The month of June was hot and dry. Great for sun-lovers, but yet again, creating problems for gardeners. Our thoughts turn again to the effects of climate change!
Our scientists are working hard to reduce the impact of changes to our lifestyle, and this can be seen throughout the world of horticulture. Great emphasis has been placed in reducing the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.
Here, our gardens are doing their bit and we can do more!
Maybe you are lucky enough to have a mature tree in our garden? One tree alone can absorb 27 kilos of carbon dioxide annually. Add to that our shrubs and even lawns, the effect country-wide is substantial.
We are now far more conscious of our environment and the need to conserve in many areas of our daily lives. Scientists predict wetter winters and warmer, drier summers. Thus, we need more water storage to meet our needs. Gardeners can help by installing more water butts for gardening use. This autumn, a gardening manufacturer has answered the call by launching a new range of water saving equipment more efficient in supplying water to plant roots where it is most needed.
We are using fewer chemical pesticides in our gardens as we become more aware of dangers to wildlife, but also to our own health. Increasingly products are being banned, so alternatives are required.
Let’s look at just a few alternatives that science has provided:
Slugs and snails are often a gardener’s nightmare, and the main chemical control has now been banned from use. Enter then some new more natural options e.g.:
Nematodes – these are microscopic eelworms which parasitise slugs and snails by laying their eggs inside the bodies of the host. The resulting larvae feed on the slug or snail killing the host.
This year I have tried these products and have been quite impressed. They do not eliminate the slugs and snails but keep them to manageable numbers in the garden.
Another way of providing control without the use of chemicals is in breeding plants resistant, for example, to fungal diseases.
Let’s take a look at some of these in the next month’s edition of ‘What’s New in Gardening’.