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Crop rotation is a systematic approach to deciding which crop to plant where in your vegetable garden from one year to the next. It is as important a factor in soil health as amendments, and reduces the amount of work you have to put into achieving healthy soil for your plants.
Worm Castings are an excellent organic soil amendment, hard to find in retail stores, but a great addition to your soil. The nice thing is, you can order them by mail.
An amazing fact about worm castings: God in His infinitely awesome abilities in creation made worms to produce organic fertilizer. Even if what they take in for food has any chemicals or such, it comes out the other end organic, filtered by their amazing digestive system. They have been lab tested over and over, and this is how they always come out, pure and 100% organic.
Few of us start with good soil, but we can all build it. Turning poor soil into plant-friendly soil is not difficult to do, once you understand the components of healthy soil. Using gardening methods which improve rather than hurt the soil play a huge part in successful gardening.
There are simple, organic methods to reduce your work here, too.
Weeds steal nutrients from your plants, reducing their vigor. The age-old practice of cultivating between plants with a hoe, not only suppresses weeds, but aerates your soil, too. A good workout in the garden on your knees pulling weeds, or wielding a hoe is healthy for you, and your garden, too. But, what if your health isn’t able to keep up with the weeding, what if you are strapped for time, and always get behind on the weeding?
Learn your insects! Organic gardening doesn’t mean you have to share your harvest with the bugs, but you will probably have less than pristine looking plants and produce. Since in organic gardening you are trying to garden in cooperation with nature, sometimes you have to accept the occasional pest in the garden, not taking the typical line of attack that has been popular in recent generations of grabbing the nearest pesticide. Your first line of defense should be vigilance. Inspect your plants regularly for signs of a problem and take organic methods of action quickly. Keep in mind, though, not every insect is a foe and that action doesn’t necessarily mean pesticide. Just picking bugs and eggs off plants and putting them in a bucket of soapy water is frequently a first step for organic gardeners. Learn which are the beneficial insects and keep them around, they will help do your work for you, getting rid of pests.
Organic gardening was for a while seen as something only the super health-nuts or hippies did. But, not so anymore, we are all becoming aware that the methods of gardening with chemicals that have become popular in recent generations are no healthier than the awful stuff called margarine. The more research that has come out showing the terrible side effects of synthetic fertilizers and the chemicals in commercial pesticides and herbicides, the more we realize, the hippies had something there! Funny thing, though, organic gardening is really not so recent as all that. Thousands of years of gardeners before us grew only with organic methods. Here we’ll delve a bit into the whys of going organic, and a couple starting points to begin with if you aren’t already on the bandwagon.
The successful management of both soil borne and foliar diseases requires a multifaceted program, taking into consideration variety selection, cultural methods, biological’s, and chemical applications approved by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) and certified organic under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Organic Program (NOP). This review emphasizes the management of foliar disease and serves as a guide to assist growers in selecting strategies to manage disease in a sustainable system.
Most methods of plant-disease control follow one of the six principles summarized by the acronym REPEAT: Resistance, Eradication; Protection, Exclusion, Avoidance, and Therapy. The following is an overview of these principles with an emphasis on methods acceptable in certified organic vegetable production for controlling plant disease caused by soilborne pathogens.
Organic food and other organically produced products are available to consumers in a variety of retail outlets, and the quantity and diversity of organic food and other organically produced products increases every year. The information that appears on an organic label is variable and depends on the percent of certified ingredients, as well as the manufacturer’s or supplier’s desire to advertise the product as organic. Thus, organic product labels can be difficult for consumers to interpret. In addition, many consumers lack a clear understanding of the regulatory significance of products bearing the United States Department of Agriculture’s “USDA Organic” label.
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