A sustainable garden fits in with nature that surrounds us
A sustainable garden is a garden that remains sustainable in the long term and fits seamlessly with the nature around us. In a sustainable garden, sustainable materials are used that can also be reused after use, such as wood, cow dung, and rainwater. In addition, account is taken of the own vegetation climate and the own water management climate. A sustainable garden also requires no more work than a maintenance-friendly garden or a garden with a pond, but it has more diversity and also gives more enjoyment to users, both to the people and to the animals that live there. In addition, the sustainable garden is also safe for bees, bumble bees and ladybugs.
A garden can be sustainably maintained
The maintenance of a sustainable garden consists largely of fertilizing with sustainable materials as required, such as cow dung, peat, compost (preferably from our own compost heap) and lime. At most also with some sand if the structure of the soil is too firm.
Don't hoe too often
In many sustainable gardens, digging takes place only in the spring and autumn and, at most, weeding only once or twice a year. That is also better, because in this way the seeds, which are spread by the wind or through the excrements of birds, get the opportunity to take root. Every now and then you get a free surprise in the form of plants such as foxglove (digitalis), wood anemone, wood violets or ferns. Trees such as mountain ash, oak and beech can often just loom up in your garden.
The maintenance of the soil in your garden
The soil in your garden automatically indicates what it needs. If it is too firm, work through some sand and peat underneath to create a looser structure, which means rainwater can reach the roots of the plants better. A lot of moss often means that the soil is somewhat acidic. That doesn't have to be a problem, but not every plant can handle it. If you see your plants deteriorate, work some lime through the soil in mossy places.
The maintenance of the lawn
The lawn can also use some lime, if it contains a lot of moss. Fattening with cow dung is better than fattening with artificial fertilizer, but don't overdo it. However, if you do not trust the quality of the soil in your garden and you think that the previous owner did not handle it properly, take a soil sample and have it examined. Among others in Wageningen is a laboratory where soil samples can be examined. You will then automatically hear what can be done about it.
Climate your own plants, shrubs and trees in your garden
Take your own plants and trees for your sustainable garden climate. These are the plants and trees that can survive here in this climate. Plants such as beautiful palms, banana plants with their beautiful, large leaves and bougainvilleas are beautiful, but do not survive our winters and must be protected against frost by wrapping them in or bringing them in. Because plants always grow, it usually becomes a problem in the long run.
Examples of climate own plants and shrubs
Instead of these plants, there is, for example, the witch hazel that blooms in winter, the evergreen boxwood and various conifers that survive in our winters and give the garden a livelier look. These plants do not really need extra care in the winter. Ensure a good variety of trees, shrubs and plants. Decorate the garden in such a way that something blooms and / or bears fruit all year round, so that the birds and other animals come to visit your garden. You will then also enjoy your garden more.
The sustainable garden and water management
Those who want to do the environment a favor must provide a garden floor where the water can drain off naturally. The bottom of the garden must therefore be permeable to water. That also means that a terrace floor can be made of bricks, wood (with FSC quality mark!), Pebble or coconut chips. Tiles are less good, because the water flows from that.
Collecting rain water
Collect the rainwater from the roof or shed in a barrel or container and water the garden with it on dry, hot days. Nowadays every homeowner has to get rid of his rainwater himself in a drainage well, from where it sinks into the ground. That is good for the groundwater level. Only as little rain water as possible should enter the sewer.
A pond fits in a sustainable garden
A small pond filled with rain water will enrich your garden and is an oasis for the birds that can drink from it and bathe in it extensively. This does not require a large pond. Over time you can even find salamanders, frogs and small insects in it. However, watch out with small children. If you have very young children or grandchildren, lay a heavy and sturdy grid over the pond and fix it firmly in the ground so that no child can drown in it.
A sustainable garden fence
Garden fencing comes in all shapes and sizes. One even more beautiful than the other, but not every garden fence is also environmentally friendly. Fences of reed mats are often environmentally friendly, but usually do not last long and quickly become ugly. A fence with posts, wire and ivy is green, but requires a regular pruning and provides quite a bit of garden waste.
A beech hedge around the garden
A beech hedge is also green in summer and brown in winter, because it loses its leaves slowly. A beech hedge must also be pruned twice a year. Conifers, boxwood, and slate trees can also serve as a secretion, but also require occasional pruning.
A wall also requires maintenance
A brick wall seems maintenance-free as a partition, but in the shade such a wall often turns green and needs to be cleaned and maintained from time to time, so no maintenance is required at all. That is why it is better to put a hedge as a fence off your garden than a fence or wall. A hedge is also a magnet for the birds, who nest in it and can seek shelter from the cold.
Sustainable gardening helps nature
Sustainable gardening does not mean that nothing can be changed. Diseased trees, shrubs and plants must be treated and / or replaced. Aphids can be found in almost every garden and you can fight environmentally friendly with a mixture of water and alcohol. Ladybugs live on aphids and can thus reduce an aphid infestation. You can restore the normal color to green terrace floors with hot water. Hot water from the kettle is also great for eradicating weeds between tiles and bricks. You don't need poison for that.
Sustainable gardening also saves us materials and money
Have an eye for the trends in garden centers. They naturally come up with new things every year that you can put and / or use on your terrace or in your garden. However, many of those materials are not necessary and only cost money. In addition, many other consumer items are not required. For example, destroying sustainable weeds through a solution of alcohol with green soap, or cleaning the sidewalk with boiling water is much cheaper than spraying expensive types of poison and you are doing the environment a great favor with it. Your garden will benefit from it.
Solar lighting fits in a sustainable garden
Solar lighting in the garden only costs you the purchase of the lamps, after which you can enjoy them for long and free of charge. In addition, solar lighting does not require the installation of long electrical cables in the garden.
Gardening is healthy and keeps you fit
There is no maintenance-free garden. Gardens with ponds and tiled "gardens" must also be regularly cared for. In your sustainable garden you only have to prune occasionally, replace a plant, tree or shrub here and there and pay attention to the health of the soil and everything that grows. Gardening also keeps you fit and healthy. You work in the open air, use almost all the muscles of your body and make vitamin D through the sunlight. Seeing the garden grow and flourish also gives much satisfaction.
Video: Backyard aeroponics: self-sustaining farm for Wisconsin cold (February 2020).
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