A garden close to nature (Austrian Ecolabel)

Nature-oriented gardening without chemicals

Many synthetic chemical pesticides have a negative effect on human health as well as on animals and plants. Good gardening without chemicals starts with the choice of plants and relies on natural cycles and eco-labelled products.

Every application of a plant protection product represents an intervention in the ecosystem. The risk cannot be clearly assessed. Residues of some products are sometimes found in the environment even years after they have been banned. Plant protection products can have an impact on soil and water quality. They reduce biodiversity because they kill not only the supposed pests, but also beneficial insects and other animals. Poisoned insects, for example, are eaten in large quantities by birds. When birds of prey or mammals eat these birds, they are also exposed to the poison.

The alternative: organic gardening

Organic gardening avoids the introduction of toxins into the environment and begins with the selection of plants: Plants from regional nurseries are adapted to the local climate and are more robust. The regular rotation of plant species in the same location and mixed cultures maintain soil fertility and inhibit the spread of pests and diseases.

Use peat-free potting soil with the Austrian Ecolabel in flower boxes and pots. This promotes the preservation of sensitive marshlands, which are not only unique habitats but also huge CO2 reservoirs.

Do not use synthetic mineral fertilisers. They are usually produced with a great energy input. Fertilise with compost or buy organic fertiliser.
Products with the Austrian Ecolabel can be found at www.umweltzeichen.at/de/produkte/garten-grünraum#guideline=UZ32.

It's all about diversity

In the wild, a biological balance is always established between so-called pests and beneficial organisms. This is a model for near-natural gardens. A high species diversity of (wild) plants in the balcony box as well as in the garden, and abundant structures such as deadwood piles, rock piles or old trees encourage beneficial insects. Give preference to plant care and plant protection products with the Austrian Ecolabel over other products to ensure that health and the environment are protected.

Article written by Manuela Lanzinger DIE UMWELTBERATUNG and she gives tips for organic gardening at www.umweltberatung.at/biogartentipp.