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Synergistic garden, techniques and advice


L'Synergistic Garden was created to be in clear opposition to the mechanisms of the agri-food industry. The agri-food sector massively exploits the resources of Mother Earth, forgetting that it could cultivate and produce food, in complete harmony with Nature.

This is the purpose of a synergistic garden, cultivate excluding all negative impacts on the environment. L'synergistic garden uses the techniques of the so-called "synergistic agriculture ": methods that can be implemented without major efforts and in full respect of the plants and the soil.

How was synergistic agriculture born?

L'synergistic gardenswas born on the basis of the principles of natural agriculture, born from the mind of the Japanese agronomistMasanobu Fukuoka; it is from these ideologies that the Spanish farmer Emilia Hazelip was inspired and in 1980, she adapted the teachings of Fukuoka to our Mediterranean climate.

To understand how to apply the principles ofsynergistic agriculturein daily garden practice, we offer you similar cultivation techniques and advice to protect the garden from pests.

The cultivation techniques of the synergistic vegetable garden

  1. Preparation of the pallets
    The soil is prepared using pallets 120 cm wide and 30-50 cm high in the central area. With the'synergistic garden the soil is prepared only once and there will be no need for plowing or any other treatment of the soil other than mulching and drip irrigation.
  2. Preparation of the Irrigation system
    L'synergistic garden provides exclusively for the drip irrigation system, which is easy to build and guarantees maximum water savings.
  3. The control of weeds
    Straw mulch is used to protect the soil. The straw protects thesynergistic garden from atmospheric agents, compaction and loss of humidity, it also limits the growth of weeds. In this way the soil will always be soft and the growth of weeds will be prevented by the layer of straw or bark. For further information:how to mulch.
  4. The plant
    Transplants are carried out carefully so as to ensure constant soil coverage. A synergistic garden it lends itself well to any type of crop.
  5. The fertility of the soil
    Mulching protects earthworms and other natural microorganisms present in the soil, thus ensuring the most suitable habitat for the propagation of the roots of our plants: most of the practices agricultural traditional hindering the interaction between plants and microorganisms by increasing the need to fertilize the soil with chemical agents, increasing the incidence of diseases and reducing biodiversity.

Protect the garden with synergistic agriculture

  1. The roots should never be uprooted from the soil but left to rot and decompose to return organic matter and nutrients to the soil.
  2. Mulching favors the presence of snails, these guests may not be welcome if in thesynergistic garden they are growing strawberries! The natural enemies of snails are hedgehogs and toads but if they are not widespread in your area, then it is possible to prepare natural traps following the advice given to remove the scissors.
  3. Mice, moles and voles can be removed with traps or ... try putting a lot of dog hair in the holes of their burrows.
  4. Between one pallet and another it is recommended to leave space for the cultivator to pass through. The recommended space is 50-60 cm so you can also carry a wheelbarrow!

Synergistic agriculture, food for thought
Based on the four principles ofsynergistic agriculture, you can act independently and develop other techniques for the cultivation of the synergistic vegetable garden. The four cornerstones of synergistic agriculture, developed by Fukuoka, are:

1). The soil must not be worked on
The earth shapes itself through the penetration of roots and the activity of microorganisms, insects, earthworms and other small underground animals. The only rule for managing the soil in synergistic agriculture is to never stop crops, even in the cold periods of the year. In this regard, the article dedicated to the winter synergistic garden is available.

2). No chemical fertilizer or soil improver
Unlike biodynamic or organic agriculture, synergistic agriculture does not involve the use of chemical fertilizers or preparations because the soil, managed wisely, conserves and increases fertility.

Nature provides us with the best fertilizer available: earthworm humus. It is obtained thanks to earthworms which, left to grow freely in a culture medium, release the manure into the soil. By not using any chemical pesticides and by not treating the soil in any way, earthworms have a way to proliferate and increase the natural fertility of the soil.

3). No weeding
Mulching is the only way to protect the synergistic garden from weeds. Weeds must be checked but not eliminated.

4). No chemical compounds
Chemistry can only alter the balance of the garden. Nature, if left to itself, remains in perfect balance and will redeem mankind with excellent yields.

How to start a synergistic vegetable garden

To start asynergistic gardenjust read the guide articleHow to create a synergistic vegetable garden. As stated, it all begins with the construction of the benches, that is raised flower beds made up of soil dug on site. This is the only context that sees the working of the land. To prepare the pallets, just work the soil with spades and shovels and prepare the surface with a rake.

Synergistic garden on non-arable land
If the land on which we intend to start asynergistic gardenit is not suitable for cultivation, it is possible to bring some soil already mixed with compost or well decomposed manure, but in this case the first year of cultivation must be dedicated to inedible or in any case less demanding plants such as beet and chicory, so as to accelerate the terrain evolution.

Synergistic garden on ground already treated
If the soil in question has been treated with chemicals during previous crops, it is advisable, in the first year of cultivation, to plant those species that best neutralize toxic residues: mustard, chicory, clover ...

Which plants to grow insynergistic garden? There association
To decide which plants to grow, it is possible to rely on the principles of intercropping vegetables in the synergistic garden.

The garlic plant is recommended in various circumstances: garlic has excellent antibacterial functions and plays the role of a natural pesticide (garlic as a pesticide).

The guardians
Beforecultivate the synergistic vegetable gardenit will be necessary to install permanent plant stakes. One idea would be to implant iron rods (those used in construction) folded to form an arch of 2 meters in height. The iron rods must have a diameter of 10-12 mm. Natural materials such as hemp or sisal can be used to fix the arches.

Transplants
Both sowing and transplants must be well planned to ensure constant cultivation of the entire surface of the pallets. L'synergistic gardenit must be full at any time of the year. For optimal synergy, at least three different plant species must be present. For the choice of plants, please refer to the previous paragraph on association.

For more information:how to create a vegetable garden with synergistic agriculture.

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