Gardening in Climate Change
Even in the past couple of years Australia has experienced major fluctuations in climate. From raging bushfires and drought to record downpours and floods. The only constant with this climate is that it will continue to change. It is important to keep this in mind when gardening and accept that each year we will face new obstacles.
It is important to be aware of the current and predicted weather for your local region. You may be used to sowing certain crops on a specific date in your area however this can change from year to year especially if we are in a period of drought or flooding. Monitor weather patterns through the Australian Bureau of Meteorology to give yourself a better idea of what direction the year is heading into and keep an eye out for terms such as ‘’El Niño’’ and ‘’La Niña’’ which will indicate if we are due for a period of drought or flooding.
It can be useful to combine your garden with both fast maturing and slower maturing crops to ensure you will have something in production at most times. Aim to plant a little extra than what you need to account for losses too.
Coping with Weather Extremes
Create a drought and heatwave plan for your garden that you can draw upon in times of need. Items like mulch, shade cloth, drip irrigation, grey water systems and drought tolerant plants (check our Australian Wildflower range) are all good resources to have on hand. You can also convert some of your vegetable gardens into wicking beds which are useful for conserving water.
For both dry and wet periods, mulch is a valuable addition. Wood chip mulches in particular will act like a sponge preventing your walkways from turning into a sloppy mess. Raised garden beds are also useful for keeping growing plants out of pooling water. If your garden has a natural high point, save this space for use in the rainy years.
In periods of high rainfall, it is important to always be thinking and preparing for the next drought. Maximise rainfall while you can by installing rain water tanks for your garden and improving your soils water holding capacity with composts and mulch. Growers who practice no dig gardening explain the benefits of this during high rainfall. The soil structure is retained and protected with compost and mulches so it can cope with the added water without turning to mud.
Try growing plants in different styles if you want to climate proof your yard. Indoor hydroponic systems are becoming increasingly popular as they grow indoors which provides a controlled environment conserving water and land space.
Sprouts and Microgreens are fun additions to grow when the season is proving challenging. These can be grown indoors on your kitchen counter and are easy for children to grow too.
Check out these other useful resources:
- How to build a Wicking Garden Bed
- Gardening in Drought
- Rainproof Gardening and Recovering from Flood
- Composting and how to build a Compost