Magazine article New Internationalist

Cut Those 'Plant Miles'!

Magazine article New Internationalist

Cut Those 'Plant Miles'!

Article excerpt

Considering 'food miles', when buying fruit and vegetables from supermarkets can help reduce your carbon footprint. 'Plant miles' apply the same principle to the garden.

Many plants sold in British garden centres and supermarkets start life in huge wholesale nurseries hundreds of miles away in Holland, France, Belgium and Eastern Europe - with an increasing number grown as far afield as China. They are grown in soil conditions totally different from those in Britain and are then transported by road for days before they reach our shores. Besides creating high levels of transportation pollution, the journey can take its toll on the health of the plants, making them more susceptible to disease and ultimately costing the gardener more when they fail to thrive.

More seriously, pests and diseases can inadvertently be imported. Dutch Elm disease has already done nationwide damage; other diseases, such as Sudden Oak Death, are gradually spreading. …

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