Common Pests and Disease

Pests and Disease


Aphids
These are small brown colored insects. They suck the sap from the leaves and branches and cause great damage to trees and reduction of yield. Aphid attack is severe during Feb and April. Use Dizenon 40% or Eldrine 20%, 1 kg in 450 litres of water. Insecticides should not be applied within 6 weeks of marketing the fruit.

Citrus Leaf Minor:
This attacks the leaves. the attacked leaves become curled and deformed. If causes great losses in growth and yield. Use Malathion 57 or Matasystox 50% at the rate of 500 grams in 450 litres of water per acre for its control.

Lemon Butterfly
This also attacks fresh leaves. It can be controlled effectively by using Malathion and Metasystox.

Citrus Whitefly:
This attacks the fruits and causes great losses in yield and quality. This pest can also be controlled by using Malathion 57%. This should not be applied within 6 weeks of marketing the fruit.

Red Scales:
These are sucking types of insects and cause great damage to Kinnow and sweet oranges in Punjab. They can survive throughout the year. Use Parathion or Malathion at the rate of 752 grams in 450 litres of water per acre for its effective control.

Root Rot:
This is a fungus which attacks the root of the trees. Its attack is severe in poorly drained soils. The affected tree gradually dries up. Remove the soil from around the affected trees without damaging the roots and improve on farm drainage for its effective control.

Withertip:
This disease is caused by nutritional deficiencies. The branches and fruits of the affected trees start drying and the tree becomes uneconomical to maintain. Apply a balanced dose of Bordeaux Mixture 450 after cutting affected branches from the trees.

Citrus Canker:
This is a bacterial disease. It attacks leads and the fruits. It forms canker like spots on the leaves and stems of the fruit causing great reduction in yield and quality of the fruit. There is no effective treatment for this disease except to cut and remove the affected trees and spray Formaldehyde at the spots from where the diseased trees have been removed.

Harvesting:
Picking of citrus fruits is done almost throughout the year. The fruit should be picked when it is fully ripe. It will not develop taste or sugar in storage after picking. The best method is to pick the individual fruit by holding it in one hand and cutting the stalk with a knife and collecting it into boxes or baskets to avoid injury to the stem. The average yield expected from different types of fruits in various species are 500 to 1000 fruit per tree.

Pakistan is blessed with a climate ideally suited to the farming of all kinds of fruits – rich in taste and juicy. Farmers have been developing new varieties of fruit by grafting one exotic variety with other.

Season of Kino in Pakistan starts from December and last till April. Kinnow is very delicious in taste and if treated with proper fungicide and wax and careful handing and storage of Kinnow at about 4 Degree Centigrade can retain it’s freshness until 2 months.

Pakistan is one of the few countries in the world where some of the varieties of fruits grown in cool temperate climate such as apples, pears, plums and cherries while in warm temperate climate such as apricots, grapes, pomegranates and melon and in tropical and subtropical climate such as bananas, mangoes, dates, guava and citrus so the fruits are usually available throughout the year.

Nature has blessed Pakistan with ideal climate for growing a wide range of delicious fruits and large varieties of vegetables. Over the years, Pakistani experts have developed unique stains of exotic fruit varieties unmatched for their rich flavor and taste. From the selection of the finest fruits grown, a reasonable quantity is processed and properly packed for sales and consumption in local market and exporting abroad.

Pakistan exported 268,741 tones of fruits worth US$ 79.83 million during 2000-01, while the export of vegetables stood at $22.50 million. Out of the total exports of fruits and vegetables the share of mangoes was 53,443 tonnes valuing $16.54 million, showing an increase of 43 per cent over the 1999-00.

Agriculture is the main contributor to GDP either directly or indirectly in the form of agro-based industries. The production of fruits and vegetables is not fully utilized and after their domestic consumption a major part is wasted due to lack of infrastructure, storage and processing facilities. The wastage quantity can be utilized by just streamlining and regulating the system from grower to export markets.

Pakistan produces large varieties of mangoes, its production has increased from 908 thousand tonnes in 1995-96 to 937 thousand tonnes in 1999-00. World production of mangoes stood at 19 million tons in 1995, which rose to 23.8 million tonnes in 1999, registering an increase of 24.75 per cent over the five years. Philippines and China have achieved much over 100 per cent increase in mango production during that period. Thailand is another country, which has also registered a significant increase. Rise in Pakistan’s annual mango production during 1995-99 is only 3.4 per cent. Our share in global mango production in 1999 is 3.8 per cent.

Beside mangoes, Pakistani kinoos and apples are also in great demand in the international market. Balochistan produces about 480,000 tones of apples annually but only 3,000 tones were exported last year. About 30 per cent apples wasted every year in Balochistan only. Recently the government has given approval for the establishment of treatment plant in Quetta. While two plants are about to start working in Karachi. It is estimated that after starting of these treatment plants export of apples would be increased to about 20,000 tons per annum. There are good investment opportunities for the private sector to establish processing units near the fruits and vegetable growing areas. This would not only prevent wastage but would also help to earn foreign exchange.

There are also bright prospects for exporting fruit juices and pulps. By establishing modern plants, Pakistan can earn foreign exchange three times more than that being earned by export of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Kinnosw: 
Sunny winters in Pakistan yield a large variety of citrus fruits. The juicy kinno is a unique hybrid of two varieties of California Oranges. It has a soft skin which is easy to peel and has a lovely fragrance.

Pakistan is fortunate in having great diversity in its soil and in its ecological and climatic conditions, ranging from extremely warm to temperate, to very cold. This enables the country to grow many kinds of trees, plants, shrubs, vines and creepers which yield a large variety of fruits and vegetables.

How to Propagate a Rosemary Plant from Stem Cuttings

Learn how to take rosemary cuttings from an established mother plant and grow new rosemary plants in containers that can be moved outside in summer and indoors in winter.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a perennial herb in USDA Hardiness Zones 8 and warmer where it can be planted in the garden and can grow 4 feet tall and spreads about 4 feet wide depending on the variety.

For those of us gardening in colder zones, growing rosemary in containers allows us to bring it in during the winter to keep it alive.

My rosemary plant is going on seven years old this year. It grows in a container spends the summer outside on the porch. The rosemary plant is brought inside when the weather turns cold in fall, and it overwinters on a south-facing windowsill.

By the time spring rolls around, the rosemary usually looks raggedy from reduced light and heat fluctuations. Sometimes so many needles dry up and drop off that I wonder if it can possibly survive.

Once warmer weather arrives, the rosemary plant is hardened off, and returned outside for summer. After only a few weeks, it begins to grow new shoots, and the branches fill in with thicker foliage. I am amazed every time it happens.

This is the perfect time to start a new batch of plants. These fresh, green stems are the ones you want to select for softwood stem cuttings.

Benefits of Growing Rosemary Plants from Stem Cuttings

Instead of purchasing a new rosemary plant every year or starting new plants from seeds, try growing your own from stem cuttings. Some of the benefits of growing rosemary from cuttings vs. starting from seeds include:

Earlier Harvest:

A rooted rosemary plant from a cutting will mature quicker than a plant started from seed. Rosemary seeds tend to have low germination rates and take a long time to sprout and grow. A rosemary stem cutting will reach a usable size in just a few months, so you will be able to harvest rosemary sooner.
Same as the Mother Plant: The rosemary plant you will grow from cuttings will be an exact clone of the mother plant and have the same flavor, disease resistance, and growth.
Extra Plants for Free: A single plant can provide numerous cuttings without risking the health of the plant. So you can line your kitchen windowsill with several plants that will smell wonderful when you brush your hand against them.

How to Grow Rosemary from Cuttings

1. Select new shoots from the mother plant: Choose healthy stems with fresh growth. The younger shoots will have green stems that are flexible. Avoid older brown, woody stems.

2. Take cuttings: Use sharp scissors and snip the rosemary stem about 5 to 6-inches back from a fresh growing tip. Cut plenty of extra stems in case some fail to grow roots.

3. Strip the lower leaves: Grasp your fingers around the stem, and gently strip off the lower 2-inches of needles from the stem of the rosemary cutting.

4. Place cuttings in water: Stick the stems in a jar of water and place the jar in a warm place away from direct sunlight. Change the water every couple days, replacing with room temperature water. The fresh water provides dissolved oxygen and prevents the cuttings from rotting.

The rosemary stem cuttings should grow roots in a few weeks depending on the temperature. It can take longer in colder temperatures. After 4 to 8 weeks it should be apparent if the rosemary cuttings have survived. The cuttings that do not survive will be brown and shed needles. If your rosemary cutting is still alive, give it some more time.

5. Pot up the stem cuttings once roots develop: Use a sandy soil mix that drains well. Mix equal parts all-purpose potting soil and sharp sand. Or use cactus-potting soil.

Fill a 4-inch pot with slightly damp potting soil for each rosemary cutting. Use a pencil to make a 3 to 4-inch hole into the soil. Place the cutting in the hole with care to avoid damaging the roots. Cover gently and water thoroughly.

Place the newly potted rosemary plant in indirect light or in filtered sunlight until roots become established, and then move to direct light, at least 6 to 8 hours per day. Keep the potting soil moist until you see new growth.

Let the new plants to put on some growth before harvesting. Once the plant is 6-inches tall, harvest by cutting stems as needed. New growth will continue forming on the stem. Rosemary grows slowly so don’t harvest more than 1/3 of the plant at one time.

How to Care for Rosemary Plants

Rosemary is a rather robust plant once it is established and growing. Here are some tips to keep your plant healthy and producing:

Grow in a sunny location. Rosemary thrives in 6-8 hours of direct sun in the summertime.
Water when the soil feels dry. Once established, rosemary likes to stay on the dry side. Allow top inch of soil to dry out between watering, and then water thoroughly.
Re-pot as the plant gets larger and the roots fill the container. A rosemary plant that grows in a container can reach 1 to 3 feet high. Just keep transplanting to a larger container when the roots fill the pot.
Prune rosemary frequently. The more you trim, the bushier the plant grows. Prune the plant after it flowers to keep it compact.

Tips for Growing Rosemary Indoors in Winter

Rosemary is native to Mediterranean climates so it prefers a hot, sunny, and humid atmosphere. Here are some tips for keeping your rosemary plants alive indoors during winter:

Quarantine: If you have houseplants, it is a good idea to quarantine your rosemary plants when you bring them indoors. Keep the plants in a separate location for a while to be sure there are no hitchhikers, pests, or disease.
Light: Locate your rosemary plants in a bright south-facing window. Alternatively, you can use grow lights and keep your plants happy during the winter months.
Water: Try to keep the potting mix evenly moist. Over watering will cause the plant to rot. If the soil is too dry, the plant will wither and die. Water when the soil dries out at the surface and let the extra moisture drain.
Temperature: Rosemary likes it a bit on the cooler side during the winter. Keep the plants away from heat sources and wood stoves. About 60 to 65 degrees is ideal.
Humidity: Winter heating keeps us warm, but it also saps moisture from the air and drops the humidity. Compensate by misting your rosemary plant frequently, running a humidifier, or placing your rosemary plant on a tray of pebbles and water to increase the humidity around your plant.
Pests and Diseases: Common pests for indoor rosemary plants are red spider mites, aphids, spittlebugs, and whiteflies. These pests suck on the plants and cause the foliage to wilt and dry up. Inspect your rosemary plants frequently for pests and control with organic insecticidal soap. Diseases such as root rot, powdery mildew, and mold are all signs of too much moisture and poor air circulation. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between watering, and then water thoroughly allowing extra water to drain out of the bottom of the pot. Run a fan to improve air circulation around your plants.

Seeds germination guide

Name Month Requirements Days for Germination Special Instruction
Antirrhinum Winter Cover the planting tray or pot with plastic (or a dome) to preserve moisture and then place it in a location with temperatures between 16 to 22 degrees celsius and bright, avoid overhead watering 10-20 days For best results, sow in compost and water from below. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Bitter Gourd Winter Sow seeds 2 cm deep. Seeds can be sown directly into the ground or in the containers, Seeds require the temperature above 70 F (20 C) for germination. 21-28 days Soaking seeds for 24 hours in water before sowing. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Brinjal (Long) F-1 Winter Eggplant seeds germinate at temps between 60-95 degrees F. (15-35 C.), eggplant seeds are tiny, sow the seeds about ¼-inch deep with good quality potting soil in flats or cell containers. Use a dome or cloche to retain heat as well as humidity to encourage germination  7 to 14 days Area to germinate them that is quite warm, 80-90 F. (26-32 C). Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Broccoli F-1 Winter Temperature required for germination is 7 C – 29.5 C. The general rule of thumb for planting seeds is to plant them twice as deep as the seed is wide. Broccoli seeds are pretty tiny, so plant them only about 1/8″ – 1/4″ deep. 7 to 14 days Water your seedling trays from the bottom so you won’t disturb the soil. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Bunching Onions Oct-Nov Sow thinly and cover with ¼ inch of seed starting formula. Keep moist and maintain a temperature of about 60-65 degrees F or 15.5 – 18.5 C 7 to 14 days Soil temperature affects the rate of germination. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Cabbage   Cabbage seed germinates best when exposed to a constant temperature of 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (18.33-21C) 7 to 14 days Cooler temperatures slow the germination process, while warmer temperatures speed it up. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Calendula Winter Maintain darkness and a soil temperature of 21°C (70°F), Calendula grows easily in any regular garden soil, and thrives in a pH range of 5.5-7.0. avoid overhead watering 7 to 14 days Plant seeds about 1/4 to 1/2 inch (.64 to 1.27 cm) deep and 4 to 6 (10.16 to 15.24 cm) apart. Cover them lightly with about 1/4 inch (.64 cm) of garden soil. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Callistephus chinensis Winter Germination temperature required 68-70 °F (20-21 °C), cover seed lightly with vermiculite after sowing. To prevent premature flowering, keep plants vegetative with a four hour night interruption 10 to 12 days Grow at 12-15 °C. Callistephus do not grow temperatures below 8 °C and do not tolerate frost. The lower the temperature, the better the plant habit but onset of flowering will be a little delayed. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Candytuft Umbellata Winter Requires a warm area to germinate — a temperature range of 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenhe (18 – 21 C) it is ideal. 16 to 20 days Cover the seed-raising container with a piece of plastic wrap to maintain a steady humidity level. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Capsicum Winter Pepper seeds require a temperature range between 65 (18C) and 95 (35 C)degrees Fahrenheit. The optimum temperature for germination is 85 (29 C) degrees Fahrenheit. 8 to 16 days They prefer a temperature of around 20 to 25°C before they will break dormancy of the seeds and maximum seeds will germinate. Cover the planting tray or pot with plastic  to preserve moisture
Carnation Chabaud Winter Seeds can be sowed, 1/8 inch deep in a well-drained mix.Space seeds 12″ apart. Make sure the compost is moist but not wet. Firm soil over seed and mist spray occasionally and keep it moist. 7 to 14 days Water until the soil is most and then wrap the container in a clear plastic bag to create a greenhouse effect. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Carrot Winter Optimal soil temperature: 7-30°C (45-85°F). Carrot seeds are tiny, they need to be sown shallowly. The trick is to keep the top-most layer of soil damp during the long germination period. Water deeply prior to planting. Direct sow the tiny seeds 5mm (¼”) deep, 4 seeds per 2cm (1″), and firm soil lightly after seeding. 14 to 21 days Make sure the seeds are only just buried. Water the area with the gentlest stream you can provide, and keep it constantly moist until the seeds sprout. Ideal pH: 6.0-6.8. The softer and more humus-based the soil, the better. When soil is dry enough in spring, work it to a fine texture. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Cauliflower Winter Cauliflower grows best at around 60 F. (15 C.) 8 to 10 days remove the plastic after germination and keep the soil evenly moist. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Celery Winter Celery seeds germinate best at 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 – 24 C during the day and 60 F or 15.5 Cdegrees at night. 14 to 21 days Celery seeds need consistent light waterings during germination and early emergence to keep the growing environment consistently moist. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Cherry Tomato or Tomato Winter Best to keep temperature range 70 to 80F (21 to 27C). The lower the temperature the slower the germination. 5 to 10 days After seedlings, they will need to be moved into a good light .Light is not adequate,  get long, leggy stems shooting up which is not good.Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Chillies Dec-Jan Sow Chilli pepper seeds on the surface of a moist, free-draining, seed compost and cover with a fine sprinkling of compost or vermiculite. Place seed trays in a propagator at a temperature of 18-25C (64-77F) 7 to 10 days Use polythene to cover your seed trays. Chilli seeds need 20°C to germinate, and it should be 30°C or more for the fruit to ripen. Night temperatures should not drop below 15°C. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Cockscomb Celosia Winter Soil temperature of at least 64 degrees Fahrenhe 17.7 C it is required for cockscomb seed germination. 14 to 21 days Keep germinating media moist by watering from the bottom by setting trays or pots in shallow water until moisture glistens on top. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Coreopsis grandiflora Winter Temperature required for germination is 68 to 72°F (20 to 22°C). 14 to 28 days Do not cover the seed but press into the soil, Keep seeds moist until germination. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Cornflower Winter Temperature required for germinatin is 60 to 70 F (15.5 – 21.1C) 10 to 21 days Sow seeds about 1/2 inch deep in any good garden soil. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Cosmos bipinnatus Winter Maintaining a soil temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.33C) encourages quick and even germination 14 to 21 days Cosmos require moisture and warmth to sprout. keeping the pots covered with a plastic bag conserves the soil moisture. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Cucumber Winter Germination temperature: 60 F to 90 F – Do not plant until soil reaches 65 F. May germinate in 3 days at 80 F to 90 F. 3 to 10 days Cucumbers are very sensitive to cold. They need warm soil and air, whether direct-seeded or transplanted.
Dahlia Hybrid Tall Mix Winter Moisten the medium and keep moderately damp, moving the flats to a warm location of at least 70 degrees F. (21 C.). 7 to 14 days Water until the soil is most and then wrap the container in a clear plastic bag to create a greenhouse effect. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Dianthus barbatus Winter Temperature required for germination is 68F or 20 C 7 to 14 days Seeds must be covered thinly, Keep seeds moist until germination. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Dianthus Chinensis Winter Temperature required for germination is 68F or 20 C 7 to 14 days Seeds must be covered thinly, Keep seeds moist until germination. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Dill May-Aug  Optimal soil temperature for germination: 15-21°C (60-70°F). 10 to 21 days Dill seeds need some light to germinate. Sow seeds no more than 5mm (¼”) deep in rows 45cm (18″) apart. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Egg Plant (Round) F-1 Winter Eggplant seeds germinate at temps between 60-95 degrees F. (15-35 C.), eggplant seeds are tiny, sow the seeds about ¼-inch deep with good quality potting soil in flats or cell containers. Use a dome or cloche to retain heat as well as humidity to encourage germination  7 to 14 days Area to germinate them that is quite warm, 80-90 F. (26-32 C). Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Fenugreek Summer It’s grows well in warm and hot climate,  from 50 to 90 F (10 C to 32 C). 5 to 8 days Sow seeds ¼ inches deep in a good potting mix or soil. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
French Marigold Nov-Dec Marigold seeds can germinate in light and darkness as long as they’re exposed to a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 Celsius. 7 to 12 days Sprinkle the seeds on top of the medium and sow them at a depth that equals two to four times the diameter of the seeds. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Gerbera Winter Keep the seeds moist, but not waterlogged, and above 70° F, with eight hours or more of bright light per day. 14 to 21 days to cover the trays with a clear plastic tent and place them indoors in a bright window or under grow lights. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Guwar Bean   25°C  is optimal temperature for seed germination 7 to 12 days to cover the trays with a clear plastic to maintain moisture. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Lavender Winter The optimum temperature for lavender seed germination is 80 degrees Fahrenheit/ 26.66 °C, and the minimum temperature is 40 degrees Fahrenheit or 5°C. 14 to 28 days Spring time sowing, the practical soil temperature for lavender seed germination is 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit 10 °C -15.55 °C. and light required for seeds germination. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Lemon Balm Winter Temperature required for germination is 65–70°F (18–21°C). 7 to 14 days Seeds require light to germinate, and mist lightly.  Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Lettuce Green Winter The soil temperature is 35 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal soil temperature for germination though, is 70 to 75 °F or 21 to 24 °C. 7 to 14 days to cover the trays with a clear plastic to maintain moisture and maintain temperature between 21 to 24 °C. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Lettuce Ice Berg Winter The soil temperature is 35 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal soil temperature for germination though, is 70 to 75 °F or 21 to 24 °C. 7 to 14 days to cover the trays with a clear plastic to maintain moisture and maintain temperature between 21 to 24 °C. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Long Cucumber (Kakri) Winter Germination temperature: 60 F to 90 F – Do not plant until soil reaches 65 F. May germinate in 3 days at 80 F to 90 F. 3 to 10 days Cucumbers are very sensitive to cold. They need warm soil and air, whether direct-seeded or transplanted. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Lupinus Winter Cover the seeds with 1/8 inch of soil and sprinkle water over the planting area. Keep the soil moist throughout the germination process. It takes 15 to 75 days for lupine sprouts to appear when the soil is 55 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 12.77 °C to 21.8 °C. 15 to 70 days Germination is greatly increased by a 7-day cold treatment or soak them in warm water for a 24-hour period. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Mellon Winter Sow 2–3 seeds, ¼-inch deep, the optimum temperature for seeds germination is 80–90°F/27–32°C 7 to 14 days It’s very sensitive to cold. They need warm soil and air, whether direct-seeded or transplanted.Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Okra (Lady Finger) Winter You can plant okra in the garden when the soil has warmed to 65° to 70°F or 18.33 °C to 22°C. Plant okra in fertile, well-drained soil in full light about ½ to 1 inch deep and 12 to 18 inches apart. 7 to 14 days Water with a sprayer and keep the seeds in a bright, warm place, the substrate should remain moist until seeds germinate. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Onion Seeds Winter Sow thinly and cover with ¼ inch of seed starting formula. Keep moist and maintain a temperature of about 60-65 degrees F or 15.5 – 18.5 C 7 to 14 days Soil temperature affects the rate of germination. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Oregano Winter Plant the oregano seeds at depth of about 1/4 inch, in moist, sterile potting soil. Optimum tempertaure for seed germination is 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit or 18.5°C to 24 °C. 7 to 14 days Cover the seed-raising container with a piece of plastic wrap to maintain a steady humidity level and dark for seedlings. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Orychophragmus violaca Winter Optimum temperature required for germination is 70 F 21 °C (Seeds having low germination rate 45% Germination, 3-15d) 7 to 14 days Scarification: Soak in water, let stand in water for 24 hours. sow seed 1/16″ deep, tamp the soil, keep moist. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Pansy Swiss Giants Winter Temperature required for seeds germination is 65 F (18.3 °C) to 70 F (21.1°C). Cover seed lightly with peat moss or organic compost 14 to 21 days Keep seeds moist until germination. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Parsley Winter Germination temperature range from 50 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (10 °C to 29.5°C) . Parsley seeds germinate poorly, if at all, below 40 degrees or above 90 degrees. The optimum temperature for germination is 40 degrees. 10 to 25 days Soak them in water for 12-24 hours. Parsley seeds should be in a bright, sunny room so they get plenty of light. Keep seeds moist until germination. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Phlox Paniculata Winter The best temperature for germination is 65 degrees F/ 18.3 °C. Moisten the top layer of soil with warm water. Use a spray bottle to moisten the soil — this will keep the seeds intact and won’t rinse them away. 7 to 14 days Cover the container with a clear plastic bag to help the soil retain moisture. Seal the bag with an elastic band and Place the container in a dark. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Portulaca grandiflora Winter Set pots or pellets in a sunny window where the temperature is consistently between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 °C-29.5°C) or use a heating mat set between 70 and 85 F (21°C – 29.5 °C). 10 to 14 days Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Rosemary Winter To germinate, the seeds must be kept moist and the temperature must be kept constant at 27-32°C (80-90°F).Once germinated, rosemary is highly prone to damping off, so keep watering to a minimum, provide bright light, and ventilation 15 to 25 days Covering the seed tray with plastic wrap can help keep the seed moist. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you. If growing rosemary in containers, provide monthly feedings of liquid fertilizer.
Salvia Farinacea Winter The best temperature required for germination is 68 F (20°C) to 75 F (24°C). Light required during germination so only lightly cover seeds after placing on growing media 10 to 30 days Do not cover the seed but press into the soil. Keep seeds moist until germination. If growing rosemary in containers, provide monthly feedings of liquid fertilizer.
Spearmint Winter The best optimum tempertaure for seeds germination is 60 F (15.55°C) to 70 F (21°C) and light required for germination. 14 to 21 days Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you. Keep moist until germination plese note only moist not wet.
Squash Winter The best optimum tempertaure for seeds germination is 70 F (21°C) to 75 F (24°C) and no light required for germination. 10 to 15 days Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you. Keep moist until germination plese note only moist not wet.
Statice Winter The best optimum tempertaure for seeds germination is 68 F (20°C) to 75 F (24°C) and  light required for germination. 10 to 21 days Cover seed lightly with peat moss or organic compost. Keep slightly moist but not wet until germination
Stock Winter The best optimum tempertaure for seeds germination is 70 F (21°C) and Lightly cover seed 1/8 inch 14 to 28 days Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you. Keep moist until germination plese note only moist not wet.
Sweet Sultan Jolly Joker Winter Seeds placed at a depth of 1/4” under topsoil. The best in temperatures of at least 70 °F or 21 °C.  7 to 14 days Sweet Sultan seeds should be stratified prior to sowing. This can be achieved by placing the packet of seeds in the fridge for about 1 week. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you.
Tagetes erecta Winter The optimum temperature for seeds germination is 70 – 75F (21°C – 24 °C). Press seed into soil and lightly cover 5 to 20 says Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you. Keep moist until germination plese note only moist not wet.
Thai Basil Winter The optimum temperature for seeds germination is 60F (15.5 °C). Press seed into soil and lightly cover. Ligh required suring germination. 7 to 14 days Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you. Keep moist until germination plese note only moist not wet.
Thyme Winter The optimum temperature for seeds germination is 70 – 75F (21°C – 24 °C). Press seed onto surface of soil, do not cover seed. Ligh required during seed germination. 21 to 28 days Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you. Keep moist until germination plese note only moist not wet.
Verbena Winter Well-draining soil, moisture and total darkness. The optimum temperature for seeds germination is 70 F (21 °C ).  Dark environment required for germination. 20 to 28 days dust some soil over the seeds or cover the flat with black plastic. Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you. Keep moist until germination plese note only moist not wet.
Water Melon Winter Warm ground for seeds to germinate and grow. Soil should be 70 degrees F (21°C) or warmer at planting time. 7 to 14 days Avoid seeds from sokaing before germination.  Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you. Keep moist until germination plese note only moist not wet.
Wild Rocket Salad Winter Optimum temperature required for germination is 45 F or 8 °C  to 70 F or 21  °C .  Press seed into soil and lightly cover. Ligh required suring germination. 5 to 15 days Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you. Keep moist until germination plese note only moist not wet.
Zinnia Winter Well-draining soil, moisture and total darkness. The optimum temperature for seeds germination is 75 F (23.8 °C ). Cover seed lightly with peat moss or compost no need of light during germination 7 to 14 days Do not allow the seeds to dry out or they will not germinate for you. Keep soil slightly moist but not wet until germination

Seed Germination in Stevia rebaudiana

Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni, Asteraceae) is a non-caloric natural-source alternative to artificially produced sugar substitutes. The sweet compounds pass through the digestive process without chemically break- ing down, making stevia safe for those who need to control their blood sugar level (Strauss 1995). There have been no reports to date of adverse effects from the use of stevia products by humans (Brandle and Rosa 1992). Shock (1982) reported that stevia contains eight glucoside compounds, each featuring a three-carbon-ring central structure. Stevioside is the most abundant glucoside produced. An extract of one or more of these com- pounds may be up to 300 times sweeter than sugar (Duke 1993). Preliminary trials at Davis, California indi- cate that stevia could produce a sweetener equivalent to 10 t/ha of sucrose (Shock 1982).
The Guarani Indians of Paraguay, where stevia originates, have used it for centuries as a sweetener for maté tea (Brandle and Rosa 1992). Since the 1970s, stevia extracts have been widely used in many countries as a sugar substitute. In Japan, for instance, stevia extracts account for about 5.6% of the sweetener market (Strauss 1995). Stevia usage in the United States is limited at this time because the Food and Drug Adminis- tration does not allow its use as a sweetener in manufactured and processed food products. In 1991, the FDA banned stevia, claiming it was an “unsafe food additive.” The FDA now allows the sale of stevia, but only as a nutritional supplement (Whitaker 1995).
HORTICULTURE
Stevia is a perennial herb with an extensive root system and brittle stems producing small, elliptic leaves. Stevia will grow well on a wide range of soils given a consistent supply of moisture and adequate drainage; plants under cultivation can reach up to 1 m or more in height (Shock 1982). Stevia is grown as a perennial in subtropical regions including parts of the United States, but must be grown as an annual in mid to high lati- tude regions, where longer days favor leaf yield and stevioside contents.
The tiny white florets are perfect, borne in small corymbs of 2–6 florets. Corymbs are arranged in loose panicles. Oddone (1997) considers stevia to be self-incompatible and insect pollinated. Additionally, he con- siders “clear” seeds to be infertile. Seeds are contained in slender achenes, about 3 mm in length. Each achene has about 20 persistent pappus bristles.
Propagation of stevia is usually by stem cuttings which root easily, but require high labor inputs. Poor seed germination is one of the factors limiting large-scale cultivation. Shock (1982), Duke (1993), and Carneiro (1997), all mention poor production of viable seeds. Propagation is a special concern for northern growers who must grow stevia as an annual.
GERMINATION STUDY
A study was undertaken to investigate the low seed germination of stevia seeds. The influence of polli- nation treatments as well as the effect of light and darkness during germination were evaluated. Rooted stem cuttings of a Chinese clone of stevia obtained from Dr. Ken Rohrback, University of Hawaii were transplanted into 24 cm diameter plastic pots containing silty clay as a soil medium. On Oct. 12, 1997, the plants were placed in two separate greenhouses where temperature, wind, and pollen access could be controlled. At this time, the plants were at the first stage of floral bud development. The plants were subjected to five pollination treatments: (1) cross-pollination by bumblebees in a cage; (2) cross-pollination by hand; (3) cross-pollination by wind from a fan; (4) self-pollination by hand; (5) a control group isolated from other genotypes.
Ten plants of the Chinese clone were utilized (two in each treatment group). Clone SR8 provided cross- pollination in all but the selfing by hand and control treatments (one plant in each treatment group). Pollina- tion treatments were initiated on Oct. 30, 1997 when blossoms were beginning to open and treatments continued for the duration of anthesis (30–40 days). For the bumble bee treatment, a cage (122 cm × 91.5 cm × 183 cm) covered with wire screen was placed over a greenhouse bench. Plants were placed in the cage along with a small hive of bumble bees (Bombus impatiens) obtained from Koppert Biological Systems of Ann Arbor, Michigan. A large circulation fan was used for wind pollination. Plants were placed 0.9–1.7 m from the intake side of the fan, providing enough breeze for gentle movement of the blossom 10–15 times daily, for 2–5 min periods.  Self polination by hand was accomplished by transferring pollen between blossoms every other day with a bumble bee thorax on the end of a toothpick. Seeds ripened during the period between Nov. 30, 1997 and Jan. 21, 1998. Seeds were judged to be ripe when
Each germination test utilized 100 seeds placed between paper towels in a nursery flat, covered by a
plastic dome. The temperature for all tests was 24°C. Fluorescent lights were placed above the domes for light treatment, 15 cm above the seeds. After 7 and 12 days, the number of seeds exhibiting normal germina- tion were counted. For viability tests, 20 seeds were submerged in a 10% tetrazolium chloride solution at
24°C for 1 h and the stained seed counted. Each germination experiment was carried out with three replica- tions.
There were two types of seed: black and tan. Black seed weighed more than tan seed, 0.300 vs. 0.178 mg, and viability of black seed based on tetrazolium chloride was much higher than tan seed, 76.7 vs. 8.3% (Table 1). Germination in the dark was higher for black as compared to tan seed (83.7% vs. 16.0%) while light increases the germination of black seed but not tan seed (Fig. 1). This suggests that tan seeds represent inviable seed that are produced without fertilization. There was no significant difference in black seed germi- nation among the four pollination treatments suggesting that incompatibility is not a factor in these clones (Table 2). However, all pollination treatments increase seed germination of black seed over the control sug- gesting that some active manipulation of the blossoms is necessary to achieve pollination. It would appear that many of the black seeds in the control were misclassified tan seed.
REFERENCES
Brandle, J.E. and N. Rosa. 1992. Heritability for yield, leaf-stem ratio and stevioside content estimated from a landrace cultivar of Stevia rebaudiana. Can. J. Plant Sci. 72:1263–1266.
Carneiro, J.W.P., A.S. Muniz, and T.A. Guedes. 1997. Greenhouse bedding plant production of Stevia
rebaudiana (Bert) bertoni. Can. J. Plant Sci. 77:473–474.
Duke, J. 1993. Stevia rebaudiana. p. 422–424. In: J. Duke, CRC handbook of alternative cash crops. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.
Oddone, B. 1997. How to grow stevia. Technical manual. Guarani Botanicals, Pawtucket, CT
Shock, C.C. 1982. Experimental cultivation of Rebaudi’s stevia in California. Univ. California, Davis Agron.
Progr. Rep. 122.
Strauss, S. 1995. The perfect sweetener? Technol. Rev. 98:18–20.
Whitaker, J. 1995. Sweet justice: FDA relents on stevia. Human Events 51:11.

Pesticides and Vegetable Disease Control

Fungicides can be a great help in preventing diseases when properly applied to the plant foliage. Since fungicides are preventive, they should be applied before the disease occurs, or as soon as the first symptoms of disease appear. Some vegetable diseases require specific fungi- cides for their control. An outline of diseases of specific vegetables, disease description, suggested cultural and chemical control and comments follows this section.
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Fungicides are available primarily as wet- table powders, dry flowables and dusts, but a few are sold as emulsifiable concentrates, flowables and liquids. Wettable powders (WP) and dry flowable (DF) are formulated in such a manner as to be readily suspendable in water. Dusts (D) should not be mixed in water, but applied directly to the plant. Emulsifiable con- centrate (EC) fungicides contain an emulsifying agent that makes them readily suspendable in
water. Flowable (F) fungicides are finely ground wettable powders that are suspended in a liquid.
Some soil fungicides are available as gran- ules and are applied in the furrow at planting. Dust and spray fungicides may also be used as in-furrow treatments for seedling disease control.
Table II gives trade names and rates of broad spectrum fungicides for controlling foliar dis- eases of vegetables. Applying foliar fungicides to vegetables is best done by spraying, because it provides coverage of all plant surfaces. Foliar fungicides are available in dust formulations, but dusts are usually not as effective as sprays.

Outline for Control of  Vegetable Diseases

 
Disease
 
Symptoms
Chemical & Formulation1 Approximate
Rate/Gallon2
 
PHI3
 
Limitations
 
ASPARAGUS
Root Rot
(Fusarium)
Deterioration of root system and poor growth of plants. Mancozeb 75 DF 1 TBSP   Pre-plant root dip.
Rust Numerous small, reddish- yellow spots on spears and ferns. Mancozeb 75 DF 2 TBSP 180 Apply to ferns after harvest of spears. Make applications at 7-10 day intervals, beginning at first appearance of disease.
 
BEAN (SNAP)
Anthracnose Brown spots on leaves, sunken with pinkish ooze. Basic copper sulfate 53WP
 
Chlorothalonil 54 F
mfg directions
 
 
3 tsp
0
 
 
7
Use western-grown seed. If plants become infected, do not work while plants are wet. Spray at weekly intervals. Do not plant beans in
field for at least two years following occurrence of disease. Plow infested bean trash deeply
into soil. Do not graze treated areas or feed treated plants to livestock.
Bacterial Blights Water-soaked spots on leaves and pods. Red margin and sometimes a yellow halo around spot. Fixed Copper mfg directions 0 Same applies as for anthracnose.
Gray Mold (Botrytis) Gray moldy growth on pods and stems. Chlorothalonil 54 F 3 tsp 7 Begin at 25 to 50% bloom. Repeat at peak bloom. Do not graze treated areas or feed treated plants to livestock.
Mosaic Virus (bean yellow mosaic, bean common mosaic, and peanut stunt viruses) Yellowed leaves, with or without crinkling or speckling. Leaves cupped, runners killed.       Use resistant varieties. Half runners are most susceptible, particularly
“  Pink.’   Make successive plantings, as mosaic is more severe at certain times of the year.
Powdery Mildew White, powdery mold on surface of leaves. Sulfur Dust
 
Wettable Sulfur
mfg directions mfg directions 0
 
0
Use resistant varieties. Spray or dust with sulfur when disease first appears and repeat treatment 10 days later.
Root Rot & Seedling
Disease (Rhizoctonia)
Rots of seeds death of seedlings (damping off), and root rots. Terraclor 75 WP mfg directions   Apply Terraclor in-furrow at planting. Rotate crops, avoid double cropping beans and turn under plant debris well in advance of planting. (See Extension factsheet SP277-O)
Rust Reddish brown pustules develop on leaves. Chlorothalonil 54 F 3 tsp 7 Spray plants when rust appears and repeat at 7-10 day intervals. Do not graze treated areas or feed treated plant parts to livestock.
White Mold
(Sclerotinia)
White moldy growth on pods and stems. Terraclor 75 WP mfg directions   Spray at first appearance of disease.
 
Disease
 
Symptoms
Chemical & Formulation1 Approximate
Rate/Gallon2
 
PHI3
 
Limitations
 
BEAN (lima) AND BUTTER PEA
Stem Anthracnose Reddish brown spots on leaves and pods. Small black specks sometimes can be seen. Basic copper sulfate 53 W mfg directions 0 Plant disease-free seed and rotate lima beans with other crops. Start applications of fungicide at first bloom and continue at 7-day intervals.
Root-knot Swollen, galled root system.       See section above on nematode control.
Root Rot         See Bean, Snap.
 
BEET
Downy Mildew Leaf
Spots
Various leaf spots. Fixed Copper mfg directions 0 Spray at first appearance and repeat at 7-10 day intervals.
Rust Orange to rust colored spots that will rub off on hands. Sulfur mfg directions 0  
BROCCOLI (SEE CABBAGE)
BRUSSELS SPROUTS (SEE CABBAGE)
CABBAGE
Alternaria Leaf Spot Target spots on older leaves. Small, black spots may also occur. Chlorothalonil 54 F Maneb 80 WP 1.5 tsp
 
3-4 tsp
0
 
7
Start spraying when this disease first appears. Continue spray at 7-
10 day intervals until disease is under control. Remove excess residues by washing.
Downy Mildew Yellow areas on upper side of leaves; downy growth on lower surface.
Bacterial Soft Rot Soft, watery rot occurs, favored by hot, wet conditions. Begin in center of broccoli head.       Control of black rot will also help control bacterial soft rot. Avoid damage to the crop which will provide infection sites for soft rot bacteria.
Black Leg Lower stem turns brown and rots causing a canker.       Use certified disease-free seeds or transplants.
Black Rot Yellow V-shaped spots on edge of leaves. Veins near spots turn black.       Use certified disease-free seeds or transplants. Follow good sanitation practices. Don’t grow cabbage in locations where black rot occurred the previous year. See Extension factsheet SP277-P.
Club Root Galls or clubs on roots. Plants have light green color and are stunted. Hydrated lime
 
Terraclor 75 WP (transplant solution)
mfg directions
 
6 TBSP/gal. water
  Broadcast and work lime into soil by tilling within 3 days before planting. Apply 3/4 pint of Terraclor solution per plant as a transplant solution.
 
Disease
 
Symptoms
Chemical & Formulation1 Approximate
Rate/Gallon2
 
PHI3
 
Limitations
CABBAGE CONT’D
Damping-Off Young plants are rotted off at soil line. Terraclor 75 WP (seedbed drench) 1 TBSP/gal. water/50 sq. ft. seedbed   Sterilize seedbed soil. Apply
Terraclor drench after seeding.
Wire Stem Brown discoloration of stem. Entire stem becomes hard and constricted. Terraclor 75 WP 10-15 lbs./10,900 ft. of row   Sprayed as 8-inch band centered on row.
Yellows (Fusarium) Leaves turn yellow. Cross section of stem shows brown discoloration in veins.       Grow resistant varieties in areas where soil is infested. Secure disease-free transplants.
CANTALOUPE
Alternaria Leaf Spot Tan target spots on leaves, followed by blighting. Chlorothalonil 54 F Mancozeb 75 DF Maneb 80 WP 1.5-3 tsp
 
2-3 TBSP
 
4-6 tsp
0
 
5
 
5
Use disease-free seed. Fungicide applications can be delayed until first sign of disease if adequate survey of garden is maintained.
Anthracnose Sunken spots on fruit and tan leaf spots.
Downy Mildew Yellow, irregular spots on leaves.
Gummy Stem Blight Brown, round leaf spots. Cracks on stems with gummy ooze.
Bacterial Wilt Individual runners suddenly wilt and die.       Apply insecticide to control cucumber beetles, which spread the bacterium. See Extension factsheet SP277-C.
Powdery Mildew White, powdery mold on surface of leaves. Sulfur mfg directions 0 Apply at first sign of disease and repeat at 7-14 day intervals. Do not apply sulfur if temperatures exceed
90 degrees F.
CAULIFLOWER (SEE CABBAGE)
CARROT
Alternaria Blight Numerous dark brown spots which may coalesce. Chlorothalonil 54 F 1.5-2 tsp 0 Spray at first appearance and repeat at 7-10 day intervals. Alternaria blight can spread rapidly.
Cercospora Leaf Spot Small, dark brown to black spots on leaves.
Southern Blight White mycelial growth on lower stem; death of plant.       Use crop rotation.
 
Disease
 
Symptoms
Chemical & Formulation1 Approximate
Rate/Gallon2
 
PHI3
 
Limitations
COLLARD, KALE, MUSTARD & TURNIPS
Alternaria Leaf Spot Brown target spots on leaves. Fixed Copper
 
Maneb 80 WP
mfg directions
 
3-4 tsp
0
 
10
Maintain thin plant stand. Avoid low-lying or poorly-drained soils. Avoid hot part of growing season. Maneb for kale only. Begin sprays when disease is first noticed and repeat at 7-10 day intervals. Use a spreader-sticker for better fungicide coverage.
Anthracnose Small, tan spots with dark brown margins on leaves.
Cercospora Leaf Spot Tan leafspots with yellow haloes.
Downy Mildew Yellow spots on upper surface of leaf with white, downy growth on underside.
CORN (SWEET)
Blights (Helmintho- sporium) Spots on leaves and drying or blighting of leaves. Chlorothalonil 54 F Mancozeb 75 DF Maneb 80 WP 0.75-2 tsp
 
1.5 TBSP
 
3 tsp
14
 
7
 
7
Begin applications when conditions favor disease development and repeat at 4-7 day intervals. Do not apply chlorothalonil to sweet corn to be processed. Do not graze treated areas or feed treated plants to livestock. Use Maneb on crop
for seed production only.
Maize Dwarf Mosaic Alternating light and dark green streaks in leaves. Plants are stunted.       Plant early and preferably in fields not heavily infested with Johnsongrass. Silver Queen, a white variety, has fair tolerance to this disease.
Rust Bronze, elongate spots. Chlorothalonil 54 F Mancozeb 75 DF
Maneb 80 WP
0.75-2 tsp
 
1.5 TBSP
 
3 tsp
14
 
7
 
7
See “Blights.”
Stewart’s Wilt Brown streaks in leaves parallel to veins.       Control corn flea beetle. See insect section of this publication. Also called bacterial blight.
CUCUMBER
Alternaria Leaf Spot Brown, target spots on leaves. Chlorothalonil 54 F Mancozeb 75 DF Maneb 80 WP 1.5-3 tsp
 
2-3 TBSP
 
2-4 tsp
0
 
5
 
5
Use disease-free seed. Fungicide applications can be delayed until first sign of disease if an adequate survey of garden is maintained.
Anthracnose Brown, irregular spots on leaves, sunken spots on fruit.
Angular Leaf Spot Brown, angular spots on leaves. Fixed Copper mfg directions 0 Spray at first appearance and repeat at 7-14 day intervals. Use disease- free seed. (Copper can injure young plants).
 
Disease
 
Symptoms
Chemical & Formulation1 Approximate
Rate/Gallon2
 
PHI3
 
Limitations
CUCUMBER  CONT’D
Downy Mildew Yellow, irregular spots on leaves. Chlorothalonil 54 F Mancozeb 75 DF Maneb 80 WP 1.5-3 tsp
 
2-3 TBSP
 
2-4 tsp
0
 
5
 
5
Use disease-free seed. Fungicide applications can be delayed until first sign of disease if an adequate survey of garden is maintained.
Gummy Stem Blight Brown, circular leaf spots. Cracks on stems with gummy ooze.
Bacterial Wilt Starts on individual
runners and eventually the entire plant wilts and dies.
      Apply insecticide to control cucumber beetles, which spread the disease. See Extension factsheet SP277-C and the insect control section of this publication.
Powdery Mildew White, powdery mold on surface of leaves. Sulfur mfg directions 0 Apply at first sign of disease and repeat at 7-14 day intervals. Do not apply sulfur if temperatures exceed
90 F.
Scab Sunken spots on fruit. Chlorothalonil 54 F 2-3 tsp 0 Resistant varieties widely available. Apply at first sign of disease and repeat at 7-10 day intervals.
EGGPLANT
Leaf Blights, Fruit Rots Spots develop on leaves and fruits. Fixed copper
 
Maneb 80 WP
mfg directions
 
3-4 tsp
0
 
0
Begin spraying before disease appears.
KALE (SEE COLLARD)
MUSTARD (SEE COLLARD)
OKRA
Pod Blight Young pods fail to develop and deteriorate.       Many times this blight is associated with poor pollination. The fungus Choanephora attacks the flowers
and young pods. Providing good air drainage will help prevent infection by Choanephora.
Root-knot Nematode Swollen, galled root system.       See section above on nematode control.
Verticillium Wilt Yellowing of leaves. Inside of stem will have brown discoloration.       Rotate okra with crops which are not susceptible to Verticillium wilt.
 
Disease
 
Symptoms
Chemical & Formulation1 Approximate
Rate/Gallon2
 
PHI3
 
Limitations
ONION
Downy Mildew Pale green, oval, sunken spots on leaves. Purplish mold may be in spots. Chlorothalonil 54 F Mancozeb 75 DF Maneb 80 WP 1.5-3 tsp
 
3 TBSP
 
2-6 tsp
14
 
7
 
7
Apply when disease first appears and repeat at 7-10 day intervals. Do not apply Mancozeb or Maneb on exposed bulbs. Do not apply Chlorothalonil within seven days of harvest on dry-bulb onions or
within 14 days on green onions, leeks or shallots. Do not apply Chlorothalonil to sweet Spanish onions.
Leaf Blast (Botrytis) White to tan streaks on leaves. Leaves eventually die.
Purple Blotch
(Alternaria)
Purple target spots on leaves.
PEA (SOUTHERN)
Cercospora
Leaf Spot
Light to dark brown spots on leaves. Chlorothalonil 54 F 1.5-2 tsp 42 Spray at early bloom and repeat at
7-10 day intervals. For use on beans harvested dry with pods removed (blackeye pea only). Only Bravo 720 or Bravo DG is labeled. Do not graze treated areas or feed treated plants to livestock.
Rust Bronze to rust-colored spots that will rub off on hand.
Mosaic Virus Mosaic of leaves (alternate light and dark green
areas). Distortion of leaves and pods.
      Use virus-free seed. Plant resistant varieties.
Powdery Mildew Dull white, felt-like growth on leaves. Sulfur mfg directions 0 Spray at first appearance at 7-10 day intervals.
Root Rot Brick-red lesions on lower stem and roots. Roots later die.       See Bean, Snap.
PEPPER
Bacterial Spot Black, angular spots appear on leaves. Dark raised spots also occur on fruits. Plants shed infected leaves. Fixed Copper
Plus
Maneb 80 WP
mfg directions mfg directions 0 Use disease-free seed or buy disease-free transplants. Spraying with fixed copper will help prevent spread.
Blossom-end Rot Tan sunken areas on blossom end and side of fruit.       Lime soil to provide adequate calcium. Avoid planting on droughty soils. Do not use excessive nitrate fertilizer. Irrigate and follow culture practices that tend to provide the most uniform soil moisture.
Cercospora
Leaf Spot
Circular spots with gray centers develop on leaves. Fixed copper
 
Maneb 80 WP
mfg directions
 
3-6 tsp
0
 
7
Apply fungicide when disease appears and continue as needed on a 7-10 day schedule.
Anthracnose Sunken spots on ripening fruit.
 
Disease
 
Symptoms
Chemical & Formulation1 Approximate
Rate/Gallon2
 
PHI3
 
Limitations
PEPPER CONT’D
Phytophthora Blight Rapid wilt and death of plants in wet areas of field.       Plant on raised bed.
Root-knot Swollen, galled root system.       See previous section on nematode control.
Southern Blight Plants wilt and die. White mold can often be seen on base of stem. Terraclor 75 WP (soil treatment) mfg directions   Turn soil deep to bury plant debris that might harbor disease organism. Use Terraclor in setting water at planting. Rotate with sod crops.
Sun Scald Dry, white bleached spot on side of pod exposed to sun.       Fruits on plants kept in a healthy, vigorous condition are not likely to be injured by sun scald. Control of bacterial spot will prevent loss of leaves and keep the fruit protected from the sun.
POTATO, IRISH
Early Blight Small brown, target spots appear on leaves in hot, wet weather. Chlorothalonil 54 F Mancozeb 75 DF Maneb 80 WP 1-1.5 tsp
 
1-2 TBSP
 
3-4 tsp
0
 
14
 
14
Start applications when plants are
4-6 inches high and continue at 7-
10 day intervals.
Late Blight Water-soaked irregular spots on leaves in cool,
wet weather. Plants appear scalded.
Black Leg Stem turns black. Plant wilts and dies.       Plant certified seed.
Rhizoctonia Canker
(Black Scurf)
Black cankers girdle stem, causing poor growth. Terraclor 75 WP mfg directions    
Scab Rough, scabby spots on tubers.       Use disease-free seed. Where soil is infested with scab organism, use resistant varieties and rotate crops. See SP277-G.
Seed Piece Decay Rotting of seed piece. Mancozeb
 
Maneb
Use dust formulations according to mfg directions   Treat seed pieces with fungicide dust before planting. Plant seed pieces immediately after treating. Do not use treated seed pieces for food, feed or oil purposes.
Ring Rot Brown discoloration of vascular tissue in tuber.       Plant certified disease-free seed and practice crop rotation.
Virus Diseases Curling, streaking, or mosaic in leaves. Plants may be stunted.       Plant certified disease-free seed and practice crop rotation.
 
Disease
 
Symptoms
Chemical & Formulation1 Approximate
Rate/Gallon2
 
PHI3
 
Limitations
PUMPKIN
Downy Mildew Yellow, irregular spots on leaves. Chlorothalonil 54 F Maneb 80 WP 1.5-3 tsp
 
3-4 tsp
0
 
5
Begin spraying at first sign of disease. See label for spray intervals. Use higher rates for scab control.
Gummy Stem Blight Black, circular spots on fruit.
Microdochium Blight White dashes on stem surface.
Scab Sunken or raised spots on fruit.
Mosaic Virus Green patterns on fruit.       Reflective mulches, aphid control, and weed control may be helpful. Control is difficult.
Powdery Mildew White, powdery mold on leaf surface. Sulfur mfg directions 0 Begin spraying at first sign of disease.
SPINACH
Downy Mildew (Blue
Mold)
Yellow spots on upper leaf surface. Gray downy
fungus on underside of leaf.
Basic copper sulfate 53 WP mfg directions 0 Start fungicide applications at first sign of disease and continue at 7-10 day intervals as necessary. Where white rust has been a problem in
the past, spraying should start when the first true leaves develop. “Fall Green,” a fall variety, is moderately resistant to white rust and several races of blue mold.
White Rust Yellow spots on upper leaf surface. White powdery mass on underside of leaf.
SQUASH
Downy Mildew Yellow, irregular spots on leaves. Chlorothalonil 54 F Mancozeb 75 DF
Maneb 80 WP
1.5-3 tsp
 
2-3 TBSP
 
3-4 tsp
0
 
5
 
5
Begin spraying at first sign of disease. See label for spray intervals.
Powdery Mildew White, powdery mold on leaf surfaces. sulfur mfg directions 0 Apply at first sign of disease and repeat at 7-14 day intervals. Do not apply sulfur if temperatures exceed
90 F.
Scab Sunken or raised spots on fruit. Chlorothalonil 54 F 2-3 tsp 0 Begin spraying at first sign of disease. See label for spray intervals.
Blossom Blight Blossoms rot and stick to young fruit. The end of the fruit turns black.       Provide good air circulation for rapid drying.
Mosaic Virus Greening of fruit. Leaves mottled, veins stunted.       Reflective mulches may be of some value. The yellow-stemmed
varieties Multipik, Superpik and Supersett are tolerant of watermelon mosaic virus.
 
Disease
 
Symptoms
Chemical  & Formulation1 Approximate
Rate/Gallon2
 
PHI3
 
Limitations
SWEET  POTATO
Black Rot Black spot on roots. Dry, black decay extends in flesh of root.       Use certified  seed. Do not replant for 3 years in locations  where this disease has been present.
Scurf Brownish  black discoloration  on surface of potato.
Cork Small, black, corky spots in potatoes.  Spots do not extend to surface.       Use certified,  disease-free  seed.
Root-knot  Nematodes Longitudinal  cracking  of potato.       See previous section on nematode control.
Soil Rot (Pox) Circular  sunken areas on fleshy roots. Feeder roots are blackened.       Rotate sweet potatoes  with other crops. Maintain  pH below 5.2 in infested fields. Grow a resistant variety.
Stem Rot (Fusarium
Wilt)
Plants are yellow and stunted. The interior of the vine shows a brown discoloration.       Select disease-free  seed stock by examining  vines of each hill. If cross section of vine shows a brown discoloration,  do not use roots for seed stock.
Southern  Blight (Plant
Bed)
Plants die in spots in bed. White growth on lower stem.       Use new soil in beds each year.
TOMATO
Bacterial  Spot Small, raised spots on fruits. Water-soaked spots on foliage. Fixed Copper plus
Mancozeb  75 DF OR plus
Maneb 80 WP
mfg directions
 
1.5-2 TBSP
 
3-4 tsp
0
 
5
 
5
Use hot water seed treatment  or use disease-free  seed.
Blossom-End  Rot Black spot on blossom end of small green fruit.       Maintain  adequate  calcium  level in soil and uniform soil moisture. Plant least susceptible  varieties. Avoid droughty  soils.
Early Blight Brown target spots followed  by blighting  of foliage. Chlorothalonil 54 F Mancozeb  75 DF Maneb 80 WP 1.5-2 tsp
 
1.5-3 TBSP
 
3-6 tsp
0
 
5
 
5
Start preventative  spraying as soon as plants are established  in the garden. Spray at 7-10 day intervals. During periods favorable  for
disease development,  shorten the spray interval.  Maneb 80 WP can be used in the greenhouse  and in the garden.
Anthracnose Circular,  sunken spots on ripe fruit.
Septoria  Leaf Spot Small, gay circular leaf spots with dark borders.
Buckeye  Fruit Rot Circular,  zonate bands within large spot on fruit, worse on lower clusters.       Mulch and stake plants to keep soil off fruit clusters.
 
Disease
 
Symptoms
Chemical & Formulation1 Approximate
Rate/Gallon2
 
PHI3
 
Limitations
TOMATO CONT’D
Fusarium Wilt Yellowing and wilting of foliage. Inside of stem has brown discoloration.       Use a resistant variety and rotate tomato fields. Obtain disease-free plants and plant on disease-free soil.
Gray Mold (Botrytis) Leaves turn brown from tip back; gray mold can be
seen on foliage during humid weather.
Chlorothalonil 54 F 3 tsp 0 Begin fungicide spray applications at first sign of disease.
Late Blight Irregular, watersoaked spots on leaves. Occurs in mold, wet weather. Chlorothalonil 54 F Mancozeb 75 DF
Maneb 80 WP
1.5-3 tsp
 
1.5-3 TBSP
 
2-6 tsp
0
 
5
 
5
Follow spray schedule for early blight. If weather conditions are favorable for late blight, shorten spray interval. Obtain disease-free plants and plant in non-infested soil.
Leaf Mold Yellow spots on upper surface of leaves. Olive to gray mold on underside of leaves. Primarily in greenhouses. Chlorothalonil 54 F 1.5-2 tsp 0 Fungicides will control leaf mold in the garden, but are not adequate in greenhouse production. The best control in greenhouse tomatoes is the
use of resistant varieties and regulation of humidity.
Pythium Stem Rot Dark, water rot of lower stem of young plants.        
Southern Blight Plants wilt and die. White mold can often be seen on base of stem. Terraclor 75 WP (soil treatment) mfg directions   Turn soil deep to bury plant debris which might harbor disease organisms. Use Terraclor in setting water. Rotate with turf.
Verticillium Wilt Yellowing of leaves; inside of stems will have brown discoloration.       Use resistant varieties. Practice long rotations of tomatoes with other crops.
TURNIP (SEE COLLARDS)
WATERMELON
Alternaria Leaf Spot Brown, target spots on leaves. Chlorothalonil 54 F Mancozeb 75 DF Maneb 80 WP 1.5-3 tsp
 
2-3 TBSP
 
2-4 tsp
0
 
5
 
5
Begin at first sign of disease. See label for spray intervals. Plant anthracnose- resistant varieties. Mancozeb and Maneb are not labeled for scab control.
Anthracnose Brown irregular spots on leaves and sunken spots on fruit.
Cercospora Leaf Spot Tiny, dark brown spots.
Downy Mildew Yellow, irregular spots on leaves.
Gummy Stem Blight Irregularly circular leaf spots. Cracks on stems with gummy ooze.
Scab Small, raised warts on fruit.        
Fusarium Wilt Yellow and wilting of leaves. Brown discoloration in interior of vine.       Grow resistant varieties. Long rotations should be practiced even where
resistant varieties are used.

1   Common names are  used  for  chemical recommendations. Trade names are  listed in  Table II.
2   Consult label for  precise rate of application. The  rates given in  teaspoon or tablespoon per  gallon in  the  publication are  only  approximate
and  the  label of the  specific  product to  be  used  should be  consulted before  mixing and  applying any  fungicide.
3   PHI  (pre-harvest interval) is  the  minimum number of days  between last application and  harvest Never attempt to use  dust formulations of fungicides  in  spray solutions. Dusts will  not  suspend in the  spray solution. Wettable powder  formula- tions may  appear similar to dusts, but  they are formulated to be suspended in  spray solutions.

Table II. Common Names and Trade Names of  Chemicals for Controlling Diseases of  Vegetables

 
Common Names
 
Trade Names1
 
benomyl
 
Note:  Home  garden benomyl products are  no longer available.
chlorothalonil Bravo 720  (54%) Bravo 75 WP Bravo 90 WDG
Bravo Flowable Fungicide
Broad Spectrum Liquid Fungicide
Fungi-Gard
Lawn, Ornamental and  Vegetable Fungicide
Vegetable Disease Control
fixed  coppers Basicop Blue Shield Kocide
Tri-Basic Copper  Sulfate
mancozeb2 Dithane DF Manzate 200  DF Penncozeb
maneb2 Maneb 80 WP Maneb Spray
Maneb Liquid Fungicide
PCNB Terraclor 10 G Terraclor 75 WP

1   Follow  label instructions when mixing and  applying fungicides. One  gallon of fungicide spray will usually cover  400-450  square feet  of garden area (130-150  linear feet  in  three foot wide  rows).  The application rate varies with plant size.  Some  product labels stipulate higher quantities of weaker sprays than other similar products. Always follow  the  label. Labels may  limit the  number of applica- tions or the  total allowable amount of fungicide/unit area.
 
2  The  Environmental  Protection Agency is requiring that all  mancozeb, maneb and  metiram product registrations and  labels bearing homeowner uses  be amended to bear the  following protective clothing and  hygiene language:  “Home  gardeners applying this product must wear long-sleeved shirt, long pants and  chemical-resistant gloves.  The  gloves  must be washed thoroughly with soap  and  water before removing. Clothes must be changed immediately after using these EBDC  products and  must be laundered separately from  other laundry items before  reuse.”
 
This  listing does  not  imply any  preference or discrimination to other products of similar suitable composition, but  is provided solely  as  a reference. All  formulations of a particular  fungicide may  not be labeled for all  crops;  check  label before  purchasing or using any  fungicide.
 
Foliar sprays will  aid  in  controlling leaf spots,  rusts, mildews, anthracnose and  fruit rots. Foliar sprays are  not effective against  vascular wilts or root  rots.  Foliar sprays are  protectants, because they form  a protective layer of fungicide over  the  surface of the  fruit and  foliage. Disease agents (bacteria and  fungi) that land on these fungicide coated surfaces are  killed or prevented from  infecting the  plant.
Most  fungicides are  not  effective in  inhibit- ing  disease organisms once  they have infected a plant. It is imperative that foliar fungicides be applied prior to infection of the  plant. A spray schedule should be followed  that maintains a protective fungicide layer on the  foliage and fruit during favorable infection periods. By carefully monitoring their vegetables, some gardeners can  usually delay the  first fungicide application until the  first sign  of disease. Then a 7-14  day  spray schedule should be followed. During rainy or humid weather, spray applica- tion  intervals should be shortened.
Proper pesticide mixing and spraying plays a very  important part in  achieving disease control. Most  hom  gardeners will  find  a 1-2 gallon compressed-air sprayer adequate for applying foliar sprays. A nozzle  with a cone pattern will  provide the  most  effective coverage of plant foliage. Keep  the  pressure up  to insure small spray particle size  and  good coverage.
Sprayers should be cleaned and  rinsed after each  use.  Hose-end sprayers are  not  very  effec- tive  in  applying fungicides to vegetables. Never use  the  same sprayer for fungicides and  insecti- cides  that has  been  used  for herbicides. Residues of certain types of herbicides are  very  difficult to remove from  sprayers. These residues may  cause crop  injury if a herbicide-contaminated sprayer is used  in  applying fungicides or insecticides.
Homeowners should protect themselves when mixing or applying pesticides. Always read the label for use directions and precaution statements. As of spring 1992,  the  Environmental Protec- tion  Agency is requiring that all  mancozeb, maneb and  metiram product registrations and  labels bearing homeowner uses  be amended to bear the  following protective clothing and hygiene language:
“Home gardeners applying this product must wear long-sleeved shirt, long pants and chemical-resistant gloves. The gloves must be washed thoroughly with soap and water before removing. Clothes must be changed immediately after using these EBDC products and must be laundered separately from other laundry items before reuse.”

The Vegetable Plot

In the working vegetable garden, the overall visual design may not he important. Vegetables are, of course, decorative in their own right, and even the most regimented plot, where everything is grown in rows, usually has some visual appeal. With this type of garden, however, the design is subordinate to convenience and output, with rectangular blocks composed of rows or blocks of crops.

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Permanent structures
The first consideration is the position of more permanent items, such as greenhouses, cold frames, sheds and compost bins. The green­ house needs plenty of light and should be away from cold winds. It should also be near the house because it often needs attention in the winter and at night. This also applies to cold frames. The shed and the compost bins can be more or less anywhere, although not too far away. If the compost bin is a long way away, you may be tempted to leave rotting ve­getation lying around rather than clearing up.
All these structures need access paths, which again will dictate their position. A compost bin on the far side of a bed may fill a space, but it will be of little use if you have to walk over the bed to get to it. Putting in a path to it, however, will take up valuable growing space.
Bed design The positioning of the beds should have  prime consideration. Practice varies consid­erably on the shape and method employed.
Most gardeners prefer to have large rectangu­lar plots, 3.6m/12ft wide and as long as the garden allows. Typically, there are two such plots, one each side of a central path. Within these plots rows of vegetables are set out across the beds, with temporary narrow paths between each row.
Recent years have seen the reintroduction of a different method, which had fallen out of favour. This is the use of deep beds, only 1.2m/4ft wide. Such beds, can, in fact, be easily superimposed on the old system by dividing up the long plot into any number of 1.2 x 3.6m/4x 12ft beds. The significance of the 1.2m/4ft width is that the whole bed can be reached from either side. These smaller beds have permanent paths on each side, which can be paved or left as bare earth.
Permanent planting Most planting in the kitchen garden is done  on an annual basis and changes every year,
but there are some plants that stay in the same position for several, if not many, years. Vegetables such as rhubarb, globe artichokes and asparagus need a permanent base. Most fruit is permanent or is moved only every few years. Tree fruit, in particular, must be con­sidered as a long-term addition to the garden. 

These types of plants are usually kept together, partly for convenience and partly because they can all be protected against birds by being included in one fruit cage.
Paths Paths in a productive kitchen garden tend to be for access purposes and not seen as part of a decorative pattern.

There’s No Place Like Loam: Preparing Your Soil for Planting

Some gardeners are downright contentious about the word soil, insisting that it’s not the same thing as dirt. Soil, they insist, is the stuff in your  garden; it’s what you grow plants in. Dirt is what you wash off your hands or
sweep under the rug.
Soil. Dirt. Even planting medium. It’s the place roots call home. Call it what you want. The gardener’s secret is never to treat soil like dirt. Savvy gardeners continually improve their soil. It doesn’t matter how long  you’ve been growing herbs and other plants: Garden soil is always a work in progress. This chapter is all about soil and what it takes to get it ready for planting.

What Plants Need from Soil

Soil anchors plants to the earth and supplies the oxygen, water, and nutrients that they need to live. Good garden soil, according to the professionals, consists of about 25 percent air, 25 percent water, 45 percent mineral particles,
and 5 percent organic matter.

That’s right — although most people think of soil as a solid, about half the volume of a healthy soil is actually made up of air and water! Picture a glass filled with marbles; the spaces between the marbles are like the spaces between soil particles. Plant roots grow in these spaces — the same passageways through which air, water, dissolved nutrients, and soil organisms travel.

Soil provides plants with much of what they need to survive and grow, including air, water, and nutrients:

Air to breathe: Plants need oxygen, and they absorb some of it through their roots. A few plant species thrive in ground so wet that it contains almost no air. That extra moisture may be okay for watercress, but not for most herbs (or for many of the beneficial macro- and microorganisms that live in your soil). If the roots of most herbs sit for too long in saturated soil — soil in which the spaces between the particles are filled with water — the roots will die, and when the roots die, the plant dies, too. So one of your goals in preparing the soil for an herb garden bed is to make sure that water drains well.
✓ Water to drink: Most plants are about 90 percent water (which is why plant leaves become limp during a drought). And most plants need a fairly constant supply of water, especially during hot, dry weather. So although you want water to drain from the soil after watering or a heavy rain, you don’t want it to drain so quickly that plants are left thirsty. Another one of your goals, then, is to make sure the soil retains some water.
✓ Nutrients for healthy growth: As roots take in the water they need, they also take in the nutrients dissolved in that water — nutrients that the plants need for healthy growth. Some of these nutrients are leached into the water from minerals in the soil; some may be from fertilizer you’ve applied to the soil (more on fertilizing in Chapter 9). Water must be present for plants to take up nutrients.

Soils 
Particles of rock make up most of the solid portion of garden soils. Soil scientists classify soil separates by their size , beginning with boulders any rock that measures about 10 inches across. That measurement
may sound small to you if you thought a boulder was something big enough to sunbathe on. But those of us with lots of these boulders in our gardens refer to them as “those #%*!! rocks.”
Progressively smaller in size, technically speaking, are stones, pebbles, and  gravel, and we hope these items are scant in your garden. Smaller yet are sand, silt, and clay, and these particles constitute the mineral component of garden soil. Although most soils contain a combination of these particle sizes, often one size predominates. Here’s a rundown of the characteristics of these soil particles:

Sand: Sand particles, which can be fine or coarse, are the largest of the three, measuring from 0.5 to 2 millimeters across. You can see them clearly with the naked eye. Gardeners with sandy soil, which feels gritty, often call it light soil because it doesn’t get saturated and soggy and is easy to cultivate whether wet or dry.
Because sand particles are relatively large and angular or round in shape, they don’t cling together closely, leaving space for water and air to move between the individual particles. As a result, sandy soil drains quickly — too quickly for many plants.
✓ Silt: You need a microscope to see silt particles (0.002 to 0.5 millimeters) but you can recognize them by touch: When dry, silty soil feels smooth, like flour or talcum powder. Most silt particles have an irregular shape as sand particles do, but in soils, they’re often thinly coated with clay. Water tends to run off silty soil, but once it penetrates the surface, silt  retains moisture better than sand does.

Clay: Clay particles measure less than 0.002 millimeters across. Because of their size and flat shape, clay particles stick together — and feel sticky and slick when wet. (If you’ve ever made pottery, you know what clay soil feels like.) The particles in clay soil are tightly packed, and the spaces between them are small, so water drains poorly, leaving the soil saturated and depriving plants of the air they need.
Clay soil, which may be tinged red, black, gray, or blue, stays wet and cold in spring. Because clay is harder to dig when wet or dry, it’s often referred to as heavy soil.
Your garden soil won’t be all sand or all clay, however, but a mix. If that mix is 40 percent sand, 40 percent silt, and 20 percent clay, you have loam, the ideal soil for gardening.

How to Get USDA Organic Certification

As a farmer, retailer or other business, gaining USDA organic certification status is a savvy and ethical business move. However, it’s not enough to simply claim “organic.” You must make sure that your product is carrying the certified USDA Organic Seal.
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The USDA National Organic Standard Seal not only shows your ongoing commitment to a healthy planet but assures consumers and buyers that your product meets stringent USDA organic certification requirements. It will make your product more marketable and profitable. So, how do you get started with the USDA organic certification process?
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How to Find out If You’re Eligible?

The best way to find out if your farm or product is eligible for USDA organic certification is to contact a reputable organic certifying agent. An organic certification agent is an agent who is accredited by the National Organic Program (NOP). Choosing the right organic certification agent is a big deal as your agent will help you with the planning process, inspect your product and in the end, license you to use the term “organic” to sell your product.

Who Qualifies?

In general, you may be eligible for organic certification if you are one of the following.

  • A commercial producer of organic crops or livestock such as a farmer or livestock producer.
  • A processor of organic foods, feed, fibers or textiles.
  • A handler of organic products, for example, a broker, packer, wholesaler or distributor.
  • A restaurant owner who sells organic fare.
  • A retailer who specializes in organic products or organic food.
  • A marketer of organic products.
  • A brand owner developing organic products.
  • Not Everyone Qualifies

Not everyone qualifies for USDA organic certification. First of all, your product needs to meet the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. This list, mandated by the Secretary of Agriculture, tells you which synthetic and non-synthetic substances may or may not be used in your organic production and handling operations. You may also be exempt or excluded from organic certification based on a number of USDA regulations.

Is It Right for You?

USDA organic certification is an ongoing process that requires dedication. Getting certified means making a long-term commitment to the organic process and it can be time-consuming.
For example, did you know that to become certified organic you must comply years in advance in some cases? It’s true. National Organic Program standards state that organic crops must be grown on land that has been free from prohibited pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic fertilizers for three years proceeding growth.
There are many other issues to think about as well. Becoming certified organic means considering your entire operational procedure, not just the end product.

How Much Will It Cost?

When the National Organic Program initially launched USDA organic certification, the cost of a single farm becoming certified was estimated at $750 with a sliding scale fee structure in place for other organic operations.
Current certification fees vary wildly depending on the organic certification agent you choose. Be sure each organic certification agent you’re speaking with gives you a clear estimate of the fee structure before officially choosing an agent. There are also programs that can help you pay for the costs of getting certified, as shown below.

How to Apply?

If you’ve taken the time and initiative to ensure that your processing or distribution process is truly organic, then the actual process of gaining USDA organic certification is fairly straightforward. While variations apply due to specific circumstances, USDA organic certification can normally be divided into three phases. Organic certification includes the application process, the company, and product inspection and certification.

The Application Process:

If you’re planning to market your product as “organic” you must get certified by a National Organic Program (NOP) accredited agent. First, choose your organic certification agent. Obtain and fill out your agent’s application forms and turn them in. After the agent reviews your application and decides that you’re in compliance with NOP regulations and standards, your agent will schedule a site inspection.

The Inspection:

A reputable organic certification agent will always schedule an on-site visit to inspect your organic production and handling site. The inspection is conducted to ensure that your application information is truthful and accurate. Your inspector will need to see your operations and will want to verify that zero prohibited substances have come into contact with your product.
Before the inspection ends, your inspector will conduct an exit interview with you. During the exit interview, the inspector will inform you about concerns or problems and answer any questions you may have.

Certification:

After your inspection takes place, your inspector will write a report based on his or her findings. The report, applicant file, and exit interview are again reviewed to ensure National Organic Program (NOP) compliance. If your organic certification agent has zero concerns and all fees have been paid, you’ll be allowed to label your product or company as USDA Certified Organic. If there are minor concerns, you may be certified if you agree to solve the concerns within an appropriate time-frame.
If your agent feels that you are not fully NOP compliant you won’t be certified until you make the necessary changes to become NOP compliant.

How Long Does Certification Last?

Your organic certification will remain valid indefinitely if there are no problems. The only way your certification will end is if you voluntarily surrender certification or if your certification is suspended or revoked by the certifying agent, the State Organic Program’s governing State official, or the Administrator for violation of the Act or NOP regulations.

How to You Transition Your Farm to Certified Organic

Becoming a certified organic farm is a lofty goal. It’s a big deal and the steps leading up to your actual certification process are many. Before you can start the official certification process, it’s wise to follow all the pre-certification steps carefully.

Decide if You Should Transition to Organic

There are many questions to consider before you even decide to go organic or get certified. You’ll need to consider time issues, your current and potential marketing skills, organic labeling, your finances and so much more. Be sure to ask yourself if you’re really ready to transition to organics before you start making big changes on the farm.
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Read the National Organic Program Final Rule

Reading the National Organic Program (NOP): Final Rule carefully and fully is a must. This will educate you about basic requirements for organic production and processing, along with providing you with information on labeling, marketing, finding an organic certifying agent, certification standards and much more.

Identify Potential Organic Buyers & Markets

It’s almost never too soon to start marketing. With organic products, your market reach and buyers will be very different than conventional reach and markets. Organic markets often have geographic or timing issues that may redirect production and seasonal farming decisions.
Additionally, as an organic farm, you’ll need to develop a much heartier marketing skin. Selling people on organics, when they’re more expensive, can be tough if you’re not invested. Learn about how to educate, not simply sell. Seek out markets that are open to organics. You may even want to speak with an organic food distributor.

Get Involved Locally

You can learn a lot from National Organic Program literature, but not nearly as much as you’ll learn by investing in a local organic education. Local workshops, classes, and other organic producers are excellent resources to tap into. Local resources will offer fact sheets, books and usually host events such as field days or special classes, that cover just what you need to know in order to successfully go organic in your own area.

Go Pesticide Free Now!

A basic criterion for a certified organic farm is that the farm, or more precisely, the cropland, must be managed organically for three years prior to certification. According to NOP, certified organic crops must come from land that is totally free of prohibited substances for 36 months prior to the first organic harvest. You need documentation about when you last applied prohibited substances and you can’t use genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or treated seeds during the transition period. Certified organic seeds aren’t required, but start searching them out, as it can be difficult to find them.

Contact an Organic Certification Agency

Don’t wait to contact an organic certification agency. Certifying agents are valuable resources and can hook you up with helpful tips plus all the planning materials you need. Plus, your agent will help you get started on your organic system plan.

Work on Your Organic System Plan

National Organic Program Standards requires every single farm, ranch or handling operation seeking organic certification to submit an initial organic system plan (OSP). Completing your plan can be a long process so the sooner you get started the better. Also, your plan is exactly what it says, a plan; and a good plan will help make the organic transition that much easier.

Fake It Until You Make It

It actually doesn’t hurt to pretend you’re certified organic for a while, before actually taking the leap. Because you’ll most likely need to make changes in your processes and marketing, it can pay off to pretend you’re already fully organic incorporated. Before you go organic is the time to start using organic techniques and practices. Successful organic farming and production are, in part, based on your ability to follow an organic routine and to make changes to the said routine when needed.

Do Small Organic Farms Need to Be Certified Organic?

Do Small Organic Farms Need to be Certified Organic? This organic question is for growers who are interested in owning a real business, not simply having a hobby farm. If one of your small organic farm goals is profits, this is the right place to be.

The issue of organic certification for a small organic farm business revolves around three key questions:

How Much Income Do You Estimate Making?

If your organic farm brings in $5,000 a year or less from total gross sales of organic products you are officially exempt from organic certification.

So, as an example, if you sell just $4,500 worth of organic veggies this year, thus not going over that $5,000 amount, then organic certification status is up to you. You can choose to get certified, but you don’t have to. Keep in mind, though, if you’re marketing your products as organic, but are exempt, you still have to follow the same National Organic Program (NOP) policies and procedures as other, larger organic producers.

If your small farm brings in a lot of profit ($5,000 or more) you don’t have a choice in the matter. If you’re making $5,000+ and telling folks that your crops are organic, you must apply for organic certification.

  1. Issues to Consider Before Getting Certified
  2. How to Get Certified Organic

Do You Want to Be Able to Use the Organic Seal?​

If you do not get certified, even if you’re officially exempt, you cannot use the USDA Organic Seal on farm products, business signage or in printed farm literature (for example, a farm brochure). If you’re concerned about needing, or wanting to use organic labels on your products, then you’ll need to get certified.

  1. FAQ About Organic Labels
  2. 10 Product Labels That Don’t Mean Organic

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  1. Do Organic Products Need a Special PLU or UPC Code?

What Does Organic Integrity Mean to You and Your Potential Buyers?​

Some people, growers, and consumers alike align official certification with organic integrity. This is not entirely true. Non-certified organic growers can have lots of organic integrity, and many small farmers grow 100% organic crops, without actually being certified. Certification alone doesn’t dictate actions, ethics or practices.

That said, if promoting official organics is important to you, then you should find a way to get certified. It’s your business, so you may as well run it in a way that makes you feel good.

Additionally, something to consider is that while some consumers are perfectly happy taking the time to talk about organic practices with a non-certified organic grower, some aren’t. Many consumers really want to see that official organic seal before they plunk down cash for organics.