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  • OEFFA: Gardening Tips
    are hay sawdust household vegetable scraps animal manure and weeds Almost any vegetable material that is bulky enough to aerate will do Woody materials will break down more quickly if they are chopped or shredded In order to manage the compost heap you need to keep the bacteriaís requirements in mind The colony needs food oxygen and moisture to increase itís population size and therefore accelerate decomposition When beginning a new heap or adding to an old one incorporate good garden soil or active compost from another heap to inoculate the new material with bacteria Maintaining the proper moisture level is critical If there is too much water the pile will go anaerobic and begin to smell You will lose important nutrients in the runoff fro your pile If you don t supply enough water the bacteria will die and the composting process will stop So keep you compost pile moist but not waterlogged If you add kitchen scraps to your pile bury them deeply and immediately or you will have a rat colony as well as a bacterial colony Do not use meat scraps After the pile begins to break down it will shrink in size and heat up

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/tips.php?sjt=compost2 (2016-02-17)
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  • OEFFA: Gardening Tips
    their case cool and enough water Like you they hate rototillers If you were a worm you would flee the vibrating machine slashing through your home drying it out and disturbing your food supply Gardens that are regularly tilled or plowed have very few worms leaving it to the gardener to loosen the soil and apply fertilizer through laborious inefficient methods Consider how to attract and increase earthworm populations when you control weeds Conserving soil moisture and coolness suits them as well as the plants you want to protect from weeds Mulching with leaves is a pleasant chore which begins with a walk in the shade carrying an old tarp or sheet and a rake It takes a thick layer of mulch to control weeds If weeds grow through your mulch you did not apply enough This method is not less work than weeding you are simply performing different tasks Rather than plowing in the fall protect your valuable soil and worms from winter rains and cold by simply pulling out dead plants and applying compost and or mulch This will attract many worms as the mulch decomposes They also prefer warmer mulched soil to the surrounding cold soil If you don t have access to hay or other machine made mulch leaves are plentiful If you are concerned that they may be too acidic sprinkle a little lime on them when you apply them to the garden Check around for a farmer who might have some big round bales of hay left over Hay is a cheap source of organic material Use lots of hay piling it on will suppress weed seed growth In the spring pull the mulch away to set plants To sow seeds simply sprinkle a heavy line of soil or compost on top of the

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/tips.php?sjt=mulch (2016-02-17)
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  • OEFFA: Gardening Tips
    typically deficient in our area due in part to plentiful rainfall Besides playing a major role in improving soil structure calcium helps regulate the flow of nutrients throughout the plant A lack of calcium can cause blossom end rot in tomatoes while an abundance helps vine ripened tomatoes become huge Good sources of calcium include calcitic limestone which also corrects soil with a low pH bone meal which also contains phosphorus and pellitized gypsum which helps loosen heavy clay soil Plants need sulfur to form proteins and nitrogen can t do its job without sulfur Good sources of sulfur include peletized gypsum animal manures and sul po mag which also contains potassium and magnesium Trace mineral are also known as micro nutrients because they are used by the plant in very small amounts Despite the small amounts needed deficiencies of these elements can cause big problems in plant health Some of these mineral are zinc iron manganese copper boron and molybdenum Lack of boron can cause a plant to suddenly stop growing Manganese is necessary for photosynthesis Copper is very important in the reproduction process and affects the yield Good sources of trace elements are manures green sand and kelp

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/tips.php?sjt=soilnutrients (2016-02-17)
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  • OEFFA: Gardening Tips
    arrive Another good definition which I have heard is that something is sustainable which will meet the needs of the present generation without harming the ability of future generations to meet their needs The concept of sustainability includes certain basic elements Time Can this resource or practice last well into the future Of course nothing on this earth lasts forever The basic geologic forces of erosion plate tectonics and volcanism are steadily rearranging the surface of the earth Ultimately there is probably some asteroid out there that will recycle the earth back into the cosmos But we are dealing here with human not geologic or cosmic time scales Extent How widely or how many farmers can use this particular resource before it is depleted Environment and Health Does this practice cause serious harm to the environment either local or global Does it harm the health of the people who work on the farm or the consumers of the food Preserve farmland Does this farming system preserve farmland for the future The United States is losing over 1 million acres of farmland a year to development If this continues in 50 years there will be twice as many people and 50 million fewer acres to feed them Economic and social justice Does agriculture provide enough income for the farm owners and the workers Does it exploit or oppress any people Local resources How dependent are farms on outside resources A sustainable system should optimize internal on farm or community resources and minimize external resources Community Do the surrounding farms support or harm the local community We cannot look at a farm by itself It must be seen as part of the community Sustainable farms and the communities where they are located must be mutually supportive Change Can this farming system adapt

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/tips.php?sjt=sustain (2016-02-17)
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  • OEFFA: Gardening Tips
    from directions in Keeping the Harvest by Nancy Chioffi and Gretchen Mead Garden Way Publishing 1980 There is also a shorter set of instructions in Joy of Cooking Rombauer and Becker Bobbs Merril Co Inc 1964 I have followed Chioffi and Meads recommendation of adding garlic dill or caraway or other herbs and was pleased with the result I have followed another of their suggestions and treated turnips the same as cabbage making saueruben I grated the turnips instead of slicing thinly Something they suggest that I haven t tried is fermenting crisp lettuce in the same way you would cabbage But I have made sauerkraut out of Chinese cabbage when I had more than I could eat or store before it froze and it was just as tasty as regular cabbage I often make several small batches of sauerkraut in a season They say that fall cabbage is better for sauerkraut but I haven t found it to be true If you have just a little cabbage try fermenting it in quart jars instead of a huge crock To keep it down under the juice place a heavy duty plastic bag directly on the cabbage fill it with water and twist tie the top shut This should seal out air by pressing against the sides of the neck of the jar Sauerkraut is relatively high in vitamin C and it tastes really good I wouldn t want to eat just a plain old bowl of sauerkraut but it is a wonderful flavor compliment for many things I like to eat it with rice or pasta and pesto something else I make in the summer and eat in the winter It s great on something we call bread at my house Put cheese on a piece of bread and broil

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/tips.php?sjt=rcp-saurkraut (2016-02-17)
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  • OEFFA: Gardening Tips
    of the harvest will still go to the humans not the insects By now you are probably wondering just which bugs are the good guys what do they eat and how can you attract them to your garden First off to attract beneficial insects they need a water source and a place to hangout and no insecticides The water source doesn t have to be anything fancy a dripping tap will do Living conditions can be an unmown part of your yard full of nectar and pollen producing plants such as Queen Anne s Lace cilantro coriander or a butterfly type garden The Insects Assassin Bug these eat many different insects including catapillers and flies Big eyed Bugs eat aphids small caterpillars leafhoppers spider mites and tarnished plant bugs Brachinoid wasps tiny stingless wasps that parasitize their prey Look for mummified aphids or white cocoons on caterpillers They prey on aphids army worms beetle larva flies gypsy moths etc Damsel Bugs These hang out in alfalfa fields and are an important orchard predator they eat aphids small caterpillars plant bugs thrips and treehoppers Ground Beetles These nocturnal predators go after soil dwelling pests such as cabbage root maggots cutworms slugs snails Some species prey on above ground pests such as the Colorado potato beetle larvae gypsy moths and tent caterpillers Honey Bee These and other wild bees are essential for pollinating most flowers in the garden Bees are very sensitive to pesticides Hover Flies These look a lot like bees but smaller and with big green eyes And they hover These guys love about any aphid Ichneumon Wasps another usually a tiny stingless wasp The larger versions have very long ovipositors that look like stingers but are completely harmless they prey on catapillers sawfly and beetle larva other insects Green Lacewings The larva are known as aphid lions and have a voracious appetite for all soft bodied insects including aphids as well as small catapillers mites moth eggs and some scales Lady Bugs The best known of the benificials Adults eat but their larva are the big eaters of aphids mealy bugs soft scales and spider mites lady bugs can come in many colors including ash gray black yellow or orange with black spots or blotches Minute Pirate Bug these eat small catapiller leafhoppers nymphs spider mites thrips eggs of many insects Praying Mantis One of the larger and more dramatic of the garden predators These eat flies catapillers beetles wasps spiders etc Rove beetles many eat aphids fly eggs nematodes springtails some parasitize cabbage root maggots and other fly larvae Looks like an earwig but has no pincers and are smaller Soldier beetle Prey on aphids beetle larvae especially cucumber beetles caterpillars and grasshopper eggs Unlike most beetles these have leathery instead of hard wing covers Spined Soldier bug These eat fall army worms hairless caterpillars including tent caterpillars sawfly larvae beetle larva especially Colorado potato beetle and Mexican bean beetle These looks like a stinkbug but the spined

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/tips.php?sjt=goodbugs (2016-02-17)
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  • OEFFA: Gardening Tips
    super light cover is used for an insect barrier in the Summer For crops requiring pollination the covers must be removed when flowering starts Physical removal Hand picking and destroying the pests is an effective method I have had good success controlling potato bugs by shaking the plants into a lined basket or box Potato bugs fall off easily into the box Also a butterfly net comes in handy I use it to capture flea beetles on eggplants and the white cabbage worm butterflies fluttering around looking for a cabbage family plant to lay its eggs on Traps Trap slugs in a shallow dish containing beer Commercially available slug traps are also available If you cant stand to waste good beer mix your own brew 1 Tbs molasses 3 Tbs cornmeal 1 2 cup flour 1 2 cup of water and 1 2 Tbs yeast Sticky red spheres hung in apple trees help trap apple maggot flies Japanese beetle traps are effective if placed in the right location I use home made sticky yellow traps to get cucumber beetles Nail a small board on a stake paint it yellow and coat with brush on insect rap coating Biological Pest control There are several types of beneficial insects available which when released will attack a particular pest species The trichogramma wasp lay s it s eggs on the eggs of cabbage worms cut worms corn borers and others The larvae feed on the eggs and destroy the pest eggs Spray containing the bacteria containing bacillus thuringiensis has long been used to control cabbage worms and other related species However its effectiveness decreases within days of it s application the new bio engineered sprays can be effective for up to a week Botanical Sprays Natural insecticides made from certain plants are the

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/tips.php?sjt=pestcontrol (2016-02-17)
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  • OEFFA: Gardening Tips
    control As an example bacterial leaf spot of pepper can be controlled by applications of copper but may require frequent applications if the disease is abundant However the best control strategy is prevention In this case the bacterial pathogen does not survive the winter in the soil but can survive on debris from last years crop and on seeds from infected plants In this case using disease free seed and crop rotation are the best controls Plant debris should be deeply buried or composted at high temperatures For those pathogens that do survive through the winter the introduction back into the crop the following year can be greatly reduced if you identify the source For example several foliar diseases of tomatoes overwinter in plant debris seeds stakes fencing twine pots and flats used to start seedlings Here using new flats pots fencing disease free seed crop rotation and heavy mulching and removal of crop residue all help to reduce disease Recognizing that the spores of some pathogens are spread by tiny droplets of water during rains suggests that increased plant spacing perhaps interplanting with another crop eliminating overhead irrigation would reduce the spread of such diseases Some diseases such as

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/tips.php?sjt=pathogens (2016-02-17)
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