Gardening & Time: The Past (Part 2 of 5)

A successful garden comes from an understanding of the variables that emerge from the past, present and future. Before any garden begins, ask the following questions: What crops were planted in the past? Were they a success or failure, and why?
A prior spring or summer garden should be taken into consideration when planning for a fall garden. The same is true for any garden or large-scale production regardless of when it will be planted. A prior garden in the same location, such as in a raised bed, can greatly affect the success of future gardens. The main reason is the potential presence of pests that still remain. A prior pest could include anything from insects to weeds. Weeds in particular can be expected to show up reliably if they were allowed to go to seed in prior growing seasons. Weeding can be costly to control and especially so due to the time and effort weed control can take. Most weeds germinate from seeds that were previously deposited from nearby sources. This means that most weeds that gardeners are pulling up today originated from weed seeds that were deposited last growing season or even in prior years.
Another key variable is to understand that prior gardens may have a lot of plant pathogens, such as nematodes, fungi and bacteria. These pathogens can reside in and around the soil, ready to attack a new garden. Many plant pathogens affect plants that are closely related. For instance, a fungus that affects kale is likely to affect broccoli or cabbage as well. Rotating to un-related crops each season can greatly reduce problems from the past.
The past can help to inform us of what is happening in the present and to plan for a successful future.



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Posted: August 12, 2022

Category: Agriculture, Crops, Fruits & Vegetables, Horticulture, Pests & Disease
Tags: Agriculture, Food, Fruit, Gardening, Organic, Sustainable, Vegetables

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