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Understanding Garden Terms

Tulips, Tulip, Field, Fields, Orange

Do you end up confused by terms such as: hybrid open-pollinated heirloom, heritage and microsystem? In this article we’ll discuss some basics that will help clear some of the confusion up.

Let’s look at the difference between a microsystem and an ecosystem. To gardeners an ecosystem would be used to refer to the average high and low temperatures, sea level, rainfall and moisture and the zone of the region. A microsystem could be sections of the property or your entire property. As an example, if you have one corner which tends to stay moist, and another that gets largely shade, while a different place has full sunlight… those are all examples of different microsystems. Each microsystem will have plants and wildlife that will thrive in these particular conditions.

Plants purposely cross-pollinated or are created when two parents that were unique are mechanically.

Open-pollinated means the plants produced naturally doing the work.
Heritage has come to mean open-pollinated seeds known to have been grown for at least one, and often several, generations.

Heirloom refers to seeds varieties that go back much farther than just a couple generations.
Were you aware that in some instances, it’s illegal to store GM seeds? A trademark indicates genetic manipulation and that is the legal property.
Bio-piracy and bio-prospecting, involves patent rights over the development of specific gene combinations. Hybrid plant produce, too, will not produce true to form. While open-pollinated seed will produce true to form as long as proper procedures are followed.

Large commercial agriculture uses monoculture methods (areas of one crop), often with little to no pollinator and windbreak or water runoff planning.

Succession planting includes the gardener having transplants or seeds ready to plant when one crop is harvested.
Interplanting (planting closely together), bio-intensive (using the soil surface more efficiently) and companion (working with plants which benefit each other while avoiding those who are direct competitors with one-another) are other conditions you are likely to come across.

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