For the love of gardening
I’ve been growing food, and flower crops for over a decade now, and it has really helped me to understand nature. As the years have passed, I’ve certainly seen a change in the climate and weather.
Tomatoes and sweet peas were poor this year due to them being slow to germinate and grow. If this is happening in my garden then it’s most likely happening on a commercial level; crop failures, and food supplies are something we must think about, NOW.
I am out here every day, I see the plants react to the weather, so I notice quite a lot. If we look at the seasons, spring seems to have merged with winter, making winter longer; and making it harder to get seeds to germinate.
Summers vary, 2018 being the obvious stand out for a hot summer, which led to a reliance on water butts and hose pipe bans in places. Autumns have become a lot warmer; this year I’ve noticed my apple and cherry tree remaining green just that bit longer. They’re not recognising it’s autumn, because the temperatures haven’t dropped enough to signify to them that winter is approaching, and they need to prepare to go into dormancy.
Seasons may be merging, but what strikes me the most about our changing climates is the sudden changeability, and unpredictability of the weather. One week it can be minus three Celsius, a few days later fifteen degrees. This summer we had days which were near thirty degrees Celsius, and the next day fifteen. Plants find it hard to cope with such changes, they become distressed and susceptible to pests such as aphids, and this year cabbage white butterflies; and diseases such as blight, and mildew.
I’ve grown potatoes for a lot of years, and this is the first time they’ve gotten blight, which is favoured by humid/wet, warm weather. Weather does fluctuate and change, but the rate and suddenness at which it is happening is certainly a consequence of climate change. Severity is another issue, heatwaves are longer and hotter, rain is heavier and more frequent, or sometimes absent for weeks (like in 2018), hailstones are bigger, storms are more prominent and stronger.
Growing your own can certainly help reduce carbon emissions, and your carbon footprint, and in turn help minimise how bad climate change is going to get. It may get to a point where we see family grown produce return, a more seasonal crop approach, if crop failures start to occur, especially in places of the globe where we import food from.
Allotment requests are increasing, and I expect that trend will continue. I’ve learned a lot about gardening and growing your own but I’m not perfect, I have had many, MANY disasters, and an occasional falling out with a certain vegetable; now brussels sprouts, and an ongoing feud with pak choi. Gardening is such a wonderful hobby to have, it can help in so many ways.