Published on October 15th, 2013 | by Jami Scholl0
5 Steps to a Climate Friendly Garden
Gardening has become vogue for many newbie gardeners. Although the glory of helping life grow or for a desire to become closer to natures processes, climate change has thrown some curveballs into the game. This makes learning to garden a bit more challenging.
The Union of Concerned Scientists have been warning about climate change and it’s ramifications for many years. Rather than just attempting to raise an alarm to the danger the planet, and to us as inhabitants of Earth, they took the time to create a resource for us. This resource, a free online publication is called The Climate Friendly Gardener: A Guide to Combating Global Warming from the Ground Up. The Relationship between Gardens and Climate starts this 12 page booklet with diagrams and illustrations explaining carbon cycling, how to use cover crops, and even a section of how to “green” your grass.
In five steps one can have a climate friendly garden:
1) Minimize carbon-emitting inputs – this would include the use of gasoline power equipment, synthetic fertilizers, and pesticides.
2) Don’t leave garden soil naked – when plants aren’t actively growing, plant cover crops to protect the soil
3) Plant trees and shrubs – trees and shrubs store carbon, and if well placed can provide shade from the summer sun that will lower neighborhood temperatures and bring down cooling costs.
4) Expand recycling to the garden – yard trimmings and food waste make up one quarter of the country’s solid waste placed in landfills… these are nutrients and moisture that can go into the compost pile to become fertilizer. Learn how to compost here!
5) Think long and hard about your yard – minimize watering, fertilize carefully and leave grass clippings, mow high for highly plants and choose the right grass for the location, and if a native plant can be used an alternative.
There is much more information about how carbon can be sequestered with gardening and lifestyle practices than can be contained in the five points above. Although the Farm Bill may be a political ping-pong ball at times or seemingly bought by corporations, creating your own garden can help offset what the big boys are doing – especially if you get others to join you. To show support for climate-friendly gardening and farming practices the Union of Concerned Scientists have a petition you can sign. It can be found here.
To access the Climate-Friendly Gardener booklet, click here! I took the pledge, did you?