Special, simple and organic – the trends for fertilisers for the garden and balcony

Veggi fertilisers: Many garden and balcony owners, who are also vegan, don’t want to add any animal ingredients such as wool or horn shavings to their plants. – Photo: Neudorff

It is hardly believable, but the social megatrends are reflected in all areas of our lives sooner or later. They even have an influence on the fertilisers the retail sector is offering hobby and balcony gardeners. Dr. Arne Hückstädt, speaker for the themes horticulture and environment within the Industrieverband Garten IVG (Garden Industry Association), made this very clear in his lecture in the Garden Café Forum at spoga+gafa last year in Cologne. Growing urbanisation, augmented connectivity between our living environments, neo-ecology, an increased customisation of the individual societies and of the silver society – in other words: the large number of sprightly pensioners – are just some of the developments the industry is having to deal with by adapting its concepts and products.

Urban gardening: Do-it-yourself becomes do-it-together

„Prinzessinnengarten” (Princess garden) in Berlin – Photo: Marco Clausen / Prinzessinnengarten

Six or seven years ago there was quite a stir in the press. All of a sudden urban gardening was the major green theme. Activists, who turned wasteland or the rooves of multi-storey car parks into gardens to grow their own salad and keep chickens, became the media’s darlings. Now that the media interest has in the meantime died down somewhat, we wanted to know whether the people are still keen on joint gardening projects in the cities. Was it just a fashion trend or has the movement further developed?

In the garden with: Lutz Kosack (“The edible city”)

Dr. Lutz Kosack – Photo: Stadtverwaltung Andernach

Urban agriculture, the cultivation of crop plants in the city, is currently a topic worldwide. An increasing number of urban gardeners want to grow their own vegetables and start-up companies are experimenting with determining how one can cultivate lettuce and cucumbers, etc. on roofs and on factory floors. A pioneering role in this movement is played by the small town of Andernach on the Rhine, Germany. In 2010 they started planting vegetable gardens and fruit trees in public green spaces in keeping with the motto “The edible city” (“Die essbare Stadt”). Co-initiator of the project was Dr. Lutz Kosack from the Urban Planning Office. He is also a lecturer at the University of Bonn at the Institute for Crop Plant Sciences and Resource Protection.