Climate Change and Garden Pests

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.

caterpillar, a typical garden pest!

caterpillar, a typical garden pest!

( 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.

Effective garden fencing.

(Taken by commons.wikimedia.org) Effective garden fencing.

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.

 Sources:

http://agadapt.ucdavis.edu/pestsdiseases/

http://lifehacker.com/5583176/draft-keep-your-yard-and-garden-pest-free-without-harsh-chemicals

http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/impacts-adaptation/southwest.html

http://www.southwestclimatechange.org/impacts/land/phenology

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-23899019

 

Maria

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Climate Change and Garden Pests

  1. I love how you talked about the problem, then gave at home solutions to it. It was a good format! Nice transition from talking about the general problems climate change presents to the specific problem of pests. I wouldn’t change anything.

  2. Good introductory paragraph. I would consider a metaphor other than “just the tip of the iceberg”. Choose one that is more in line with gardens/gardening. You need a better transition between chemicals being more expensive and using coffee grounds. Re-read your posts before you publish – there are numerous errors. Make sure you “sprinkle” your post with evidence that your alternative methods actually work. Phrases like ” According to …..coffee grounds have been proven to be effective…..” Insert links directly into your own writing to make it easy for your reader to find out more. Your last paragraph is much too repetitive. I like that you summarize what you wrote about but try and use slightly different language.

  3. I really like your writing style and how you easily transition from each topic into the next. The text is well-balanced with relevant visual examples, and the paragraphs are broken up so that none of them are too long or too short. I would consider editing this sentence: “You also have to put them into the ground, not just have the fence superficially around the garden.” It feels a bit abrupt. Perhaps revising the first clause or adding some reasons why would help this sentence flow better. It stands out a lot because the rest of your writing is very smooth.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s