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People usually associate gardens with sustainability but actually not every way of gardening is eco-friendly! What should you consider to have a beautiful, diverse backyard? Read further and find out!
Use Organic Seeds!
Conventional seed crops are heavy users of synthetic agricultural chemicals because they are in the ground longer and have less chemical restrictions than food crops. This also means that they have no opportunity to develop immunity to their natural enemies. Seeds produced organically will yield plants that are more adapted to, and more likely to thrive under organic growing conditions.
Where can you purchase organic seeds? If you have the opportunity, you can take part in seed swapping and seed saving. Or you can buy our organic seeds produced by ReinSaat, a family business in Austria. They produce a wide variety of organic seeds since 1998. ReinSaat is proud of the quality of their products, which is reflected in the taste and the yield of the vegetables. Their unique land varieties are contributing to the biodiversity and resilience of our agriculture. ReinSaat seeds are open-pollinated (non-hybrid) organic land varieties, so the seeds of the plant can be planted again. Naturally all of the seeds are GMO-free. They are also recommended for biodynamic farming! Using these organic seeds contributes to the subsistence of our ecological seed supply, so we can continue to grow healthy, tasteful vegetables in the future.
Of course the compost is the best and cheapest start for fertilizing your garden. We covered that subject in our last article: Composting 101, so click on the title to learn more. You can find many types of composters here! For other options we recommend using a local farm’s manure, and mineral or microbiological fertilizers.
In agriculture, zeolite, a naturally occurring mineral is used as a soil treatment. It provides a source of slowly released potassium. Zeolites can also act as water moderators, because they can absorb up to 55% of their weight in water and slowly release it under the plant's demand. This property can prevent root rot and moderate drought cycles. Grab one of our soil-ameliorating mineral composites to see results in your garden.
The Greenman Agro is a microbiological crop enhancer that improves the quality of soil and the life in it while promoting humification. It can be used in ecological farming according to Biokontroll Hungary, the Hungarian certification agency for organic products. It improves the efficiency of watering, and helps retaining nutrients, breaking down organic matter, and transforming it to valuable bioactive materials, like organic acids, antioxidants, vitamins, phytohormones, enzymes, and specific antibacterial matters. It is capable to restore the micro flora, vitality and biological activity in the soil. It boosts photosynthesis and strengthens germination, rooting and sprouting. It is completely non-toxic, without any harmful chemicals.
Avoid artificial manures because they need huge amounts of energy to produce, and they are harmful for the health of humans and the soil, and they can contaminate the groundwater! To further enhance the health and yield of your crops, learn about companion planting and biological pest control! If you are interested in a more in depth and systemic approach to care for your garden and planet Earth, read about permaculture design and principles!
Natural and recycled accessories
If you are an avid planter, you will be happy to know that there are completely biodegradable, recycled paper flower pots and seed starters that can be planted into the soil! They biodegrade in the soil without any mess! They are great because you can replace wasteful plastic planters with them!
If everything in your garden is natural, why would you use plastic twine to tie the grapevines? Opt for natural hemp cords instead! The plastic twines will disintegrate with time, making your garden polluted with tiny plastic particles!
You can protect your hands from dirt and injury if you are using a gardening glove. You can buy one made of recycled denim!
Water efficiency in the garden
Water efficiency is very important in our world where water scarcity is getting more and more common. If you want to keep your yard thriving, you are probably watering huge amounts of water on it. How can you reduce that? First of all, invest in a rainwater cistern. It can relieve the drought from the rain of the months before!
Another important aspect is to make watering more efficient. The most effective way to do this is to make your own drip irrigation system from scratch. This is the best available option, because it transfers the water directly to the plants, which minimizes evaporation loss.
Another great way to improve watering efficiency is mulching, which also reduces the evaporation of the water, and as we talked about it before, zeolites can help water use of the plants too.
Providing Habitat for Wildlife and Pollinators
Improve biodiversity in your garden by providing food and shelter to animals! You can attract birds into your backyard by applying bird friendly accessories! The artificial nests can help birds whose natural habitat was destroyed by humans! Hang up a bird feeder box filled with nutritious seeds so the birds can survive the harsh winter months.
Attracting bees and other pollinators is good for the environment and essential for crops! One third of the food we eat is produced with the help of bees. The worldwide collapse of bee colonies puts pollinating and agriculture at risk. Bees need our help, because they get less pollen due to the expansion of monocultures. The bee-friendly flower seeds grow 60-120 cm high, providing food for our protegee all year round. Please don’t use harmful pesticides, as those can hurt our useful pollinator friends too! Make a DIY insect hotel in a calm corner of your garden from perforated bricks, reed, tiles and sticks. You can involve your children in this fun and creative project!