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Climate change is real, plant friends—and it’s impacting our world too fast! Because of that, it’s becoming extremely important for us plant parents/gardeners to adapt our practices to ensure our gardens can withstand the challenges that lie ahead. In fact, it’s already impacting our gardens in SO many ways—from unpredictable weather to increased pest infestations. So in this episode, I invited a new plant friend, Kim Stoddart, who is a passionate gardener, climate advocate, and author of “The Climate Change–Resilient Vegetable Garden,” to discuss strategies for building a climate-resilient garden.


In this episode, we learn:

  • [03:39] How Kim became a passionate climate activist and gardener
  • [11:44] The Resilient Gardener vs. The Resilient Garden
  • [15:06] Deepen your meditation practice with the Wind River Meditation Chime
  • [16:49] Grow a thriving, climate-resistant vegetable garden with Espoma Organic!
  • [19:03] What are the climate issues to consider when building a resilient garden? (doom & gloom)
  • [20:44] What are the effects of soil erosion and flooding on gardens?
  • [22:56] What does “no-till” gardening mean?
  • [24:59] What helps the soil become more resilient?
  • [33:52] What is rainwater harvesting and what are the strategies for building water resiliency?
  • [38:45] What is the importance of seed sovereignty in creating a more secure and sustainable garden?
  • [44:01] What specific steps can you take to strengthen your garden's pest resistance?
  • [46:08] What is polyculture?
  • [49:57] What is Kim’s current garden practice? (aka what her homestead looks like)
  • [52:12] Where can you find Kim on social media?
  • [52:55] Where can you get her book, Climate Change Resilient Vegetable Garden?



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Climate Change Heavily Affects Our Gardens

Kim pointed out that we're already seeing the effects of climate change in our backyard. Things such as intense flooding, wildfires, droughts, you name it—these extreme weather events can, and already have, destroy all the hard work we put into our gardens.

Plus, the warmer temperatures are allowing pests and diseases to multiply in new ways. Some plants might not even be able to grow in areas they used to because of shifting climate patterns. And It's a lot to deal with as gardeners!


Resilient Gardening

That's where resilient gardening comes in. Kim shares so many smart strategies for building gardens that can deal with the challenges of climate change:

Building Resilience in the Soil

Having healthy, resilient soil is apparently the key. Kim recommends going “no-till” — which actually means avoiding digging or tilling the soil so that all the wonderful critters and fungi underground can do their thing to create stable, nutrient-rich soil. You can also use mulches like wood chips or leaves in order to mimic nature's soil-building processes.


Water Management Strategies

With droughts and floods both on the rise, learning to manage water flow is crucial. Use techniques like swales, rain gardens, and porous paths to “slow it, spread it, sink it” — allowing rainwater to absorb slowly into the ground instead of flooding your garden. You can also get creative by using freestanding bathtubs or sinks as rain collectors!


Pest and Disease Management

Climate change may increase the number of pests and diseases in gardens. To combat this, Kim recommends attracting beneficial wildlife, like ladybugs and frogs, by creating habitats like ponds and wild areas within the garden. These “predators” can then help maintain a natural balance and control pest populations.

She also advocates for “polyculture” or mixed planting, where different plants are grown together. This practice makes it harder for pests to locate the hosts they want, lowering the risk of widespread infestations.


Seed Sovereignty and Adaptation

Saving and exchanging seeds is another effective strategy to build climate resilience in gardens. By saving seeds from plants that have shown resilience to local conditions, gardeners will be able to grow varieties that are better suited to their local climates. Kim encourages gardeners to participate in seed swaps, sharing and acquiring seeds that grow in their local areas.


Creating Microclimates

In harsh conditions, Kim suggests creating sheltered microclimates by strategically planting lines of trees or shrubs as protection from the wind. The right plant choices can protect your prized edibles!


Embracing a Climate-Resilient Mindset

At the end of the day, resilient gardening requires a resilient mindset from you, the gardener! Kim reminds us to embrace experimentation, let go of inflexible rules, and find confidence in doing what works for our unique gardens.


Mentioned in our conversation:



Thank you to our episode sponsors:

Wind River Chimes

Turn your home into a relaxation oasis with chimes! Wind River is a Virginia-based company creating premium handcrafted and hand-tuned wind chimes for over 35 years. They are launching a new collection of chimes called Eclipse, which are Corinthian bells uniquely tuned to the Lydian mode, a scale that creates an ethereal atmosphere of enchantment that matches the mystery and wonder of the solar eclipse and of outer space. Plus, these chimes make for amazing personal gifts to your loved ones!

Visit and use code GROWINGJOY to receive free engraving on all engraveable wind chimes.

Espoma Organic

If you want a garden that provides, set it up for success with high-quality soil, fertilizer, potting mix and more! Espoma Organic is dedicated to making safe indoor and outdoor gardening products for people, pets, and the planet. They have an amazing variety of high-quality, organic potting mixes, garden soil, fertilizers, and pest control products that are organic and eco-friendly. To top it all off, they have a huge sustainability commitment with a 100% solar-powered plant, zero waste manufacturing, and eco-friendly packaging.

Visit to find your local Espoma dealer or check my Amazon storefront.



Follow Kim:

Kim Stoddart | The Guardian
The Climate Change Garden


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