Every living thing has particular needs to thrive and some have special needs. It sure can be a challenge and expense for a gardener when he or she doesn’t match their gardening site to the right plants. This article in the series will address some of the Basic Needs that have to be met for success with healthy thriving plants.
1. Length of Days
5. Soil PH
Now I admit….we don’t go to the greenhouse or nursery with all these things weighing on our mind. I totally get absorbed to the point of not even remembering what I came for. So, as we consider these things….remember this, you should have already considered these before you go for those plants. Whew!!!
How does each of these things affect the success or failure in your gardens?
* LENGTH OF DAY- We all know this is the time between sunrise and sunset and is critical to plants growth and development. The increase and decrease in daylight is what ques a plant to grow or take a rest. When we are planning our garden and plant selection…know how long your days are in growing season. When do your days start to get longer in daylight and when do the days start to decrease? This is vital because your plants will need time to grow, bloom and fruit. This runs right into our next topic….
*LIGHT/SUNSHINE- It’s a fact….all plants need this but vary in how much sun they need. So check your site for how much light it is getting, is it direct sun all day or some shade. Then check those plants for their sunlight requirements. If you put a plant that needs full sun for 8 hours in a spot that only has 5 hours full sun..it will not thrive. Know how much sun your garden spot gets and select plants that are a match and you will have thriving plants and big harvests.
*Temperatures- Plants have varying needs when it comes to temperatures. Check plants for their temperature preferences by knowing what growing zone you live in and what zone that plant needs to live in. There are some really great gardening maps that show what zone your state or the part you live in falls under. This is so critical to know. I will share a zoning map later.
*WATER- Most of the plants I grow don’t like to be water logged. To make sure they thrive consider these 2 things about plants and water. Is your soil loomy or is it more clay. Good draining soil is what we gardeners work to achieve-some for years. Also, how much rainfall do you get in your area. Can you irrigate or water your garden if you have a drought or dry spell.
*SOIL PH- This too is important for plant roots. It affects a plants ability to take in the nutrients. Most gardens should have a PH between 6.0 and 7.0. The PH can be raised or lowered by using things like Lime to raise the PH. But Aluminum Sulfates and Iron Sulfates will lower the PH. This sounds complicated but gardening centers have this stuff and it is easy to apply. Gardening centers also have soil testing kits so you can do it yourself but for a more thorough test take a sample to your local Extension Office.
These are just some of the basics to consider and take care of BEFORE buying those plants. Fall is upon us now and then winter rest will give
us time to get to know our gardening zone, length of days, sunlight, water/ rain rate, temperatures we have to work with and get that soil testing done so we can be ready to get that garden planted in the spring and harvest a bumper crop!!
Happy Frugal Gardening Everyone