As gardeners, we care. We care for our bountiful vegetable gardens. We care for our beautiful perennial flower beds and the aromatic herbs that we grow. We care about the fruit bushes and trees in our realm; along with the birds, and other creatures that share our garden space. That essential element of care in us also extends into caring for the Earth, which is particularly important in this time of climate change. So how can gardeners help care for the planet?
The first step is to be informed. We need to ask ourselves what exactly is climate change? How will this affect my gardening practices? As our guest editor for this year, we invited Dr. Danny Blair to join us. Dr. Blair is a co-director of the Prairie Climate Centre and is a professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Winnipeg where his area of expertise is climatology. His research looks at climate change with a particular focus on the Prairie Provinces. Dr. Blair and a number of his colleagues as well as several of our other authors provide information that will help you understand climate change, how it is affecting us now and how it will continue to affect our practices in home gardening in the future.
Once we know what climate change is all about, step two is how can we help? There is much that home gardeners can do to adapt their gardening practices in the face of the changing climate. Read about the use of native and drought-resistant plants, water management; composting, and the importance of healthy soil. Discover how to reduce your carbon footprint by using less plastic, planting more trees and using mulch. And, as always, whether you are a newcomer or a veteran gardener, there are also articles of general interest to all who garden in our short-season planting zones.