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Stupid questions about German gardening  RSS feed

 
Morfydd St. Clair
Posts: 44
Location: Hamburg, Germany
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Hi,

I've lived here in Hamburg for quite a few years, but have been pretty isolated from real Germany, in the expat community. Meanwhile, my German boyfriend is enthusiastic (or at least reliable labor ) but is new to gardening. May I please ask stupid questions?

--In the US, it's very easy to get wood chips as mulch - you call an arborist and he will dump a truckload of them in your driveway for free. My understanding is that here commercial biomass plants are willing to pay for them, so they're not available to consumers that way. Is that so? Is there a way around it?

--In the urban gardening oasis of Seattle, I can buy a pound of worms for a worm bin for cheap. In rural areas, I can buy a pound of worms for fishing for cheap. Is either an option here? If so, should I be asking in garden centers, or?

--What's the limit on things I can do to invite hedgehogs into my garden to eat slugs? (More controversially, can I encourage martens into the garden to eat rabbits?)

--I swear I've seen chicken runs in Kleingartens here, but the official book of rules says they're disallowed. Is anyone trying to change that?

--I've been involved in the Umsonstladen movement in the past, and it's great, but it's not very gardening-oriented. Is there a similar sharing-based movement for gardeners, or something political-ish like the grange?

Thanks in advance!
 
Tobias Ber
Posts: 495
Location: Northern Germany (Zone 8a)
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Edit:

hey morfydd...

how large is your allotment?

hedgehogs: you can try to feed them. soaked or wet dog or cat fodder might help. raw eggs. growing some fruits. they ll need a place to overwinter. my parents made a house from a styrofoamshipping box filled with straw and hidden in a pile of leaves and branches. they ll wander through quite a large area.

wood chips: have you asked arborists? i ve seen ad to buy chips 30/40€ per m³. not nice. just ask people in your area. maybe you can get autumn leaves.

worms: ebay (1 pound around 23€) or look in piles of horse manure (on a farm). probably you can find them in manure piles of people that raise meat-rabbits.

chicken: it depends on the laws of your specific community. look into it and see... ask the leadership of the community

good luck and have a nice weekend
 
Morfydd St. Clair
Posts: 44
Location: Hamburg, Germany
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Tobias Ber wrote:Edit:

hey morfydd...

how large is your allotment?



Hi Tobias,

According to https://www.freemaptools.com/area-calculator.htm my allotment is about 300 sq m (edit to say that seems really big - only a vague estimate - hard measurements and mapping are a task yet to be done). I have about 10 sq m in raised annual beds, one very old overgrown apple tree and am trying to fill the rest with perennials. BTW, I just divided an ancient rhubarb bed and have dozens of extra plants - please let me know if you want any!

Tobias Ber wrote:
hedgehogs: you can try to feed them. soaked or wet dog or cat fodder might help. raw eggs. growing some fruits. they ll need a place to overwinter. my parents made a house from a styrofoamshipping box filled with straw and hidden in a pile of leaves and branches. they ll wander through quite a large area.

wood chips: have you asked arborists? i ve seen ad to buy chips 30/40€ per m³. not nice. just ask people in your area. maybe you can get autumn leaves.



Hm. I worry about ending up feeding rats. There are a lot of fruits in the garden - looks like I need to do more reading about what they like! I have a little house in the bergenia bed but it may not be hidden enough.

I haven't yet asked arborists - I will give it a shot. Conveniently my garden is right up against a windbreak of hornbeam trees (and the hedges are the same plant, I think) so every fall there are tons of leaves. I need to experiment with the weed-whacker to see if I can shred leaves with it, as they just don't decay in my compost piles when whole.

Tobias Ber wrote:
worms: ebay (1 pound around 23€) or look in piles of horse manure (on a farm). probably you can find them in manure piles of people that raise meat-rabbits.

chicken: it depends on the laws of your specific community. look into it and see... ask the leadership of the community

good luck and have a nice weekend


Now I'm contemplating the receptionist's response to a pound of worms being delivered!

I thought the law was universal across the German KG associations, but maybe I'll ask my Verein people. I'll bring a bottle of Helbing.

Thank you for all your help, and I hope you had a great weekend!
 
Tobias Ber
Posts: 495
Location: Northern Germany (Zone 8a)
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hey morfydd,

size: look into the lease-contract. it should be stated there...

rhubarb: thank you, we ve one and i did not like it

chicken: it might be that there is an universal law concerning all kleingarten in hamburg.
 
Charli Wilson
Posts: 314
Location: Derbyshire, UK
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cat chicken urban
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In the UK there is an allotment law saying 'No cockerels'- however, my allotment association and the council that runs it allows cockerels! So it is worth asking!

I've never managed to get wood chips here for less than £50 a load (a load for 2.5 cubic metres)- no one gives them away for free! I did once managed to get a 25L bag of chippings for free- the council were chopping some branches up in the park and let me fill a bag, I don't think they would have let me have more if I had had more bags/a truck or anything though.

Same goes for autumn leaves- no one here bags leaves to go in the trash, they just leave them where they fall! I gain 'free' leaves and prunings and stuff by doing garden-work for people- ie I can have the hedge trimmings if I trim the hedge- but that is it.
 
Tobias Ber
Posts: 495
Location: Northern Germany (Zone 8a)
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concerning chickens:
forbidden in hamburg:

12. (Tierhaltung)
Die Tierhaltung auf der Parzelle ist verboten. Ausnahmen für die
Haltung von Bienen auf der Parzelle kann
der Vorstand im Einklang mit den gesetz-
lichen Bestimmungen mit näheren Anwei-
sungen gestatten.
Das vorübergehende Mitbringen von Hau-
stieren, wie Hunden und Katzen, bedarf
der Genehmigung des Vorstandes und
kann jederzeit wiederrufen werden. Für
Behelfsheimbewohner kann der Vorstand
Ausnahmen für die Tierhaltung gestatten.
Außerhalb der Parzelle müssen alle Tiere
im Vereinsgelände an der Leine geführt
werden. Tierhalter haften für alle durch
ihre Tiere verursachten Schäden.

http://www.kgv349.de/Download/Gartenordnung.pdf

The sense of meaning of the Kleingärten changed. After WW2 they were means of foodproduction and housing. Today they re means of recreation.

You could try to get an allotment outside town (not belonging to Hamburg). or find someone who owns land and would let you use a piece of it in exchange for produce


charli... it would make more sense, to to garden work for people, charge money, buy woodships...

 
Morfydd St. Clair
Posts: 44
Location: Hamburg, Germany
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Thanks, Tobias, for checking that out for me. I think right now it's enough of a pain to get to my garden that I don't want to go farther, and end up neglecting any animals.

There's still plenty of work to be done without that project!
 
Taryn Hesse
Posts: 66
Location: Rainy Cold Temperate Harz Mountains Germany 450m South Facing River Valley
5
bike food preservation forest garden solar woodworking
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Hi Morfydd St. Clair,

The german trash system does take bio mull to harvest for fuel. however, businesses must pay a lot for pickup (I Do anyway) so you can ask before its thrown away and usually find some useful material for free. I live in the Harz, so im not sure who exactly to call in Hamburg, but it is easy to find fresh and seasoned horse manure from a ritterhof (also FUll of worms), cardboard from grocers  and to call landscaping companies for mulchable materials though they don´t chip it for you usually. you could also try a construction service and ask about materials like garden waste cleared from a build scite (I Find useable bauholtz bricks gravel pallets there also) . Ive never seen a hedgehog here and I live in the middle of the woods next to a nature reserve.Let me know if youve found a decent organization to be involved in. Here, anyway, there are community projects but not long term organizations other than hiking and nature groups that work on ecological issues. There are food sharing organizations in most places even the smaller villages which you could organize a gardening project for and likley find support. sorry I dont have a more direct answer. Most of the projects I do are short term (one weekend) and self advertised on the internet or with a sign along the street, kind of one-offs to build community. If your visiting Clausthal Zellerfeld i could always find a job to do. let me know what your looking to do or learn.
 
Morfydd St. Clair
Posts: 44
Location: Hamburg, Germany
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Taryn Hesse wrote:Hi Morfydd St. Clair,

The german trash system does take bio mull to harvest for fuel. however, businesses must pay a lot for pickup (I Do anyway) so you can ask before its thrown away and usually find some useful material for free. I live in the Harz, so im not sure who exactly to call in Hamburg, but it is easy to find fresh and seasoned horse manure from a ritterhof (also FUll of worms), cardboard from grocers  and to call landscaping companies for mulchable materials though they don´t chip it for you usually. you could also try a construction service and ask about materials like garden waste cleared from a build scite (I Find useable bauholtz bricks gravel pallets there also) . Ive never seen a hedgehog here and I live in the middle of the woods next to a nature reserve.Let me know if youve found a decent organization to be involved in. Here, anyway, there are community projects but not long term organizations other than hiking and nature groups that work on ecological issues. There are food sharing organizations in most places even the smaller villages which you could organize a gardening project for and likley find support. sorry I dont have a more direct answer. Most of the projects I do are short term (one weekend) and self advertised on the internet or with a sign along the street, kind of one-offs to build community. If your visiting Clausthal Zellerfeld i could always find a job to do. let me know what your looking to do or learn.


Hi Taryn Hesse,

I'm sorry - I didn't see this earlier.  Thanks so much - I will look into a Ritterhof!  I was involved for a while with the local Umsonstladen, now that some family things are resolved, may have time to try to start something with them.  I'll keep you posted!

Thanks again,
Morfydd
 
Henry Jabel
pollinator
Posts: 189
Location: Worcestershire, England
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bee bike forest garden fungi hugelkultur toxin-ectomy trees urban woodworking
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Forgot about encouraging hedgehogs to specifically eat slugs, unfortunately they are not the prolific slug eaters people think they are. Apparently only around 5% of their diet is slugs and they can get hook lung worm from the infected ones which makes them quite ill.

Slow worms (Blindschleiche) are much better at eating slugs and hopefully they are more common in Germany than the U.K where they are now a protected species. If you know you have them nearby they really like living under metal sheets e.g a old metal roofing sheet simply laid on the ground.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anguis_fragilis
 
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