Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Organic Gardening Tips

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It's Almost Parsnip Time!

April 3, 2015

A few years ago, Jack Kertesz planted a demonstration plot at MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center highlighting storage crops – vegetables that are easy to store over winter indoors without canning or freezing or, in some cases, can even be left in the ground over winter for an early spring harvest. Think parsnips! Kertesz said of parsnips, "A spring tradition is to dig these oh-so-sweet roots from the garden. They are excellent drizzled with oil and roasted on a cookie sheet. Or try a parsnip pie: Sauté sliced parsnips and onions in corn oil, place them in a crust and bake until the parsnips are soft. You will look forward to spring's first bounty." Read more in "A Dozen Storage Crops for Homegrown Food Security."


Do You Know Your Soil pH?

March 19, 2015

The first step in improving soil fertility on farms and gardens is ensuring that the soil pH (acidity or alkalinity) meets the needs of the crops you'll be growing. Micronutrients that plants need are usually adequately supplied when the soil pH is in the appropriate range for them. You can have your soil tested for pH and other fertility measures by the Maine Soil Testing Service at the University of Maine. Obtain a soil test kit now so that you'll be ready to get a soil sample once the snow melts! Kit are available at your local Cooperative Extension office and through the website of the Maine Soil Testing Service. For more about soil tests, see MOFGA's fact sheet, "An Organic Farmer's Guide to the Interpretation of a Standard Soil Test from the University of Maine."


Got Your Garlic In?

October 23, 2014

In Maine, mid- to late-October is a great time for planting garlic. Roots have time to get established and hold the bulbs in place before the ground freezes around Thanksgiving, but shoots don't have time to emerge and suffer damage from freezing. Read all about planting depth, spacing, mulching, weed control, harvesting and storing garlic, and controlling pests, in our article, "Garlic, In Depth."


Melons in Maine

May 3, 2013

With a little TLC, you can grow melons in Maine – and Adam Tomash, a MOFGA member and gardener extraordinaire, knows how. In the summer 2012 issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener, Tomash described starting melons on June 1 in half-gallon milk containers filled with quality potting soil and transplanting them to the garden a few weeks later. So start collecting materials now – seeds, seeding mix, milk cartons – so that you'll be ready to sow in a few weeks. Read Tomash's article.