Landgarten von Jutta und Michael Bongers am Niederrhein

The effects of climate change on garden design – Part II


In the first part, I have tried to describe roughly the effects of climate change in general



Today, I would like to name a few examples from my garden practice about increase in pests and plant diseases. Probably the best known are certainly the oak processionary moth and the bark beetle.

In our garden, I find that after the last mild winters the aphid infestation sets in much earlier. I also notice the increase in fungal diseases such as mildew and rust on roses, as well as the Buxpilz (Cylindrocladium buxicola). Mild winters favor the survival of pests such as Boxmott and aphids. Fungal diseases also benefit from it. Stressed and weakened plants are much more sensitive to pests and diseases. Therefore, the dry periods of the last two years are pure poison for perennials and woody plants. The water deficit weakens the plants immensely. Furthermore, permanent temperatures beyond 30 degrees, for example, on the south sides of house walls are further stress for the plants.



How do we deal with that ?


We have been using plant tonics and organic fertilizers for some time to strengthen our plants. Among other things, we use rock flour, which we – preferably before rainy weather – on lawn, vegetable patch and perennial beet apply. I even sprinkle rock salt on our bux plants.

In early spring, we bring out well rotted cow dung on all perennial beds.

Last but not least, we try to provide many breeding sites for birds, as these caterpillars and aphids decimate. Titmouses, blackbirds, sparrows, robins and wrens are welcome guests. In addition, green and spotted woodpeckers and nuthatches.

In drought, we water where it is needed. By the way and especially the trees, whether young or old.


This so far to  pests and diseases.


And as mentioned in part 1:


My contributions do not claim to be scientifically founded but reflect my personal gardening experiences and perceptions.