A garden is a place where we make contact with nature. That sounds simple enough, but how do we deal with that nature, and by which principles do we allow ourselves to be guided? We guide you through the forest of concepts and quality marks. Organic, ecological, biodynamic, and more …
1. Organic gardening
Those who choose organic do not want to disturb the balance in the garden and use organic products. Organic products and plants are produced in such a way that the natural cycle is maintained as much as possible. With an emphasis on ‘as much as possible’. For example, an organic nursery is allowed to use potting soil with peat. However, fertilizers, rooting hormones, and chemical pesticides are taboo. You can recognize organic products by three different quality marks.
Hallmarks Demeter or EKO hallmark
Organic gardening, what is it?
All organic products produced in the European Union (EU) bear the European organic quality mark, recognizable by the green leaf. If a product has the Demeter or EKO quality mark, it meets at least the same requirements as a product with the European organic quality mark. When you buy an organic plant, you cannot always tell from the outside whether it has been grown organically, although a professional will quickly
Discover the difference between a fertilizer-driven plant and one that has been given time to grow slowly. There are several Skal certified organic nurseries. In addition, there are numerous nurseries that are not certified by Skal, but grow their plants organically or even go one step further.
2. Ecological gardening
Those who garden ecologically want to burden the environment as little as possible and respect the cohesion between everything that lives. Ecology is all about a good balance between man and his environment. ‘Organic’ and ‘ecological’ are often used interchangeably.
Yet ‘ecological’ goes a step further than ‘organic’. An example: in an organic garden, the application of animal manure (as long as it does not come from the bio-industry) is not a problem. But in an ecological garden, you prefer to use compost from your own compost heap. Various (non-selective) pesticides may also be used in organic cultivation that is taboo for ecological gardening.
Also, ‘biodynamic’ (also abbreviated to BD) goes a step further than ‘organic’. Biodynamic food products have a Demeter quality mark. In biodynamic agriculture and horticulture, higher requirements are imposed on, for example, the fertilizer used and the handling of animals. The movement has its roots in anthroposophy and is based on the ideas of Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925). You could call his vision holistic: farmers and horticulturists, growers and gardeners
Interact with the processes in nature. They do not impose anything from above, but move with these processes and are part of them.
4. Sustainable gardening
Literally, ‘sustainable’ means something that lasts a long time, but when used in relation to the environment, this term has an extra connotation. A sustainable garden does not cause pollution, does not deplete resources, and does not disturb the ecology. As many materials as possible are reused. If that is not possible, materials are chosen that have the least possible impact on the environment.
Organic material, organic fertilizers, and organic form. When it comes to gardens, the word ‘organic’ is often used. Organic material and organic fertilizers come from living organisms and are also broken down by them. An
Organic shape means that the lines appear natural and are not straight or angular. Organic is sometimes confused with English organic, which means organic. In translated texts, these terms are often confused, but they are not the same. A pumpkin, for example, is always organic, but not every pumpkin is organic.
Permaculture is a method of designing sustainable systems. It can be applied in all kinds of areas. Someone who gardens according to the principles of permaculture will create an edible garden where nature is listened to. Key concepts in permaculture are biodiversity, healthy soil, little maintenance, little or no watering, and using plants that feed and strengthen each other.
The ideal garden is one teeming with life. With a wealth of plant species, flowers from early spring to late autumn, pollinating insects, soil animals, fungi, and micro-organisms. Such a garden contributes to biodiversity. Biodiversity is an umbrella term for all plant and animal species that we have on earth, but in practice, it means a little more. All those different types do not stand alone, they are part of a system: you cannot just remove a link without causing damage to the whole.