Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Organic Gardening Tips

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Poisonous Pasture Plants

September 17, 2020

What can I do to manage undesirable plants in my pastures? That’s one of the questions Jacki Perkins, MOFGA’s organic dairy and livestock specialist, answers in her column in the fall issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener. Perkins responds, “Good grazing practices that avoid grazing too low or too often paired with timely clipping to avoid weeds reseeding themselves will help outcompete undesirable plants. Given enough of a budget, seeding a variety of perennial grasses and some annuals can help worn-out pastures.”

Planting in Clusters or Hills

October 6, 2016

Is your 2016 garden fading? Cover crops growing? Are you thinking about next year’s garden yet? If so, you might want to think about planting some crops in clusters or hills rather than spaced evenly in rows, as Will Bonsall describes in his article "Cluster or Hill Planting" in the fall issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener. His method simplifies and speeds planting and weed control.


Purslane Loves This Weather

August 26, 2016

Purslane captivated a couple of dozen MOFGA apprentices and others during a Farm Training Project workshop at Hatchet Cove Farm in Warren recently. This heat- and drought-tolerant, succulent, delicious crop was thriving despite the lack of rain in that area then. This can be a good crop to add to your garden for biodiversity. For recipe ideas, including cucumber-purslane-yogurt salad and Asian-style purslane garlic sauté, see Roberta Bailey's article "Purslane, It's Not Just a Weed Anymore" in the summer 2013 issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener.


Value Your Dandelions

May 14, 2015

Did you know that dandelions "are one of the first pollen/nectar sources during the whole growing season," according to New York state farmer Steve Gilman, who spoke at one of MOFGA's Farmer to Farmer Conferences years ago? One researcher "found 93 different species of insects that feed on that pollen/nectar," he added. "The preponderance of those was beneficial insects." Dandelions also serve as overwintering habitat for mycorrhizal fungi - beneficial fungi that associate with plant roots and help take up, conserve and use water and nutrients. So enjoy these bright signs of spring if they pop up in your yard! If you don't want them to get out of hand, mow your lawn high (above 2-1/2 inches) and mow before dandelions go to seed.