Vegetable Gardening During Global Warming

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The earth is warming. It seems most scientists think humans are at least partly responsible. If the scientists are right, we should all work together to reduce how much CO2 we are putting into the atmosphere.

The major sources of human generated greenhouse gases are transportation, heating homes, and industries. If you seriously want to reduce how much humans are contributing to global warming, go for reductions in those big three CO2 sources. If you want to do all you can to reduce how much CO2 you are contributing, also do the smaller reductions, like planting a tree, using non gasoline powered garden tools, and not mowing the lawn so often.

Regardless of whether people are a significant cause of global warming, it seems certain that the earth has been warming and it may continue to warm.

As the earth warms food supplies may decrease because of drought and other factors relating to higher temperatures. Having a garden gives you a source of food that could fill in for shortages in the present system of supply. If food shortages happen, food prices would rise sharply. Food from the garden could become very practical for many people.

Having a food garden reduces the amount of CO2 put into the air because the food is not shipped and refrigerated. Gardening is good exercise and it is an enjoyable hobby. For me, gardening is insurance against a possible sharp increase in food prices caused by any of a number of possibilities - global warming, severe pandemic, war, plant diseases, or some unsuspected cause.

Gardening is already a risky venture. Late spring frost, droughts, plant diseases, insect pest... the list goes on for what can and often does goes wrong. Global warming may increase some of gardening's pitfalls. Worse droughts are predicted. There could be bigger storms and more fluctuations in temperature such as late spring frost, heatwaves, and early fall frost. So it seems prudent to adopt gardening practices that best enable your garden to thrive in spite of climate change.

As temperatures rise plants need more water. For more reliable crops, choose drought resistant plants. Examples are blackeyed peas, tepary beans, asparagus, okra, and tomato. Somewhat tolerant of drought are squash, cabbage, New Zealand spinach, and asparagus bean.

Growing quick maturing vegetable that can be planted early so they mature before the dryness of summer is another strategy. That is true of peas, spinach, and short season corn. Some vegetables do much better in the coolness of Fall. Vegetables I sometimes grow in the Fall include beets, carrots, cabbage, brussel sprouts, lettuce, and broccoli.

Deep soil holds water longer than a thin layer of soil. Adding another foot of topsoil adds significant drought tolerance if your topsoil is a foot or less thick now.

Grow a variety of vegetables. In a cool, wet year, tepary beans may die in clay soil but rutabaga will flourish. Unusual hot weather when fava beans are in flower will cause the flowers to abort but will not bother tomatoes. If bean beetles destroy your green beans, blackeyed peas will go unharmed. A late spring frost will not harm peas or spinach. Early frost in the fall cause little or no damage to kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts, and rutabaga.

You can reduce water usage by using drip irrigation instead of sprinklers. Adding straw mulch will keep the soil moist longer after watering. Applying water very early in the day reduces losses to evaporation.

A gardener is very concerned with how food is produced and how the many factors of nature combine to enable food to be grown. That concern somehow makes food more appreciated and more enjoyed.

Gardening is an enjoyable and satisfying hobby that may become very practical.

About the Author:

Alan Detwiler is the author of the ebook, Earth's Edge, a speculative science fiction novella describing a pandemic, global warming, and alien contact. Earth's Edge is available as a Kindle ebook at www.amazon.com/dp/B004UMP1HQ/ and as a Nook book at http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Earths-Edge/Alan-Detwiler/e/2940012379801

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