Posts Tagged: organic gardening
Companion planting, or intercropping, can create improved biodiversity in agroecosystems. The concepts of companion planting can be used in home gardens or in commercial agriculture.
Beneficial plant associations can provide many positive interactions in the field or garden. They include:
- Trap cropping
- Symbiotic nitrogen fixation
- Biochemical pest suppression
- Physical spatial interactions
- Nurse cropping
- Beneficial habitats
- Security through diversity
To learn more about companion planting, mixed intercropping, or strip intercropping, please see Companion Planting: Basic Concepts & Resources. Digital versions of this publication are free from ATTRA (Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas). ATTRA is the national sustainable agriculture information center funded by the USDA’s Rural Business – Cooperative Service.
Mustards planted next to strawberries to encourage natural enemies in Ventura County. Photo by Jack Kelly Clark.
There are 17 elements essential for plant growth. These elements come from the air, water and soil. All must be present for a healthy plant.
An excess, deficiency or even an imbalance of these elements may lead to individual symptoms which are characteristic to most plants. The appearance of a plant can be used to help identify problems. The problems can be corrected with appropriate fertilizers, amendments and manures and also by soil and water management.
To learn more about these essential elements and how to interpret distress signs plants may provide, please see this section of our website.
Well structured soil and proper irrigation are vital components to growing healthy vegetable plants. UCCE’s Soil and Water Management of Vegetable Gardens brochure provides detailed information in a compact format.
Learn how to improve soil quality, when to fertilize vegetable plants, and how to efficiently irrigate your garden.
Due to a family emergency the March 26th Saturday at the Farm event has been cancelled. “Beefriending Your Local Bees” presented by Anna Howell, MS has been rescheduled for Saturday, April 2, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Looking for an environmentally safe way to control soilborne pests? Solarization is a nonchemical method that can be successfully used to kill weeds, pathogens, nematodes and insects.
This process heats the soil to temperatures that are too high for the undesirable organisms to live. It also has the potential to improve soil structure, increasing the potential for healthy plants. Faster growing plants as well as higher and better quality yields are associated with solarized soil.
Another benefit of this method of soil preparation is that it can be used by home gardeners, landscape professionals, natural resource restoration projects and in production agriculture.
More information can be found in UC ANR’s Soil Solarization for Gardens and Landscapes pest note or for a more in-depth view and closely related subjects, please visit UC’s Solarization Informational Website.
Illustration by W. Suckow showing solarization steps.
Join expert composter Lorraine Walters on Saturday, September 4 and learn about composting, vermicompost and mulch to improve the health of your soil. Healthy soil can increase production, reduce the likelihood of insects and disease, reduce water needs and more.
This class will be held at Community Roots Garden. Scheduled topics include:
- How to make compost from common materials such as food scraps, grass clippings, and leaves.
- Faster composting methods that take more attention as well as the slower, easier methods.
- How to make extra high-grade compost using redworms (called vermicomposting).
- How to use compost to build your soil.
- How to use mulch to build your soil, and the difference between compost and mulch.
Composting expert, Lorraine Walters