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Your green. Our city.

Stand: 28.05.2024

Here you will find interesting information on the subject of greenery and biodiversity.

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Take a deep breath and enjoy. Naturally without chemical pesticides

If you design your garden close to nature, you not only ensure biodiversity, but also create a space for yourself and your surroundings to breathe and enjoy. Wild hedges, flower meadows and wet and dry habitats provide food and nesting space for a variety of insects, birds and small mammals.

The absence of chemical pesticides is the prerequisite for such an ecologically valuable "green spot". This is because these substances are not only effective against "pests", but also against other organisms. The food chain, soil organisms and "beneficial organisms" are inevitably affected. Misapplication can even have an adverse effect on your own health.

With a relaxed attitude and trust in nature, "pest infestations" can be prevented and handling hazardous substances can be avoided. Aphids, for example, often appear explosively in spring, but are soon significantly decimated by ladybugs, hoverflies and lacewings.

Pests gain the upper hand, especially where beneficial insects are absent - for example, because they have too few places to hide or have been displaced by the use of chemical pesticides. A near-natural garden design with

  • dead wood
  • piles of leaves and stones
  • flowers
  • hedges
  • ponds
  • dry stone wall

attracts pests and beneficial insects. There are no ideal conditions for a natural garden on the balcony or in a flower pot, but even here the use of chemical pesticides is unnecessary.

What makes the work easier and reduces the risk of pest infestation - without any chemical pesticides?

  • long-lasting, native plant species that are suitable for the location and require little care
  • Observing sowing and planting dates
  • correct soil care
  • correct watering
  • mechanical measures
  • Slurry and co.

Colorful biodiversity on the green roof

In addition to the greening of facades, green roofs also create real added value for homeowners, residents and the climate of the entire city. As rainwater buffers

  • they store precipitation
  • act as an additional pollutant filter
  • regulate the air temperature through evaporative cooling.

A green roof is therefore also an optimal and efficient combination with a photovoltaic system.

A green roof offers insects and small mammals a food supply at lofty heights. The peak flowering period for a green roof is approximately between May and July. For ecological reasons, too, care should be taken to select plants that are as species-rich as possible.

Did you already know? There is more! Extensive green roofs are usually implemented in conventional form with relatively species-poor plant mixtures. The "DaLLî" project, funded by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, aims to develop methods and measures for extensive green roofs with native wild plants. One thing is clear: you can enjoy a green roof for a long time. This is because the lifespan of flat roofs is longer than that of non-green roofs.

Positive (not only) for the working climate - evaporation performance

In addition to a pleasant indoor climate, a green façade also offers economic benefits, such as savings on heating costs in the winter months and savings on air conditioning units in the summer. Practical examples prove this. Green façades can also achieve an evaporation capacity. It is comparable to that of 100-year-old beech trees and thus reduces dry periods and heavy rainfall events.

A green inner courtyard is not only pretty to look at, but also has a positive effect on the climate in the company. Why not give every employee who wants to get involved in the courtyard their own garden bed? Gardening together, for example during the lunch break, strengthens the bond with the company and the new green outdoor meeting place will benefit all employees in the long term as a place for relaxation and inspiration. With the support of an external gardening and landscaping company, you can ensure that someone keeps an eye on your greenery even during vacation periods. With all these measures, you are contributing to a liveable and vital city.

Good to know! Potting and plant soil without peat

Do you know what is in potting and plant soil for balconies and gardens from the DIY store or garden center? Unfortunately, the answer is often peat.

Peat is the basic substance of bogs and stores up to 700 tons of carbon per hectare in an intact fen or raised bog. This makes peatlands one of the most important carbon reservoirs in the world. In Bavaria, peat extraction has been discontinued since the 1980s by resolution of the state parliament. Nevertheless, peatlands are still being drained and peat extracted on a large scale in other countries. This permanently destroys unique habitats for rare plants and animals.

By not using peat soil, everyone can make an important contribution to climate and nature conservation in their own garden or balcony.

The good news is that there are alternatives!

The ideal fertilizer and peat substitute is compost. You can buy nutrient-rich "Erlangen compost" at the composting plant in Frauenaurach. Produced from a quality-assured rotting process, the compost is made exclusively from delivered garden waste. More information at erlangen.de/compost.

But you can also do it yourself - anyone can make compost in the smallest of spaces using the simplest of means. You can even compost at home or on the balcony with a so-called "worm bin". A compost heap in your own garden likes to be sheltered from the wind and semi-shaded and should not be too close to the next property out of consideration. Waste of animal origin and seeds have no place in it. An intact compost heap converts rotted compost into nutrient-rich soil and humus within twelve months thanks to numerous microorganisms. Humus binds water, nutrients and minerals and thus contributes to soil fertility as a fertilizer. Good for your plants and the environment! Heavy eaters such as peppers, tomatoes and pumpkins, which take a lot of nutrients from the soil, can be planted directly on the compost.

Welcome to the outdoor living room!

A little green oasis where you can get away from it all. Sounds like a lot of work? Or an unattainable dream? Not if your green paradise is just a few steps away. A recreational area outside the balcony window is not only pretty to look at and beneficial, but also makes an important contribution to the climate of a residential area - and the city as a whole. At the same time, if used correctly, the balcony provides plants, birds and insects with food and an important habitat. Find out how to transform your balcony into a green oasis that is valuable for nature!

The right plant in the right place

Choosing the right plants is crucial for a thriving and lively mini garden on the balcony. The aim should be to create added value not only for people, but also for the animals living in the city. Many typical balcony plants such as geraniums, petunias and other overgrown ornamental plants should be avoided for ecological reasons. They may look and smell nice, but they offer neither nectar nor pollen. Only native plants are optimally adapted to the needs of the animal species that live in our area. It is important to pay attention to open inflorescences.

Wild roses, for example, are not only easy to care for and hardy, but also smell wonderful and are very decorative. With a balanced mixture of wild and useful plant species, the balcony will bloom from spring to fall. Depending on the location and orientation of the balcony, sun, partial shade or shade plants are more suitable.

What healthy plants need

The following applies to all living organisms: the prerequisite for healthy development is an optimum supply of all the necessary nutrients. Ready-made "balcony potting soil" has about the same value as ready-made food from the supermarket. Low-humus soil from the region mixed with compost is ideal. Garden soil mixed with a little sand and loam is a good compromise. The soil must be regularly enriched with organic fertilizer, especially in spring. When watering, care should be taken to avoid waterlogging. If a plant falls ill, simple household remedies often help.

Organic balcony planting not only has a lot to offer visually. The flowers of many culinary herbs such as lovage, sage and lemon balm are a delicacy for insects. They also give our dishes a special aroma. It is advisable to harvest only a part at a time and leave the rest to flower - for the animals and for the eye. Vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, chillies and zucchinis thrive well in containers. Bean vines, columnar fruit trees, strawberries and soft fruit bushes can also be planted on small balconies. Lettuce is well suited to shady locations.

Grow your own plants

Growing your own plants is not rocket science - if you take into account the respective needs of a plant when sowing and transplanting. Vegetables that require warmth, such as tomatoes or eggplants, must be pre-germinated indoors. As a rule, seeds are sown from March to April. The tender seedlings can be taken outside from mid-May. Some southern herbs such as marjoram, thyme or basil are also pre-germinated in the warm. Native annual flowers such as cockade flowers and bush zinnias are sown in spring without pre-germination. With little effort, dyer's chamomile, knawel bellflower and peony provide food for insects for several years.

Where the wild bees live

In the city, parks, gardens and green balconies offer a varied range of food for insects. Wild bees and other unusual city dwellers find the shelter they need in so-called insect hotels. These should come as close as possible to the nesting structures of their natural habitats. You can easily make your own insect hotel from bamboo canes and a suitable container such as a tin can or wooden box made from untreated hardwood. Cut the bamboo canes into pieces of equal length with a saw and hollow them out cleanly with a drill. Now place them close together in a container until all the gaps are closed. The self-made insect hotel can easily be hung on a hook in a place protected from the rain or tied with a string. Make sure that the nesting aid does not sway in windy conditions and, if possible, that it faces south.

How to build your own insect hotel

Would you like to provide a home for wild bees on your balcony or in your garden? We explain how to build an insect hotel using simple materials.

Natural breeding grounds for wild bees are rare, especially in urban areas. Insect hotels offer them and other insects enough space for their brood and protect them from predators. Many supermarkets and DIY stores have insect hotels on offer. But be careful! These are often not adapted to the needs of the animals. They may even be dangerous, for example if rough surfaces damage the wings. We show you how to make your own insect hotel easily and ecologically:

Materials required:

  • Bamboo tubes (inner diameter four to ten millimetres)
  • Suitable drill bits
  • One to two meters of twine
  • Empty tin can
  • Fine-toothed handsaw

Work steps:

  1. First saw the bamboo tubes into pieces of the same size with clean cut edges. The individual stalks should be slightly as long as the can is high.
  2. After cutting, roughly clean the inside of the bamboo tubes with a suitable drill bit. Tap on the table until all residue has been removed.
  3. Now place the tubes in the empty tin can. Make sure that there are no gaps between the tubes.
  4. Finally, tie a string around the can and hang it up in as sunny and dry a place as possible. Make sure that the insect hotel does not sway in the wind and that it faces south if possible. This makes access easier for wild bees and other insects.

Tip: This simple form of nesting aid can be extended and combined as required. Blocks of baked clay or dry hardwood blocks of beech, ash or alder with drill holes of two and six millimeters in diameter are also suitable as nesting sites.

The city of Erlangen promotes

We have also prepared another article for you, which uses 5 varied stories from urban society to show how citizens can become active themselves without much effort.

Department Support program Together more green for Erlangen

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