Dibbles and Bits

Of course, it is easy to leave climate change concerns to others. Today’s post is a thumbnail about how climate change can impact plant growth and then a possible step we can take toward sustaining ourselves and our gardens. The photos are from a time to think at Lewis & Clark Recreation Area, a state park, last season.

Increased carbon dioxide from climate change impacts our garden plants and plant growth worldwide. The build-up in carbon dioxide causes plants to grow bigger but less nutritious, according to research notes in the January/February Horticulture magazine.

Researchers at Michigan State University found that plants treated with higher carbon dioxide had reduced phosphorus in their stems and leaves. Phosphorus is necessary for photosynthesis in plants which creates energy for plant growth. 

A retail fertilizer containing phosphorus may be applied to a plant to counter its lower phosphorus level. But world reserves of phosphorus, a natural product, are limited. 

Sustainable world food production will be impacted by rising carbon dioxide levels. Some questions from this study that need research include more on: How do plants regulate phosphorus for survival? What are plants’ adaptations to reduced phosphorus in their cells? What plants can survive and adapt to increased carbon dioxide levels? The study is found at: https://bit.ly/3EUREVH

Last season’s tree leaves can be a garden resource for mulch in flowerbeds and gardens. Mowing over the dry leaves breaks them into bits that lay in place for use in windy locations. 

Re-using leaves as mulch or for another purpose, instead of burning them in spring cleanup, puts less carbon dioxide into the air at once. In the slower process of mulch decomposition, various organisms such as earthworms may also get nutriment from the mulch. This way, less carbon dioxide is put into the air than burning and may be more beneficial to the garden. More about this in the January/February issue of Horticulture magazine.

Thanks for visiting Plant Exchange Blog. Comments welcome.

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