“Biodiversity” – you might think that this is a problem that farmers or the people of the forest have to take care of, but in fact everyone with a balcony can make a small effort to get greater biodiversity, or in other words that we all get a richer and more versatile nature.
INSECTS ON THE WINDSCREEN
Previously one had to use the windshield wiper extensively in the summer in dry weather, simply because the insects splashed out on the windshield. Not so anymore. At first glance, this does not sound like a problem, but unfortunately, it is. Insects are an important link in the food chain. Small birds, hedgehogs, lizards and many other small animals feed on insects, and insects are responsible for pollinating many plants. Therefore, a nature without insects is a big problem, and in many ways make our nature poor.
EVEN A LITTLE BALCONY CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Naturally, a small balcony in the city cannot be home to many insects and other small animals. However, anyone with balconies can plant them so that they will act as small green islands in the concrete jungle, from which the insects can spread.
SMALL THINGS CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE
I watch a lot of garden programs on TV, but the challenges like Monty Don, “The Instant Gardener” and others struggling with their gardens is not so present to me. But a couple of years ago, I was captivated by a tv program where a family was transforming an ordinary detached house garden into a small green oasis for the joy of the family and nature. They have created a kitchen garden, which requires minimal care – it is dig-free and weed-free. Naturally, fertilizers and herbicides are banned. Instead, they have acquired some running ducks, which take care of the garden by eating the killer snails.
Does your balcony buzz with life in the summer?
DOES YOUR BALCONY CONTRIBUTE TO A RICHER NATURE?
The family was inspirited by a test that measures how well the individual garden contributes to biodiversity by, for example, deselecting fertilizer, setting up birdhouses and insect hotels, building a garden pond, etc. Of course, a small balcony does not contribute to a richer nature to the same extent as a detached house garden.
However, inspired by this test, I have prepared a small checklist, used by anyone living in an apartment with a balcony.
1) Set up 1 or 2 birdhouses
2) Set up a small insect hotel (SEE HERE)
3) Opt out of fertilizer
4) Set up a birdbath
5) Choose plants that belong naturally in local nature, because some insects pollinate only very few types of plants (e.g. the lemon butterfly only lays eggs on turnips or thirst).
6) Fill up with many plants and use if necessary. Also the walls – e.g. with a small hanging herb garden.
This article is inspired by:
Also read the Herbster blog: “BIODIVERSITY ON THE BALCONY”