How climate change is affecting the seasons (and your planting)
Climate change is something that has been a growing concern for many years, though it is only during the last few that we have started to see the effects of global warming on the world first-hand, primarily through an increase in the amount of natural disasters occurring around the globe. This has led to the world’s general attitude towards protecting the health of our planet (and taking responsibility for the damage we’ve already caused) changing for the better. In a survey undertaken by Yale in 2018 as part of their programme on climate change, they discovered that 73% of polled Americans now accept the fact that global warming is happening (up 10% from March 2015), and that 72% of those surveyed felt that climate change was personally important to them.
Natural disasters, such as floods, hurricanes and droughts can have a devastating impact on the people that live in the places they hit. However, the fact that the seasons as we know them are also gradually shifting due to climate change is something that we should be taking more notice of. This is damaging to plant and animal ecosystems who rely on environmental cues to thrive, such as the arrival of spring. This is something that also trickles down to your business’s planting.
Think you haven’t experienced the effects yet? Think back to 2018 when Britain faced some of its most unpredictable weather in years, ranging from plummeting temperatures and heavy snowfall in March, to a mini heatwave just weeks later. In fact, temperatures reached 29.4C on 19th April, making this the hottest April day for 70 years. The fact that this far exceeded the typical hottest temperature for April (which is 11.4C), it shows that spring and summer are now arriving earlier than usual.
So, how can you adapt your business’s planting to cater for the changing seasons? The most important thing is to be as proactive as possible; keep an eye on the weather forecast and plan your planting and maintenance around the upcoming conditions. For example, protect plants and structures when snow or frost is expected by covering structures with plastic coverings, and either bringing plants indoors or wrapping them with horticultural fleece.
If a heatwave is expected, there are also a few things you can do to prepare for this. As well as moving plants into shaded areas (if possible), you should put down mulch to lock-in moisture in the soil. When it comes to your lawn or any other grassy areas within your premises, you should adjust your mower’s blade to a higher setting during a heatwave. This ensures that the grass blades provide more shade to the soil beneath them.
With the spring now arriving earlier than usual, you should also be prepared to start undertaking your spring gardening tasks in advance. These include aerating your lawn, clearing flowerbeds and borders, getting a head-start on your spring weeding and planting summer bulbs and seeds.
How can my business prevent climate change?
Being sustainable is one of the main things businesses should be doing in 2019 and beyond. This might seem like a difficult and daunting task, but there are plenty of easy things you can do to start becoming more environmentally-friendly. Here are our top tips:
- Add more greenery to your workplace – plants are highly effective at improving air quality as they absorb bacteria, dust, mould and carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air. CO2 is a greenhouse gas, which is one of the main contributors to global warming.
- Print less documents – limiting the amount you print helps the planet by reducing your energy and paper use. Encourage your employees to email documents to each other, and keep them online in a Cloud-based system that everyone in the business can access.
- Encourage people to recycle – having clearly labelled recycling bins (that tell you which waste materials should be put in each bin) will make it easier for your staff, customers and any other visitors to your premises to recycle.
At phs Greenleaf, we provide a range of interior and exterior planting services to keep your premises looking its best throughout the changing seasons. Whether you’re looking for office plants, hanging baskets, or regular grounds maintenance, contact us to find out more about how we can help you.Contact Us