How to grow laurel in a biological way
Laurel (Laurus nobilis L., 1753) is a rustic plant; to know how to grow the bay in an organic way it is known that it grows well in all the land and can be grown in any type of vegetable garden and in many business conditions. The spread of this plant occurs very easily by seed (the seeds are spread by birds that prey on the fruit), the multiplication occurs very easily in nature due to the quantity of its suckers, which easily produces small woods produced by a single individual ( that is, clones of the starting tree), or artificially by cuttings. The laurel is a very rustic plant that adapts very well to grow in the most diverse environmental situations both in pots and in open fields. It can be easily exposed in full sun, but it also grows well in shady places.
It is a plant that can be grown in the apartment as long as it respects its cultivation needs. The cultivation temperatures are typical of Mediterranean climate regions. Temperatures below zero degrees Celsius are tolerated for short periods of time. It likes a good air circulation but it does not tolerate air currents and above all the continuous intense winds that disturb it in its growth. Laurel is a plant that should be watered moderately during spring and summer whenever the surface layer of the soil dries. From autumn and throughout the winter, irrigations can be reduced and suspended if temperatures fall below 7 ° C. It is a species that does not tolerate water stagnations, which are the main cause of death of the laurel plants. If the plant is grown in pots, you must repot every two years because even if they are plants that do not grow very quickly, the roots take up a lot of space. Repotting should be done in the spring using a good fertile soil that remains soft because the plants do not like water stagnation so both the pot and the earth must ensure good drainage. For the fertilization it is necessary to consider if this plant is cultivated in pot or in open field and since it is a species that prefers the spontaneous state the use of this technique should be limited only to potted plants and slightly preferring the nitrogenous supplies (not from fertilizers synthetic). To fertilize the bay the most suitable period is spring and throughout the summer. In the other periods the fertilizations must be suspended. Attention however and always to the use of fertilizers as these can affect (especially nitrogen) on the aroma of this plant. This plant normally blooms in spring and the fruits ripen in autumn. In order to have a beautiful plant (especially in its shapes and dimensions) it is advisable to prune the plants every year, towards the end of winter. The multiplication of the laurel occurs, as mentioned, by seed or by multiplication of the suckers that are formed at the base of the mother plant or by cuttings. When choosing the technique to be used, keep in mind that the multiplication by seed has the disadvantage that, taking over the genetic variability, you are not sure that you will have plants equal to the mother plants, in which case if you want to get a well plant precise or not sure of the quality of the seed you are using, it is good to multiply by cuttings. The multiplication by seed is carried out in the autumn by distributing the seeds in parallel rows on a seed soil. To evenly bury them you can push them under the mold using a flat piece of wood. An important operation to do before sowing is the so-called scarification, that is to say make the outer layer of the seed integers permeable to the absorption of water and gas. To do this, the seeds are immersed in boiling water and left to soak until the water has cooled; or you can “scratch” the surface of the seed with thin-grained sandpaper or incise the outer layer with a knife taking care not to damage “the eye” that is to say that small depression that is noticed in the seed. At the beginning of the sowing it is recommended to nebulize the area often to allow a more uniform germination. If sowing is to be done in a tray it should be kept in the shade, at a temperature around 20 – 23 ° C and constantly humid (use a sprayer to completely moisten the soil) until germination. The tray should be covered with a transparent plastic sheet which will guarantee a good temperature and will prevent the soil from drying out too quickly. Spray the water in the compost each time the substrate is about to dry out. Every day the plastic is removed to check the soil moisture and remove the condensation from the plastic. Once the seeds have sprouted, remove the plastic sheet, and as the seedlings grow, the amount of light is increased (never the direct sun), the temperature is reduced to around 18 ° C and will ensure a good ventilation. Of all the laurel seedlings born, surely there will be those less vigorous than others that must be eliminated in order to give more space to the more robust plants.
The multiplication by cuttings is carried out between the end of the month of July and September are taken of the vegetative apexes from the plants about 10-13 cm long. It is always recommended to cut with a razor blade or a sharp knife to avoid fraying of fabrics taking care that the tool used for cutting is clean and disinfected (preferably flame) to avoid infecting tissues. After cutting the leaves lower down, the cut part is immersed in a rizogena powder to promote rooting. Subsequently, the cuttings are arranged in a compound consisting of one part of peat and one of coarse sand. You make holes with a pencil, as many as the cuttings being careful then to gently compact the soil. It is advisable to cover the box or the pot with a sheet of transparent plastic (or a bag with a cap) and place it in the shade and at a temperature around 15 ° C taking care to keep the soil always slightly moist (always watering without wetting the seedlings in rooting with water at room temperature). Every day the plastic is removed to check the soil moisture and remove the condensation from the plastic. Once the first shoots begin to appear, it means that the cutting has taken root. At that point the plastic is removed and the vase is placed in a brighter area, at the same temperature and the cuttings are expected to be strengthened. When the young laurel seedlings will be sufficiently large and have produced new vigorous jets, they will be transplanted into the final pot or ground. The laurel contrary to what is thought is a species that must be subject to several fungal diseases, entomological or even mites. Often, however, are the wrong fertilizations (especially nitrogen-based) to provoke them because they are too sensitive to the young tissues, these are more subject to the virulence of these attacks.