Global changes and gardening.

June 6, 2011

There’s no denying that the Earth has undergone, and continues to undergo, many drastic changes over the centuries, most notably through rising temperatures (global warming) and sea levels as well as changes in precipitation. The ever-increasing number of people living on our planet continues to also increase temperatures through human-induced heat trapping gases. Industrial activities have also played a major part in global warming. It’s all pretty scientific and most scientists agree what the ultimate effects will be are uncertain. Fortunately for the human race, we are very resourceful in finding ways to cope and survive. Researching methods to continue to grow fruit and vegetation is of the utmost importance. The human race cannot survive without a sustainable source of food.

Swiss chard and nasturtium

Swiss chard & nasturtium

Although scientists feel precipitation will generally increase by 15%,  our population is continually increasing as well, and therefore so does our need for more water. This forces us to persistently find ways to grow our fruits and vegetables under less than ideal conditions, drought being one of them. The use of mulch and other moisture-retaining products is an excellent first step. Placing a layer of mulch around your plants reduces the need for water by about 25%, as demonstrated in this experiment. When considering using mulch in your garden you should be aware that you don’t automatically have to resort to the commercial types. Leaves, newspaper and pine needles can all be used as mulch. Soaker hoses are also beneficial in your garden. You can purchase a soaker hose at your local supercenter or make your own from a used garden hose. You can find more water-saving tips here.

What you choose to plant can often mean the difference between success and failure in your garden. Consider your particular climate when selecting plants. Here in North Texas, spring can be stormy, causing sudden downpours and soggy soil. But then summer brings extreme heat and the very real risk of drought. The type of soil in a garden will also dictate which plants will thrive and which will not. Sticking to plants that are native to your area will provide the best results. Your local cooperative extension, gardening clubs and landscape businesses can help you decide. You can also research drought tolerant plants online.  Visit Happy Gardens excellent and ever growing Resourcespage.

Catmint

Catmint

Global warming means we can plant earlier and the growing season lasts longer. In colder climates this is a good thing. Plants and vegetables that were once difficult to cultivate in northern, colder climates are now being produced with positive results. However, in warmer climates  a longer growing season means an increase in garden pests, weeds and plant disease. It also means that weedy-type vines rich in concentrations of carbon dioxide (the main greenhouse gas that causes global warming) will increase by as much as 70%. Things like poison ivy and ragweed are among these rapidly growing weeds. Anyone with ragweed allergies mostly likely has realized an increase in symptoms. Keeping weeds at bay and battling allergies while gardening become important issues to contend with.

The subject of global warming and other changes to our environment is a huge one. Fortunately most people are now aware that the problem exists and many organizations, individual botanic groups, conservatories and other professionals are continually working to find strategies for working with and/or combating the effects of global warming on our natural resources. As an example, hydroponic gardening shows  a great deal of promise. A trip to your local botanic garden would be a great place to start if you want to see what is being done in your own area. Remembering we’re all dependent on each other for our most basic needs is paramount and necessary to our survival. Conserving our most natural resources is the responsibility of us all.

Article by Susan Barton, Contributing Writer

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One Response to “Global changes and gardening.”


  1. […] post originally appeared in Happy Gardens blog Share […]


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