When you think about soil, you probably think of rolling fields of countryside. But what about urban soil? With city dwellers expected to account for 68% of the world’s population by 2050, this oft forgotten resource is increasingly important.
Wild bees are essential for sustaining the landscapes we love. A healthy community of wild pollinators ensures that most flowering plants have an A-team pollinator species and a reserve bench of backups. Honeybees – just one bee species among many – can’t do the job by themselves.
As we pass the spring equinox, lengthening days promise the return of warmth and with it, the return of migratory songbirds. In Canada, we welcome back our songbirds, relishing the profusion of song and colour that once again fill wild (and not so wild) places.
As winter phases into spring across the U.S., gardeners are laying in supplies and making plans. Meanwhile, as the weather warms, common garden insects such as bees, beetles and butterflies will emerge from underground burrows or nests within or on plants.
I am a plant microbiologist interested in how plants and microbes interact with each other. Although our research in the past has centered on molecular details of pathogenic infections, this work led my lab into the fascinating world of plant microbiome.
Since lockdown, public interest in growing fruit and vegetables at home has soared. Seed packets are flying off shelves and allotment waiting lists are swelling, with one council receiving a 300% increase in applications.
Home gardening is having a boom year across the U.S. Whether they’re growing their own food in response to pandemic shortages or just looking for a diversion, numerous aspiring gardeners have constructed their first raised beds, and seeds are flying off suppliers’ shelves.