Climate change is an ever looming threat in the desert Southwest. Climate change has increased the temperatures and time between rain events. We want to learn how to grow food for our families without using too much water and depleting our resources. The Desert Oasis Garden is a way to teach our community about growing food in a hotter and drier climate. The garden is just the tip of the iceberg for us. Once we figure out how to grow food in our changing climate, we need to figure out how to keep pests away from our food.
Climate change is making the summers longer and the winters are milder and less severe. Due to the more mild winters, frost-sensitive bugs can stick around longer and reproduce more into the warmer soil. These pests are able to grow more and “over-winter” deaths are down among garden pests. This is the result of us humans putting greenhouse gases and other forms of pollution into our atmosphere.
The question to consider is: “how do we keep pests out of our gardens without using harmful chemicals?”. Our society thinks that more chemicals is the way to do things. We worry about what we eat. No GMO’s, only organic, the list goes on. But we should also worry about what we put into our soil. These chemicals will eventually get into our food and when that happens, we won’t know and will continue to think that the food is safe. Besides, chemicals are way more expensive that at home treatments.
( Photo by The Marmot.)
Copper shavings and coffee ground sprinkled around your garden and mixed into the soil is a great way to deter slugs and snails. these creatures eat your plants, leaving them in bad shape when they are done. Another way to prevent the slugs if to get half of an orange peel and sprinkle grape juice or beer on the orange peel and watch the slugs and snails climb into the peel to get the sweet stuff and get trapped in there. You can stick the orange peel into the sun and fry the slugs and then stick them into your compost. They provide it with many nutrients. But to prevent bigger pests such as rabbits, gophers and mice, the only effective method is the fence. To have the fence method be effective, the fence has to be implanted into the ground, not just on the surface of the garden.
With increasing temperatures and time between rain events, pests are sticking around longer and destroying our crops. The temperatures help garden pests mature earlier and live longer. Without using chemicals, we need to trap pests so that they can stop eating out precious gardens and food supplies.