiful Harvest December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  37. 37. 37 Single Plant With Adequate Room Much Larger December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  38. 38. 38 Planting Tomatoes—Getting Manure and Compost Down to Roots December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  39. 39. 39 Seems to Work Cukes and Beans on Same Trellis Didn’t December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  40. 40. 40 HAVE SOME FUN! December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  41. 41. 41 Purple Beans Get Attention December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  42. 42. 42 Profusion of Sunflowers—Also Edible December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  43. 43. 43 Beans Use Sunflowers for Supports December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  44. 44. 44 Flowers Like Asters Attract Polinators Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  45. 45. 45 MAINTAIN WEED AND WATER FAITHFULLY December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  46. 46. 46 PLASTIC, CAGES KEEP PRODUCE OFF GROUND Zucchini Directly on Plastic ‘Home Made’ Tomato Cages Both Photos Courtesy of Bob Brancale, Master Gardener December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  47. 47. INTENSIVE, SUCCESSION PLANTING OF VEG WITH DIFFERENT REQUIREMENTS Courtesy of Bob Brancale, Master Gardener December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener 47
  48. 48. 48 Carefully Maintained Blackberries with Bird Deterrent Photo Courtesy Al Saperstein, Master Gardener December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  49. 49. 49 Blueberries in the Demo Garden Photo Courtesy Bob Brancale, Master Gardener December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  50. 50. 50 ADD EDIBLES December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  51. 51. 51 Calendula, Fennel in mid September Fall Peas in Background December 2013
  52. 52. 52 Nasturtiums December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  53. 53. 53 Basil Flowers, Other Herbs, are Excellent December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  54. 54. 54 OTHER EDIBLE FLOWERS • Bachelor’s Buttons • Dianthus • Some Marigolds in Addition to Calendula – Signet Paprika, Mexican Marigold Mint One Theory is That If the Leaves are Edible, Flowers are Also (Borage, for example) December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  55. 55. 55 THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF COMPOST December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  56. 56. 56 How Many of You Make Compost? December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  57. 57. COMPOSTING Composting is a process by which organic wastes are broken down by microorganisms, generally bacteria and fungi, into simpler forms. From UMass Extension Fact Sheet “Waste Management and Composting” December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener 57
  58. 58. 58 BASIC COMPOSTING ISSUES • Materials – 30 Carbon: 1 Nitrogen • Temperature = 160° – 3’ x 3’ • Environment – Warm, Damp Well Aerated • Container December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  59. 59. 59 Note Soil from Non-Organic Flower Containers I Use Both a Plastic Composter and Wire Bins December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  60. 60. 60 SOME DESIRABLE MATERIALS http://extension.umass.edu/cdle/fact-sheets/waste-management-and-composting December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  61. 61. 61 UNDESIRABLE MATERIALS • • • • Too Much Nitrogen, Water, Large Items Cooked Material, Especially Meat Inorganic Materials DISEASED PLANT MATERIAL December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  62. 62. 62 THE ULTIMATE GOALS • Abundant, Healthful Food for Our Families and Communities • Sustainable Practices for the Environment December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  63. 63. 63 MASTER GARDENERS OF CAPE COD THANK YOU! Questions/Discussion? December 2013 Mary Lou Roberts, Master Gardener
  64. 64. 64 A FEW RESOURCES • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • UMass Cooperative Extension many good fact sheets written for the MA farmer or gardener http://ag.umass.edu/ Maine Organic Farmers & Growers Association fact sheet http://www.mofga.org/Portals/2/Fact%20Sheets/TB%201%20Organic%20Gardening%20Basics.pdf Composting Website http://howtocompost.org/ Waste Management and Composting fact sheet http://extension.umass.edu/cdle/fact-sheets/waste-management-and-composting Edible Flowers http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/hil/hil-8513.html Organic Gardening Soil Amendments http://www.your-vegetable-gardening-helper.com/organic-gardening-soil-amendments.html Videos How to Grow an Organic Garden http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFsSlS7IHBg Composting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKG8xRTFktg Newsletters, etc. (there are many, but 2 I especially like are) Mother Earth newsletters http://www.motherearthnews.com/ Renee’s Garden http://www.reneesgarden.com/
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