Resources for Gardeners

In this webinar, Jan-Hendrik Cropp will describe how to create organic cropping systems using diverse living and/or dead mulches, along with rotational conservation tillage to increase soil health. While the webinar will focus on one production system from an organic farm in Germany, the principles can be applied to a wide variety of agricultural operations. The presenter recently returned to Germany from a 3-month research trip across the US and Canada, where he met many innovators in organic no-till and reduced tillage. He will refer to regional examples and experiences from his travels in the webinar.

Cyclamen mites (Phytonemus pallidus) thrive in humid locations and are a common greenhouse pest. They are also serious pests of both conventional and organic strawberries, especially in perennial matted row systems.  This fact sheet from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs outlines some strategies for managing these pests. 



Healthy Soil - This is where is all begins. This article reminds us of the importance of soil and how to take good care of it!

The Story of Soil - A great article by Verge Permaculture, describing the very important difference between dirt and soil.

Why is Soil So Important? - Another great article describing the many virtues of soil.



Harvesting Rainwater - Permaculture Designer and rainwater harvesting specialist, Brad Lancaster, can show you the ins and outs of creating a rainwater harvesting system. This is a great place to start for all rainwater harvesting information!

Why Do Plants Need Water? - A quick summary of the role that water plays throughout the life of a plant.


Growing Your Own Food

Growing Anything! - From growing your own food to planting fast-growing trees, this website is full of organic gardening advice that shows you how it's done the right way, step-by-step, both indoors and outside...

Starting a Garden – This article walks through how to Grow an Organic Garden in 10 Steps.

10 steps to a successful first garden - Vegetables are easy to grow, especially if you follow the 10 steps for first-timers in this article.

Complete Vegetable Planting Guide - an alphabetical guide to growing a ton of vegetables!

A DIY Guide to Wicking Beds - Wicking beds are a unique and increasingly popular way to grow vegetables. They are self-contained raised beds with built-in reservoirs that supply water from the bottom up - this article includes ideas and instructions for creating your own.

SPIN Farming - SPIN stands for Small Plot Intensive. It is a small-scale (usually urban) farming system that addresses some of the major barriers people face when trying to become farmers.



Video: Composting - For the visual learners out there, here is a video from the City of Calgary that summarizes composting.

Environment Canada - Reduce your garbage output by composting. Yet another great composting resource.

Composting for Gardening - This document by the Canadian Organic Growers thoroughly explains composting and various techniques to achieve success.

Composting at Home - A short article on the process for backyard composting.

Composting Council of Canada - A national non-profit organization with a charter to advocate and advance organics residuals recycling (composting). Their website has plenty of resources on how to compost, how to use compost and many other FAQ's.

Alberta Environment: Vermicomposting - Also known as worm composting, this is a simple way of turning organic household waste into a useful soil conditioner and fertilizer for houseplants, gardens and lawns. Learn how to use worms to turn your garbage into black gold for the garden.

Everything You Need to Know About Composting With Worms - The title speaks for itself!

Composting for Organic Certification - This article provides a brief description of the composting process, discusses the use of composting to reduce weed seeds and plant pathogens, and identifies issues that can lead to the failure of composting to reduce weed seeds and plant pathogens.
Synthetic Grass Warehouse - has a good overview of what composting is and a nice summary of what should be included. 

Seed Saving

Seeds of Diversity Canada - a Canadian volunteer organization that conserves the biodiversity and traditional knowledge of food crops and garden plants. A great source for information about heritage seeds, seed saving, plant diversity, garden history and your own garden heritage.

Basics of Organic Seed Saving - An online tutorial on the basics of vegetable seed production.


Pest & Weed Management

Organic Garden Pest Control - Organic garden pest control aims for a balanced garden ecosystem that naturally keeps harmful pests away while facilitating rigorous, unimpeded plant growth and long-term soil health…

Insect and Disease Management in the Vegetable Garden - This document covers companion planting, beneficial insects, insect identification, organic insecticides as well as disease management.

Ecological Weed Management - This document covers many techniques for dealing with problem weeds.



Beginner's Guide to Growing Flowers Organically - Organic gardening is used by many gardeners who want to have a more natural garden without the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. There are also links to many other resources on this page.

Non Toxic Lawn Management - Learn how to organically manage your lawn.

Lawn Care Made Easier - By recycling your grass clippings (or “grasscycling”) and keeping them in your own yard, you are recycling in the truest sense, returning nutrients to your soil.

Organic Landscape Alliance (OLA) - a non-profit trade association committed to organic horticulture, lawn care and landscaping.

The Society of Organic Urban Land Care Professionals - SOUL supports ecologically responsible urban land care practices. You can also download 3 free e-books on their website.


Education & Advocacy Resources

Organic Production - Organic production site, providing links to statistics, news releases, the regulation and standard.

EarthSave Canada - A non-profit, educational organization promoting awareness of the health, environmental and ethical consequences of our food choices.

Rare Breeds Canada - A charitable organization dedicated to conserving, evaluating, and promoting rare and endangered breeds of livestock and poultry.

Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals - CCFA represents more than 100,000 Canadians concerned about the treatment of animals raised for food.

Canadians Against Pesticides – An activist organization dedicated to banning all pesticides known or suspected of having deleterious effects on humans (especially children) and wildlife.

For more educational opportunities visit our Education Opportunities page.


More resources

For more information on gardening check out the Canadian Organic Growers website.

COG Library - The COG lending library contains over 1500 titles on organic agriculture and related topics, in books, video and audio tapes, DVDs, articles and periodicals.  The resources of the lending library are available to the Canadian public..  Books may be borrowed by mail free of charge.

Organopedia - ACORN commissioned this database to facilitate growth in the organic industry. In it you will find information on the availability of allowable inputs and resources, as well as identification, prevention and treatment options for pests and weeds.

Do you know of a great gardening resource? Email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and tell us! We would be happy to add your suggestion to the resource page.

For all media, website, or general inquiries please contact us at info@organicalberta.org or call 587-521-2400 (Toll-free: 1-855-521-2400)