Basic criteria of ecological gardening | Garden Care & Maintenance.

Ecological gardening

Evil cultivation of plants causes negative effects. For example:
  • The mass of insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, etc. employment it hits in the middle and there is risk to people and animals.
  • Overconsumption of water in irrigation, especially for the lawn and in regions where it is a scarce resource.
  • The use of nitrates (are highly soluble fertilizer) which they infiltrate and contaminate groundwater or aquifers.
  • The large amount of vegetable waste incinerated or are landfills without benefit.
These and other problems lead us to reflect and consider a new concept: Ecological gardening. Under this name we designed ways to build gardens and techniques to keep them in a way that is rational and respectful with the environment.
Organic gardening tries to save water, pesticides and fertilizers; It promotes habits and attitudes that contribute to the conservation and protection of the environment and health.
On this page I will list to summarize the points on which rests so you can have a global vision; on subsequent pages, you will have more detailed explanations. I suggest you to put into practice some, if not all, of the ideas contained here.

Basic criteria of ecological gardening

1. design of the garden
2 irrigation
3 Subscriber
4 padding
5 herbs adventitious
6 lawn
7 plagues and diseases

1. design of the garden

Uses preferably native plants. For example, if you live in a climate of type Mediterranean, species such as Rosemary, thyme, Sage, lavender, etc., are all indigenous. There are hundreds to choose from with different shapes, textures, portes, colors, climate and soil.
• The advantage of the use of native species that require less maintenance since is that they are more resistant to the lack of water, soils, pests, diseases, etc..
• If you have little water to irrigate, cacti and other Succulents are the toughest.
• According to the physical and chemical soil characteristics (texture, pH, rich in organic matter, etc.) choose the species most suitable to it. For example, if your soil is limestone (e.g., pH 8), you do not rush in planting an Azalea which requires soil with acid pH, less than 6.5, trying to lose the original pH of 8; It is to go against the current.
Groups species in the garden according to their water needs:
  • A dry area where the autotonas species are together and xerophyte.
  • A watering zone environment where they are grouped plants with average water needs.
  • A wetland area which require regular irrigation (if you include them in the garden, you can be "dry zone").
• To save water protects from the Sun with shade: trees or a pergola with climbing.
Protects from the wind, is another blot for plants. Hedges, masses of trees, fences, Heath, hurdles, etc..
You plantes not too tight, give them space the plants to develop good according to its size.
Shrub masses
Creates groups and masses similar to that nature is in the field. Dense groups of plants create microclimates to retain moisture, shade the soil, protect small plants from the wind and prevent weeds.
At the edge of the lawn
• At the edges of the lawn which is where it falls more water, take advantage to planting it needing more water.
Usa plant Groundcovers, also called Alfombrantes, to cover the ground.
• Use natural, cheap and durable materials in the construction of the garden. For example, thick branches and trunks can be used to decorate.
Placed lanterns and beacons photovoltaic solar power feeding.

2 irrigation

• Avoids the wastage of water at all times.
Native plants live with rainwater, by so much, little or no watering required, except at the beginning should be watered so that they become well entrenched and exceed the first summers.
• The system of drip irrigation saves water and plants make better use all what come to be located.
• Water early in the morning or in the evening, never to the Sun.
Irrigation automatic Programmer allows watering at night and avoid the strong evaporation of the day produced by the Sun and the wind.
Used your plants with little irrigation. If you want to become a "normal" Garden one little irrigation there to "get them" progressively over several years.
In sandy soils irrigated with more frequency and less quantity so that less water is lost out of the reach of the roots by infiltration. Drip irrigation is ideal for Sandy.
The re-use of treated water, urban waste water and industrial, being used successfully at golf courses.

3 Subscriber

Organic fertilizer
In organic gardening is discouraged using conventional chemical fertilizers because nitrates pollute the groundwater.
The excess of fertilizers originate an excessively tender sprouting and makes plants more prone to pests such as aphids and mites.
• In organic farming is credited with organic fertilizers and natural fertilizers.
• On the other hand, native plants just need fertilizers.
Produces a homemade compost recycling the plant remains, as branches from pruning, mowing grass, leaves, remains of meals, etc..
• Even if you leave on the floor the rest of the plants themselves, crushing them previously in the case of thin branches, serves as a fertilizer, although it is preferable to composting.
• In natural gardens is the basis of the trees filled with litter.

4 padding

• The padding or mulching consists of covering the ground from the foot of plants with different materials, as a layer of 5 to 15 cm thick.
• Materials for padding or mulching:
-Crushed pine bark
-Pine needles
-Peat, mulch, compost
-Gravel & pebbles of colors
-Black volcanic pozzolana
-Straw, sawdust...
Pine bark
Padding saves work because there is less water to retain the moisture of the Earth, leaving fewer herbs and no tilling the soil.

5 herbs adventitious

Before planting or sowing well till the ground and hand out all the runners, bulbils and rhizomes that you find.
• Some spontaneous herbs are beautiful when they bloom and they can leave.
Avoids the use of herbicides. The perennial herbs that regenerate again and again, exhausting them based on hoes with hoe whenever they leave, will weaken gradually and increasingly there will be less.
• Trees and fruit is preferable to mowing weeds leaving the remains as padding that provide nutrients and life to the Earth.
The padding at the base of the plants with bark, pine straw, compost, manure, peat, gravel, etc. is another method to prevent weeds.
clip_image038You anti-weed mesh
One NET is very useful for clumps of bushes, for rock gardens, gardens of cactus, on roads of gravel, etc.. The aesthetic finish is achieved by covering it with bark of pine, with Chinese, with gravel...
Brazil (Gazania)
Covers the soil with plant Groundcovers that prevent sprouting.

6 lawn

The lawn is the major consumer of garden water. • The grass requires much maintenance: irrigation, fertilizer, mowing, profiling, airy, scarifying, reseeding, control pests and fungi.
The lawn is contraindicated in ecological gardening.
There are other alternatives for ground cover:
-Ground plants
-Masses of shrubs
-Pine bark
-Gravel aggregates and decorative
• If you are not going to renounce it, allocates a small surface, indispensable for family needs, perhaps the central area, around the pool and some areas more.
• Avoid implant it in marginal areas or with steep (slope); better put on those sites plant Groundcovers.
Choose a mixture of lawn that is resistant to drought.
Usually the lawn to little water so that their roots deepen more. No water so frequently.
• Less grass means less use of machine lawn mower and trimmer to the edges, in a way that is minimized consumption of fossil fuel and the emission of noise and gases.
• Lawns also tend to be treated with insecticides, fungicides and herbicides. Therefore, better avoid them.

7 plagues and diseases

Pest and disease

How to prevent pests and diseases?

• Insects, fungi, bacteria and viruses attack mainly weak plants. Therefore, to prevent, nothing better than have them strong and vigorous.
Purchase of quality plants, well bred, thriving and not congested roots.
Inspect them if bring disease, plague, or wound.
Native species are more resistant to pests and diseases than exotics. Use them in your garden.
• If the plant is shadow, not you plant it in the Sun. Example, a Hosta burns in full sun most of the day, and would be weak.
Iron chlorosis
Choose species suitable to the characteristics of the soil of your garden. For example, the image below is a problem of lack of iron (ferric chlorosis), usually caused by a limestone soil combined with susceptible species. Therefore, in this type of soil does not plantes acidophiles such as hydrangeas, Gardenia, Azalea, rhododendron, Heath, Camellia, etc..
• There is grass mixtures for shade, others are more suited to withstand much trampling, to resist drought, etc. You always have to choose the right so that it does not suffer and is prey to parasites.
• If your garden environment attacks of the fungus Seiridium in hedges or specimens of Cypress, Macrocarpas or Arizonica, not plants species, but others that are not susceptible to Seiridium because there is high risk of infection. It is a clear example of preventive measure.
Plantes not very dense. This causes competition between individuals for space, water, nutrients and at the end are plants weak and thin, which makes them more susceptible to pests and diseases.
• If a fungus has finished with a plant infecting roots, don't come back to plant the same thing in the same place, or if you do, replaces the land on the other.
• It is a bug planted a rose Bush in the same place where he served another for over 6 years. The Earth contains fungi and is "dead".
The excessive irrigation brings the roots rot and that is "they malacostumbren" irrigation, suffering when some time lack them. They must not go thirsty plants.
Avoid wetting the leaves and flowers since that favor the development of diseases. Irrigation on the foot.
The excess nitrogen makes the most tender plants for insects, for example, the mites (spider mites) increase your attack.
Collects and burns the leaves that have been attacked by fungi.
Prevents injuries and cuts at plants because fungi such as BOTRYTIS, Chancres on trunk and branches, bacteria out there...
• Solve the entanglement of trees and shrubs by pruning to improve aeration and insulation from the inside of the Cup. The proliferation of fungi and other pathogens is reduced as well.
Disinfect pruning tools to not transmit bacteria or viruses of a plant to another.
There are plants that scare away pest repellents natural as. It is not 100% effective, but it is a supplement that helps. For example, a garden or Orchard surrounded with some aromatic such as Sage, rue, Rosemary and lavender; or between the usual crop, mint, tarragon, thyme or Basil.

How to cure diseases and pests?

Uses the least possible pesticides or, if it can be, nothing. Reasons:
  • They contaminate.
  • They pose a certain risk for people, especially for young children and animals all touch it and take it to the mouth.
  • Pests are becoming stronger and more resistant.
  • Bordeaux broth
Used insecticides and fungicides that are used in organic farming: copper (Bordeaux broth), sulphur, slurry of nettles, SOAP of potash, Bacillus thuringiensis (biological insecticide), etc.
• Our goal cannot be to eliminate 100% of individuals, but to keep the plague within acceptable limits.
• Many people use pesticides as a last resort to save plants in cases of severe infestation or infection. Sometimes it is difficult to do without them, for example, to the butterfly's geranium; or in very humid climates, in spring, for mildew of potatoes which if not apply fungicides, almost always catches it.
• Submit to the plants, including trees, to a shower with pressurized water hose to shoot down insects.
Reviewed the plants and hand captures everything you can: beetles, caterpillars, worms, snails and slugs... Removes bugs.

• Sanitation pruning

Not to extend an evil, pruning the affected parties. Examples: the fungus Seiridium affecting Cypress, Macrocarpa and Arizonica; the Dutch elm disease of Elm; the botrytisfungus, if not removed leaves and rotting branches spreads to the rest of the plant. etc.
Triangular trap - catch
Fly trap: Diptera
They are substances olorificas emitted by insects, for example, of sexual nature. Today sex pheromones of a multitude of species constituting plague are chemically synthesized. They are used for different purposes:
  • To capture males.
  • To confuse the males and that will not happen.
  • To follow the evolution of a plague.

• Chromatic traps

Yellow trap. Blue trap
Blue trap for thrips and whitefly and aphids yellow trap. The plates are coated with an adhesive and insects are attached.

• Biological control

All pests have natural enemies that must protect and promote. Collects insects of this type and distribute them. Also specialized companies sell them.
Ladybug's 7 points
Depositing an egg in aphid
  • Example of predatory insect is the Ladybug, which eats the aphids.
  • As an example of parasitoid insect we can put to the avispillas that lay their eggs inside aphids and are eating inside.
  • Insectivorous birds. To promote your presence you can put feeders, drinkers, artificial nests for birds and planting a variety of flowers.

Published for educational purposes

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