Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Organic Gardening Tips

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Bean Up

May 31, 2018

Looking for a long season of picking green beans? Try planting pole beans.

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Fall Orchard Sanitation Helps Control Pear Diseases

November 30, 2017

Fabraea leaf spot is a fungal disease that affects pear and quince fruit and foliage. It can defoliate trees and deform or destroy fruit when severe, according to C.J. Walke, MOFGA's organic orchardist, in his column in the winter issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener. The fungus overwinters on infected leaves and fruit, so orchard sanitation is the best cultural approach to minimize Fabraea presence in the spring. Removing all fruit from the tree and mowing leaf litter in late fall, combined with applying a nitrogen source such as fish hydrolysate or spreading finished compost, will increase decomposition of infected leaf matter, reducing fungal pressures come spring, Walke continues. The same can be done in early spring, if winter came too quickly or if disease pressure was high the previous year and you want to be thorough. Such sanitation practices can help control other pathogens, as well.

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Greens That Overwinter

November 24, 2017

Looking for veggies that will overwinter in the garden with little protection? Roberta Bailey listed several in her MOF&G article, "Winter Greens Fill the Garden Palette" – "varieties that are very resilient and cold hardy and some that eat snow for breakfast." She includes 'Kolibri' kohlrabi, which frequently overwinters with nothing more than snow cover; 'North Pole', 'Hyper Red Rumpled', 'Dark Red Lolla Rossa' and 'Brun d'Hiver' lettuce, which survive with nothing more than row cover; and many more. Keep Roberta's list handy when you order seeds for your next garden.

 

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Buy Local and Organic

November 17, 2017

Who needs Black Friday when we've got Green Everyday in Maine? Please support your local organic producers this holiday season by purchasing their goods at farmers' markets, food co-ops and other local outlets – or by mail order or website. MOFGA-certified organic producers, along with their products and markets, are listed here, where you'll find sources of chaga tea, maple cream, garlic, grains, herbs, seeds and so much more. You can also find local and organic Thanksgiving and December holiday meal ingredients, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, turkey, squash, pumpkins, cranberries ... oh my! And check MOFGA's online Country Store for gift items, as well, including sweatshirts and T-shirts with the Common Ground Country Fair designs, select Common Ground Country Fair posters, gift memberships to MOFGA and more. Thanks for supporting MOFGA and local, organic businesses.

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Minimizing Seedcorn Maggot Damage

November 2, 2017

The seedcorn maggot is the larvae of a fly, says Eric Sideman, MOFGA's organic crop specialist, in the fall issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener. He continues: This critter spends the winter as a pupa in the soil. Flies emerge very early in the spring from these pupae and lay eggs near decaying organic matter and germinating seeds. The eggs hatch into maggots that feed on the seeds or young plants. Fall is the time to start thinking about managing this pest because the pupae that overwinter come from eggs laid in the fall.

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