Old Gardening - How to grow a traditional organic garden

Old Gardening

How to grow a traditional organic garden

Roses in the garden

Roses have accompanied man for hundreds of years. Without a doubt, they are among the oldest cultivated garden plants, and the proverbial rose luxury of the old Roman Empire allows us to assume that already then roses were surrounded by special reverence. Subsequent epochs did not in any way weaken the true ball – here given to these flowers. In many gardens, the roses secured a stable position.

From age to age, then from quarter of a century to quarter of a century, and today, year after year, new varieties with a fairy-tale play of colors, with almost unrivalled form, spreading a beautiful scent. But also the most ordinary representatives of roses, hedge and wild varieties, deserve our attention. They are the inseparable companions of natural shrubs and should not be missing in our gardens.

Allelopathy in the Garden

The first description of the inhibition of plant growth by root secretions of other plants was given by de Candolle already in 1832. However, it was only in the thirties of the twentieth century that the more serious interest in this kind of biochemical, invisible influence of plants (but also fungi and plants) was taken. They were scientifically called allelopathy. Allelopathy in the garden was introduced by Ch. Molisch in 1937 in Jena. At that time he described what the first farmers and gardeners who consciously started to grow plants organically were observing and using in practice. They did not use mass-produced chemistry and avoided monoculture. 

Pruning Trees and Shrubs in Winter

In the horticultural tradition of old times, there was a belief that the most appropriate time to cut fruit trees and bushes, including ornamental plants and hedges, is winter, especially its end. What was the justification for such a recommendation? What are the advantages of winter pruning trees and shrubs?

When do Wounds from Pruning Trees and Shrubs “Bleed Less”?

Especially during the dormancy of plants. In winter the juices don’t circulate, so wounds “bleed less”. It was also believed that winter pruning is less harmful to the plants, because it makes it easier for them to heal their wounds quickly in spring, right during the first start of the juices. This quite drastic treatment was carried out in the winter period also because the trees and shrubs suffered less.

Crops Co-Cultivation – How to Do it?

Success in crops co-cultivation depends on several important conditions. However, the right choice of plant species is decisive. Several factors should be taken into account that affect the interaction of plants both under and above the ground:

  • belonging to a botanical family, so that the accompanying plant, pre-, after or mid-crop does not spoil the crop rotation system
  • nutritional requirements (preferably similar or similar in a given field)
  • requirements for light, water
  • habit, height, width of plants
  • root system structure, width and depth of roots
  • susceptibility to diseases and pest infestation.

Example of Crop Rotation

Crop Rotation for Small Vegetable Gardens

Where many plants grow on small pieces of land, it is best to use the shortest possible crop rotation, namely the three-field one for annual crops, example of such crop rotation:

  • The first year – on land heavily fertilized with manure in autumn: pumpkin, cauliflower, cabbage, cucumber, tomato, leek, celery, spinach
  • Year two – on land fed with compost in spring (in the absence of compost we give manure in autumn): Brussels sprouts, beetroot, onion, garlic, kohlrabi, lettuce; without addition of compost: bean, swede, parsley, radish
  • Third year – peas, soy beans, beans and various vegetables from seedlings

In addition, there should be a separate field for vegetables and berry plants that remain in one place for several years, e.g. rhubarb, sorrel, chives, asparagus, strawberry. Once the crop is finished on a particular site, the crop is moved to another field.

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OldGardening 2020