Gardening in a Changing Climate

With an increasingly erratic environment, gardeners must find out what we can expect in the years to come and what we can do on our little piece of the globe to mitigate climate change. Here are some recommendations from the National Wildlife Federation in the US.

Improve your energy efficiency. Using energy-efficient products and reducing your household’s energy consumption will reduce your contribution to carbon pollution. In your backyard alone, you can replace outdoor light bulbs with high-efficiency LED bulbs, install outdoor automatic light timers, or purchase solar-powered garden products.

Reduce the use of gasoline-powered yard tools. Avoid using gasoline-powered tools such as lawn mowers and leaf blowers. Instead, use human-powered tools such as push mowers, hand clippers, and rakes or reduce the amount of lawn area that needs maintenance.

Reduce the threat of invasive species expansion and incorporate diverse native species instead. Removing invasive plants from your garden and choosing an array of native alternatives can minimize the threat of invasive species expansion. Native plants help to maintain important pollinator connections and ensure food sources for wildlife; non-native plants can outcompete these important native species for habitat and food.

Reduce water consumption. There are a number of ways to reduce water consumption in your garden, which is particularly important during increased heat waves and droughts. These include mulching, installing rain barrels, adjusting your watering schedule, and using drip irrigation.

Compost kitchen and garden waste. Composting this waste can significantly reduce your contribution to carbon pollution, especially methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas. It also provides an excellent source of nutrients for your garden, again reducing the need for chemical fertilizers.

Plant lots of trees to absorb carbon dioxide. Trees can absorb and store as much as a ton of carbon pollution (CO2) from the atmosphere. Shade trees planted near your home can also reduce energy used for cooling in the summer.

Source: National Wildlife Federation