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Gardening in a Changing Climate

Although gardeners are accustomed to coping with variable weather conditions we are now experiencing warmer-than-usual summers and winters with skimpy snow cover have gone from the exception to the expected. Fundamentally today’s climate is much different from that of 10 to 15 years ago and climate is not changing equally across the country either.

Our toughest trees are becoming stressed by droughts and thus weakened which makes them more susceptible to pests and disease. With less snow cover in the winter it is now vital that gardeners water their plants thoroughly before freeze-up since snow cover is no longer taking care of that naturally for us. With climate changes comes extremes in weather with unpredictable frosts at either end of the growing season thus problematic for fruit and vegetable growers in particular.

bleeding heart climate changeNow is the time to reassess your plants and discard those that are not performing well especially the water guzzlers. Pay attention to your property’s microclimate.

Severe ranges in temperatures also affects pests and weeds. Weeds adapt well and can tolerate more extremes in weather, soil conditions, atmospheric pollution and are often readily dispersed. (think how easily dandelion seeds travel thru the air).

Sustainable plants:
Gardening in a changing climate calls for greater reliance on plants that can adapt to extreme conditions. Gardeners need to know how to deal with their specific yard and its microclimate. If unsure contact the horticulturalist of Harmony Gardens Landscaping.

Drought tolerant plants such as common thrift, alpine sea holly, blazing star liatris, and Russian sage may be appropriate for your yard. Heat tolerant perennials such as fern-leaf yarrow, false indigo, butterfly bush, blanket flower and orange coneflower maybe important to your garden. If you have a wet area in your outdoor space then look at planting moisture-loving perennials such as black scallop bugleweed, gold heart bleeding heart, common foxglove, bigleaf ligularia, and featherleaf rodgersia.