Gardening to reduce CO₂e

More and more people are finding pleasure in gardening again, as it can not only provide us with food such as fruits and vegetables, but also ensures an increased sense of well-being. So for many, working in the garden has become a sanctuary where you can feel good and relax, and at the same time let out some energy, for example when digging up beds. 

Ultimately, however, gardening also has a positive impact on climate protection and the reduction of CO2. This text mainly talks about CO2, but in scientifically correct terms we are talking about CO2equivalents, the so-called CO2e.

Effects on COreduction

Fruit and vegetables in front of the house 

By using the garden and growing fruit and vegetables, more often than not, you save yourself a trip to the supermarket. This is not only positive for your own COfootprint, but also your own mind. After all, isn't it much more relaxing to simply step into your garden at home to eat a cucumber instead of having to drive to the nearest supermarket? Not only does this save on your own transport route from the supermarket to your home, it also saves on the journey to the supermarket. 

Humus to bind CO2

To bind CO2, the build-up of humus in the soil is a sustainable option. The more humus that is built up in the soil, the less harmful COis released into the atmosphere. When a plant dies, it is decomposed by bacteria, fungi and small organisms. These plant remains can contribute to the build-up of humus. The advantage of humus is that it consists of 57% carbon. Thus, carbon is stored in the soil, while parts of the oxygen are released back into the atmosphere. However, humus build-up only occurs if there is an intact microbiology in the soil and only fully biological fertilizers are used.

Vegetable carbon as fertilizer 

One possibility of sustainable fertilization methods is the use of plant charcoal. This is because it loosens and aerates the soil. However, its production is a little more complicated than just burning plants. You can read about the charcoal production process and studies on its effectiveness as a fertilizer here.  

Cultivation with dynamic agroforestry 

Most often, work in the garden begins with the soil - digging up, digging holes, weeding. Soil fertility is especially important for the overall nutrient cycle. If it does not function, plants will not grow, because the nutrients are removed from the soil while the plant is growing. Only when the plant dies are they returned to the soil. If crops are harvested before the plant dies, the soil will lack the necessary nutrients. One solution to this would be the use of dynamic agroforestry, as this is a reforestation and cultivation method in which crop and companion plants are planted close together in one area. Under the focus of diversity, density and pruning, a dynamic planting system with increased biodiversity is created. The advantage of this is that there is almost no need for a compost heap, as the cuttings are placed directly around the plants as fertilizer. For more on the establishment of DAF plots, pruning techniques and benefits of DAF, click here.

Sources: 

Nabu; Bayrisches Landwirtschaftliches Wochenblatt

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