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Sustainable Gardening (1)

by Elena Schöber

For many people, there is nothing more fulfilling than gardening. Creating your personal calm oasis with your own hands and reaping the fruits of your honest labour afterwards, being outside in fresh air, coming down to earth and soaking up the beauty of nature – what could be more beautiful? Organising your garden in a sustainable manner on top of that! We will reveal how you should proceed step by step in the following:

Planning is already half of it

No matter whether you set out a completely new garden or want to turn the already existing one in a sustainable safe haven – for a successful outcome of your intention, time and planning are essential. The aim of the sustainable horticulture is to create your own functioning little ecosystem, after all. Therefore, you should examine the state of your garden first and write all the important information down in a comprehensive plan with layout – the more details, the better the results! For instance, you could include the lighting and soil conditions, the desired structure of your new garden including a planting plan, natural resources you could use, like a rain barrel or a compost heap, as well as construction measures, if needed.

Checking the soil condition

The soil conditions often are crucial for the success of plant breeding. However, you can easily determine whether your earth is too damp, too dry, too dense, too loose, too sandy or too loamy. Just squeeze a bit of moist soil in your hand in order to form some kind of sausage. If this does not work at all, you are probably dealing with a sandy soil which is light and warm, but scarcely stores any water. In case the earth stays in shape permanently, your soil is loamy, heavy and cold. Both conditions are not ideal for gardening. If you can shape a sausage which almost immediately falls apart again, your earth can be easily processed, saves enough water and contains sufficient nutrients. In order to improve a sandy or a loamy soil, just fold in some compost. In addition to that, you should examine the pH value of your soil, as different plants prefer different earth qualities. Therefore, you can just purchase some test strips in the garden centre. If you would like to buy potting compost as well, you should take care that it does not contain turf. The peat extraction destroys biotopes and thereby important habitats of flora and fauna. More sustainable alternatives would be wood and coconut fibres, compost, bark humus and additives like clay minerals.

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