JULY - GARDENER 2023
CLIMATE CHANGE OBSERVATIONS IN THE SUMMER GARDEN AND SOME SOIL IMPROVEMENT TIPS
JULY & AUGUST can be a very warm month ,even very hot in northern Europe, far too hot in southern Europe for gardens at 30-40 DEG we then have severe heat causing problems for all ‘temperate climate plants ‘big or small .Ideally we require compensating rainfall and cooler nights which does not happen till much later in Autumn but by then the invisible damage can have been done if there has been insufficient rainfall requiring considerable extra manual watering .I do make sure my 30 meter hose I had to purchase is put to evening and early morning use especially after a long period without rain .On a tour of Oceania Aus and N Zealand having spoken to gardeners and head gardeners they can only grow plants that store water or require much less than our uk region of the northern hemisphere. Our normal temperate range of plants I realised couldn’t survive there at all. Was a valuable experience.
UN CLIMATE ACTION
Hotter countries have trees, plants and edible plants that have adapted to hotter or colder weather patterns but even then, many struggle with further climatic change caused by average global temperature rises faster since much greater industrialisation after World War Two. These temperature rises appear to be followed by calculations of rising parts per million carbon emissions over a similar period. This appears to be a strong warning sign that the UN Climate change body conferences, is now coordinating most Countries rich and poor to take future carbon emissions very seriously from fossil fuels and from agricultural world food farming from animals particularly cattle and stored hydrocarbon emissions. Poorer countries have less flexibility.
Buried hydrocarbons over millions of years are being released as permafrost in very cold countries start to warm and melt, northern Russia and Greenland being a prime example but could be captured at source with govt supported innovation.
Let’s not beat ourselves up though, as a trained qualified science person I am constantly aware that increasing amounts of investment is being set towards tackling this mega problem. Worldwide Private and public enterprise has a vested interest in generating profits to reinvest hopefully in solutions to capture carbon emissions at source ,ceasing coal and oil use as a fuel Renewable energy is now hugely increasing which is vital progress .Nuclear Power is a fall back power source internationally but is a hugely expensive and very slow to construct as we all are aware in the N Somerset UK undertaking HinkleyPoint C with waste disposal still not clear in either being buried deep underground OR reprocessing improvements is another solution .Science will find a solution of that I am convinced but how long will it take we are running out of time with summer temperatures sky high in many countries especially in southern europe !! SUMMER GARDENING UK and Northern Europe .
Check your garden plants progress over this summer whilst pruning expect fast growth after flowering, observe any plants that have suddenly disappeared or died since last summer but are there any plants that are looking happier and thriving? Are some struggling unusually .See if you can think through reasons why ,position in sun or shade being the vital factor .My own soil needs nutrients replacing lost in leaching from winter torrential rain storms .Liquid NPK feeds are vital coming up to flowering time including small trees and flowering shrubs to add nitrogen for green leaf photosynthesis , phosphorus for stem and root growth and strength and potassium for flowering and fruiting boost.
Magnesium may be included as a micronutrient. Tomato feeds are high in potassium for fruiting, and I recommend them! If you grow e g rhododendrons and or specific ericaceous plants only use ericaceous liquid feeds for flowering and solid versions for long term soil improvement these add vital Manganese and Iron Please feel free to make contact me with science-based garden questions on tony@scienceforthe gardener.com
Enjoy mid-Summer in hopefully fresh air!
Tony Arnold MCIHort Secondary Science Resource RHS Schools Gardening
Author of the (now popular worldwide) Science for the Gardener Book.