Ross, English Country Garden, UK discussed on The Naked Scientists


Program is sponsored by epidemic, sound perfect music for audio and video productions. This week, we're going to be getting a hands of it does he talking gardening plant science and climate change now the artists Claude Monet of. Fame once said, my garden is my most beautiful masterpiece and. And Horticulture are certainly popular just in the UK alone at nearly thirty million people, which is about half the population regularly get that gardening gloves on to some extent or another. But with changing temperature and rainfall patterns that are predicted by climate change how gardens and vegetable patches have to adapt future Ross. Cameron is a landscape horticulture listed Sheffield University, and he works on Climate Change Mitigation his co authored a report for the Royal Horticultural. Society on this very topic Ross. Welcome to the program. What changes are we expecting or anticipating climate change will bring it's about extremes. It's about generally speaking drier summers and wetter winters in an in a nutshell some variation is North West Scotland for example, might also slightly wetter summers but it's about pulling apart those weather conditions. We're going to see drier spells for longer bro Sweater spells for longer. I guess one of the worrying aspects of it is is not the best smooth right. We're going to see a little bit more turbulence in the system. So we're going to see more oscillations. More extremes coming sometimes quite quickly after each other for a very dr period followed by Makoto every period of course, the plants that we are very fond of growing on those plants that feed us very well on not necessarily as fond of Osos changeable conditions as a weather person is. So, what might be the implications for the plants we can grow we expect the some things are just not going to be viable anymore is this the end of the English Country Garden we can deal with the weather put on the court taking the CO officer a thing, but plants can't plants very much in tune to their environment and the seasons. So the the go through periods of acclimation so they can they can adapt to grow forgiven above a chance to to run up to that drove beforehand. So these conditions are quite challenging. We're going to see plants that are traditionally maybe being grown in warmer climates they may adapt they may be useful in the garden. We missy more of those types of plants the same time I think we're also going to see plants who are just kind of generally speaking more resilient, more tolerant stress in general and trying to bring in lots of resilience. Unfortunately, they often means the plants are quite competitive quake successful already. So things we made this something's the slightly weedy. They'll be the ones that the survivors in some ways. In my case loss stinging nettles when you're talking, they're thinking about the fact that. If we do see a lot of rain all at once we get these big deluges. Is there a risk that you could end up with leaching? So the rain comes down on the soil it washes out nutrients Lego into the river, not good news facility rivers, but also not good news for the soil. So gardeners then tempted to put more fertilizer on and that gets leached as well. They could be a vicious cycle there. Yes. So we're going to be careful about how we manage gardens not tweeting too many. Chemicals onto the system we have some some allies in that we have things organic matter to the more we can. Recycle compost, recycle, horse manure always things that gardeners have been traditionally useful for improving the soil. They're actually quite beneficial here because that soil organic matter helps act as a sponge hold water when there's too much but also it helps keep that water when it gets drying provided to the plants. So all gardeners always say feet the salt to feed the plants not adage is still quite true. I think. And you mentioned water and. Keeping Water in the soil but what about keeping water not in the orbit but in things like water bonds is this all going to be about better water stewardship if we anticipate, we're GONNA have a long run of dry days and we want to grow the same plants. We just need to make sure we store up border for the bad times. We've got the good times as it were that try if a rain comes in bigger dollops, we want to capture that and then reuse it really for for garden use. Ruin Butts agree idea but we're also seeing interventions in places street in North America particularly things like rain gardens. So you actually scoped out some of the landscape where water can be held that water runs off very quickly. Your void going into the houses and the Ridge, and you collect certain places, and then that can then be used pump to irradiate farms and gardens later, or itself becomes a feature in the landscape. So it can be quite small scale. Things are actually be almost a community level the trying to capture and hold water. More on that sort of thing in just a second because I just like to play you Ross a little clip we recorded at a special dry garden this being developed at the Cambridge University panic called. It's called the dry garden because there's a hosepipe ban, a permanent hosepipe Bam here there is no water in this garden no irrigation, no watering. That's really the idea it's surrounded on all sides with these squad tall hedges those can provide shade as well. Enclosed reduces impacts of wind safe. You can reduce that win and you can provide the shade than you are providing some sort of. Climate that allows some of the plants that maybe list drought adapted to survive but then you need to think about the plantings and this comes back to selection of those plants that have their patients to dry environment. But the practical activities to ensure that water doesn't get lost in the garden are things mulching. So mulching often. Having, the surface layer of organic material balk cuttings, all mineral like gravel. All of that would use moisture loss from the soil surface. No Lawn permeable paving that allows the water to move through the landscaping doesn't result resulting if the is heavy rainfall now, we predicting more rainfall.

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