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Effective: Summer 2014

Grade Type: Letter Grade, the student may select Pass/No Pass
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Non-GE Transferable: CSU
12 hours lecture total per quarter. (12 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • Define principles of organic gardening.
  • Analyze gardens to improve sustainability.
Description -
Principles and practices utilized in the design, implementation, and maintenance of sustainable organic gardens. Sustainable gardening practices that produce successful, environmentally responsible produce and crops.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate an understanding of the definition of sustainable organic gardening & contrast with conventional organic gardening.
  2. define the principles of organic gardening (including soil prep and amendments).
  3. demonstrate an understanding of irrigation systems, methods for installation, and sustainable materials and practices which make systems more sustainable.
  4. select the most appropriate seasonal crops and define common varieties by season and location.
  5. demonstrate knowledge of composting and mulching techniques used in the garden.
  6. manage pests including insects, weeds, and diseases in organic gardens.
  7. describe the rules and laws governing sustainable organic gardening.
  8. describe crop selection based on cultural diversity.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
Horticultural laboratory, sustainable garden, greenhouse, compost area, and related horticultural facilities and equipment. Students provide pruning shears with sheath, work boots, leather gloves and clothing for fieldwork.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Concepts of sustainable, organic ecosystems and gardens
    1. Define sustainable organic gardening
    2. Differentiate between sustainable and traditional organic gardening
  2. Soil preparation, amendments, and fertilizers using sustainable, organic principles
    1. Soil testing
    2. Soil sourcing
    3. Sustainable organic amendments and fertilizers
  3. Water and irrigation methods and sustainable systems
    1. Sustainable pipe and irrigation components
    2. Sustainable irrigation installation techniques and practices
  4. Selection of crops and varieties for each season and location
    1. Sourcing crops
    2. Deriving crops from sustainably harvested sites
    3. Correct seasonal selection of crops
  5. Organic composting and mulching methods and use
    1. Sources of composts of mulches
    2. On-site composts and mulches
    3. Sustainable practices for composts and mulches
  6. Organic, sustainable integrated pest, weed, and disease management
    1. Contrast sustainable IPM with standard practices
  7. Rules and laws governing organic food and produce
    1. Federal, state, and local regulations affecting organic gardening and produce production
  8. Selection of crops and varieties based on cultural diversity
Methods of Evaluation -
Student field demonstration of skills taught during course.
Representative Text(s) -
Turner, Julie, Organic Gardening Beginner's Manual. Amazon Digital Services, Inc., 2012
Ullmann, H. F., ed. Organic Gardening (Botanica's Pocket). Australia: h. f. ulllmann, 2008.

Disciplines -
Ornamental Horticulture
Method of Instruction -
  1. Lecture presentations on Sustainable Organic Gardening.
  2. Group discussions on common concerns facing organic gardeners (pests, nutrition, maintenance, planting cycles, etc.).
  3. Classroom demonstrations of Sustainable Organic Gardening practices.
Lab Content -
Not applicable.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
  1. Reading Assignments: Weekly reading assignments from text, outside resources, and instructional handouts (approximately 10 to 20 pages of text).
  2. Research and planning of individual or group creative projects.