Everything old is new again in the garden. Recent interest in organic gardening and self sustaining lifestyles have prompted many to look to the past for unique gardening techniques. Isn't it funny how progress isn't really all that progressive? Here are some old time gardening methods seeing a revival in today's gardens. Why not try one or all this year?
Grafting vegetables is an old Asian technique used widely in Japan. It's growing in popularity here in the U.S. You can graft vegetables yourself or you can buy them. There are multiple benefits to planting grafted vegetables. The sturdier root stock used is disease resistant. They produce a higher yield, even though they are started later in the season. The high yield factor also means less area to till. Top that off with the superior flavor of the chosen fruit and you have the best of all possible crops.
2. Keyhole gardens
I was first introduced to the keyhole garden by my dad, who swore by the keyhole garden or Japanese tomato ring. The basic premise of the keyhole garden is to plant crops around a central compost pile. Doing so eliminates the need for periodic fertilization. The crops simply draw nutrients from the compost as they grow.
3. Sunken pot gardening
Trying to cut down on your water bill? Concerned about recent droughts and water shortages? Why not try sunken pot gardening? The idea is to grow your veggies in pots sunk into the ground. This allows you to water plants only when needed. It also keeps water from migrating into surrounding soil and evaporating before plants can use it.
4. Hanging gardens
Of course, there's nothing new about hanging gardens. People have been gardening vertically for centuries. What's new is the type of vegetable people are planting this way. The latest thing is to grow squash and other large vining produce this way so that it takes up less space. The trick is that you must use very sturdy supports to be successful.
5. Fish emulsion with a twist
We've all heard how good fish tank water is for the vegetable garden. Remember how the Native Americans taught settlers to plant corn with a fish? This is the same principal, but with a real fish pond combined with container gardens. The water from the fish pond is wicked to the plants above or beside the pond. It's genius, even if the fish are just to look at!
This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.