Growing season in UK boosted by a month

Thu, Oct 22, 2020

Climate Change, UK Climate Change

The UK growing season for plants is longer than at any time since records began in 1772 extending the range of flowers and vegetables that can be grown successfully in the UK.

The Met office regularly uploads information about how climate change is impacting our daily weather patterns.

Six of the ten longest growing seasons have also occurred within the last 30 years

During the last 10 years the ‘plant’ growing season, according to the Central England Temperature (CET) record, has been on average 29 days longer than the reference climatology period 1961-1990, according to Met Office figures released on World Meteorological Day [23 March, 2016].

The increase in growing season length is largely due to the earlier onset of spring, warmer temperatures into late Autumn and the reduction of regular frosts in the winter.

The earliest start of the thermal growing season was in 2002 when it began on 13 January. The longest growing season in the 240-year series was 330 days, in 2000. The shortest growing season was 181 days in 1782 and 1859. In 2012 the thermal growing season was 282 days, up from 279 days in 2011 and above the 1961-1990 average of 252 days.

Predictions are that the growing season could lengthen by a further two months by 2050 . In some southern areas , the growing season may even run continuously all through the year.

The effects of climate change on gardens in the UK will be challenging, but there is a silver lining – we might be able to grow a different range of  plants and flowers – what an exciting future for UK gardeners!

This post was written by:

- who has written 872 posts on My Climate Change Garden.

I am not an experienced gardener - more of an enthusiastic amateur who learns by trial and error and who is keen to "manage" the effects of shifting weather patterns on my garden. Writing this blog is my passion and it has evolved over 12 years to inspire engagement with climate change outside our back doors, in our personal gardens and green spaces. My mission is to fertilise and expand this platform to grow a community of global gardeners communicating about the effects of climate change on our plants and exploring how each individual can make small changes in our lives to become more sustainable. The future of our gardens and #OurPlanet is in our hands - please plant your own seeds for our collective sustainable future.

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2 Comments For This Post

  1. Will Giles Says:

    Hi Debbie – it certainly has, and very warm at the moment, so feels rather strange bringing in all my tropical’s when its so darn warm – I just don’t want to get caught out when I go away in a couple of weeks time. You should post this on the UK Hardy Tropical’s forum as well – best of wishes to you – Will

  2. Margaret Baylis Says:

    Hi Debbie,
    Just read your post and it seems so appropriate. Here in New Zealand we had a very short spring and rushed into summer at the beginning of November. Currently at the end of January we have just had 3 months of almost no normal rain – just some rain storms in various places – and very hot temperatures. We have just as a country had the hottest January since records began. It is a great growing season but without the rain has meant the need for watering to keep things growing. I’m now deciding that everything I put into the garden will need to be able to withstand prolonged hot dry periods. I see that the Northern Hemisphere is currently in a prolonged intense cold. We need lots more people writing about it. Thanks for your blog. Margaret