Whether you are an avid gardener, or you are just beginning, climate change has had a huge effect on how and when to begin your planting season. For example, areas that have had an abundance of water for hundreds of years are slowly starting to see the effects of less rainwater and snowmelt for the spring season. This has changed the type of vegetation people plant and when they choose to start their garden every year.
According to the National Wildlife Federation, here are some top impacts of climate change and the significance to your backyard gardening habits:
- Increased unpredictable growing season due to higher average temperatures and shifting precipitation patterns.
- Decreased native plant species across the country. Because of the shifting temperatures and precipitation, what we used to know as “native” to an area, are slowly being overtaken by invasive species such as kudzu and garlic mustard.
- Increased disruption in the entire plant and wildlife ecosystem. For example, hummingbirds and bees may arrive to their normal area later or earlier in the season, causing the pollination of plants to be disrupted. If hummingbirds arrive too late to feed on their native flowers, they will have to move elsewhere to find food – or their lifespan will be compromised.
With all of these changes taking place regularly, how do we combat this?
Here are some steps to make sure you are doing your part in decreasing the rate of climate change:
- Reduce your water consumption and use smart techniques to improve water flow throughout your yard.
- Monitor your yard for invasive species and replace them with native species.
- Compost your kitchen waste and use it as fertilizer in your garden.
- Use electric-powered gardening tools instead of gasoline-powered tools.
- Use products that are earthly-friendly and work well in your surrounding environment. For example, steel edging products manufactured with recyclable steel. Steel edging products are available in a variety of designs to either help hold in water, or designs that help drain an abundance of water – depending on your location.
- Plant more trees! When you plant new trees, make sure you protect the tree trunk from erosion and damage with tree rings. This will help them thrive in unpredictable growing seasons.
For more information about gardening for climate change, check out the National Wildlife Foundation.