organic gardening

Trichoderma & You

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Trichoderma fungi are found naturally occurring in many soils and play an important role in the prevention and control of root pathogens. It actively takes over the root zone and makes it difficult for pathogens to compete for space on the roots and for nutrients. Trichoderma is not just one species of fungi – the genus Trichoderma contains many species and strains, of which some are specific to certain pathogenic fungi such as Pythium.

pH & Soil

Articles, Gardening

The pH scale measures how acidic or basic a substance is. It ranges from 0 to 14. A pH of 7.0 is neutral. A pH less than 7.0 is acidic, and a pH greater than 7.0 is basic. Each whole pH value below 7.0 is ten times more acidic than the next higher value. For example, a pH of 4.0 is ten times more acidic than a pH of 5.0 and 100 times (10 times 10) more acidic than a pH of 6.0. The same holds true for pH values above 7.0, each of which is ten times more alkaline—another way to say basic—than the next lower whole value. For example, a pH of 10.0 is ten times more alkaline than a pH of 9.0.

5 Benefits of Earthworm Castings

Articles, Gardening

Earthworm Castings are the excrement left behind by worms after they finish digesting the organic matter that makes up their diet. They are made in a container filled with moistened bedding and redworms. With food waste and with assistance from microorganisms, the worms will convert bedding and food waste into compost. Worm composting can be done year-round, indoors in schools, offices and homes. It is a natural method for recycling nutrients in food waste without odor. The resulting compost is a good soil conditioner for houseplants, gardens and patio containers.

Organic Gardening: Protozoa & Nematodes

Articles, Gardening

Soil, or at least healthy soil, is teeming with life. Soil life lives in a symbiotic and mutualistic way, offering their services to help the whole system work. Bacteria and fungi build the soil structure and help make nutrients in the soil available to plants, and also store valuable nutrients in their bodies. Protozoa, nematodes and other larger members of the soil food web consume these microbes, and in doing so release the nutrients to the plants. This process allows natural systems to maintain themselves with the help of the soil food web […]

5 Tips to Prevent Pythium

Articles, Gardening, Grow Tips

Pythium (or “root rot”) is a destructive root-parasitic pathogen that directly attacks the root system of the plant, causing normally healthy white roots to turn brown and mushy. When the infection is severe, the lower portion of the stem can become slimy and black. In recirculating systems, this infected root mass will also contaminate the other plants that reside in that system.

Guide to Organic Pest Control

Articles, Gardening, Grow Tips

Contrary to what most people believe, “organic” does not automatically mean “pesticide-free”. It means that these pesticides, if used, must be derived from natural sources, not synthetically manufactured. All pesticides, whether they are organically or synthetically derived, have some degree of toxicity, and therefore potential to harm human health and the environment. To reduce their use, many organic farmers focus on a system of integrated pest management (IPM), which is an eco-friendly technique of controlling pests through the use of long term prevention and environmental balancing strategies.