Growing the Best Garden Plants for Carbon Capture is a great way of making a small contribution to climate change. Not only would it help decrease greenhouse gas emissions, but it would also make your landscape beautiful and fertile.
Carbon farming involves large-scale production of greenhouse gases which is unlike carbon gardening. This is because the latter is a practice that uses specific small-scale techniques to store and remove excess CO2 from the air. This method allows for a more vibrant and healthy garden.
In this article, we share some of the best plants that will help you capture carbon dioxide. We have included a few vital suggestions that will also benefit your yard. Take a look below to learn more about growing these essential plants.
What Are The Best Plants For CO2 Absorption?
Did you know that even the most effective non-native plants cannot trap carbon as effectively as native plants can? These include native floras that are efficient in absorbing CO2. There are also numerous additional advantages that are provided when growing these plants. To begin with, these garden essentials grow naturally as they are tailored to endure most environments.
This means that you would need to use fewer amendments, less water, and minimal manufactured goods that increase atmospheric CO2. They also offer a great habitat for wildlife and helpful insects. However, keep in mind that it takes more than just selecting the most productive plant or using industrial agriculture for mass production, as it is sometimes ineffective.
So, what are the best garden plants for carbon capture? What you should seek to imitate is nature itself, since it is the best solution in this case. But, you should also keep in mind that annuals have their drawbacks. This is because you would have to dig into the soil yearly to plant and release the stored carbon.
Maintaining the health of your soil and carbon reserves can be achieved by growing from seed or planting perennials which include trees and grasslands as they effectively sequester carbon. You should also opt for a combination of Native grasses and flowers for best results and avoid wildflower mixtures that are not local species.
How Does the Plant Absorb Carbon Dioxide?
The process of plants absorbing carbon dioxide is actually an exchange for giving off oxygen. This happens through tiny openings on their leaves known as stomata. Plants emit water and oxygen while absorbing CO2 from the air around them. Photosynthesis is the process through which plants use energy from light to change water and carbon dioxide into sugar and oxygen.
Using the energy from sunlight, chlorophyll which is the green pigment in leaves transforms carbon dioxide into molecules of oxygen. Sugar is used by plants to fuel growth while also releasing oxygen back into the atmosphere. They also aid in controlling the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide in greenhouses.
Tiny apertures that are present on the plant leaves are responsible for the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen. This is because they open up to take in the carbon and let the oxygen out. Water is absorbed by plant roots and leaves, where it then interacts with CO2, utilizing light energy as a stimulus. Here’s an informative video that shows you how to reduce your carbon footprint with gardening.
How Much CO2 Do Plants Absorb?
Now that you know what are the best garden plants for carbon capture, let’s find out how much is actually absorbed. Seeing that plants and trees come in a wide range of variables, their absorption capabilities do vary. However, trees are known to have the most effective during this process. The information below will highlight a few essential plant absorption points on the subject.
1. It is estimated that a native tree can accumulate up to 40 kgs of CO2 yearly.
2. Determining the typical absorption of trees is essential to quantify its contribution to achieving global carbon neutrality.
3. A wood’s chemical makeup is largely consistent from tree to tree with its primary component consisting of about 80% cellulose.
4. The tree creates a chain of glucose molecules through photosynthesis while through their roots, plants absorb water and nutrients to create sap.
5. Chlorophyll and solar energy are used by the leaves to convert carbon and water into glucose.
6. With the help of the sap, oxygen is released while the accumulated glucose feeds the tree.
7. The best part is that a tree will remove over one million cubic meters of CO2 from the air in order to grow one cubic meter.
The Benefits Of Carbon Sequestering Plants
Through photosynthesis, plants store carbon in the soil where it can be used later on. Although agroecosystems have the potential to degrade soil organic carbon levels, this shortfall creates a window of opportunity for storage through land management techniques. Listed below are a few benefits and suggestions of the best garden plants for carbon capture that you should take heed of.
Benefits and Suggestions:
- Growing carbon-sequestering plants is advantageous as carbonates can also be stored in the soil.
- Oak trees are the genus with the highest proportion of carbon-absorbing species.
- Also, the Horse-Chestnut tree and the Black Walnut tree are effective carbon absorbers.
- Annuals or perennials that include grains, legumes, and the broad foliage species are also recommended as they are carbon-sequestering plants.
- Cover crops that include rye, clover, and radish are commonly used in carbon production.
- Cover crop roots and shoots provide food for earthworms, bacteria, fungi, and other soil organisms, which raises soil carbon levels.
- Sequestering atmospheric carbon in the soil aids in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. These include the combustion of fossil fuels, cars, and other energy-producing facilities.
- The ability of the soil to store carbon and lessen the effects of climate change is quite significant.
We hope that the information afforded you in this article has given you a clear idea of the best garden plants for carbon capture. However, you should also take note of a few essential points when preparing your garden.
Firstly, any changes in planting techniques will enable cover crops to be grown for longer periods of time. This in turn will aid in accumulating more biomass by extending the growing season. Techniques like inter-seeding or planting directly into an established cover crop garden are recommended to achieve this.
The potential for carbon sequestration will increase as these plants’ acreage rises. Remember that cover crops are efficient at maintaining soil stability and water quality, and it has the ability to lower pollution from agricultural practices. Here is a link with important steps to making your garden a carbon sink.