Annuals, perennials, gardens, OH MY! Whether you are the one with the green thumb, or you are planning on having someone take care of business for you, it’s time to get those plants in the ground y’all. Regardless of who is going to be planting your garden, there are several important things to consider when making additions to your landscape. Remember, each space is unique and will have a different set of conditions that will affect how the plant survives.
Pay Attention to the Sun
The first thing to consider when choosing plants is placement. This may require a little research into how the sun angles play with the angles of your house and neighboring trees. Pick a sunny day during the weekend to be outside working in your yard. Watch how the angles change over the course of the day. Where are the hot spots? Where are the shady areas? Are there areas with a mixture of both sun and shade? You could always just wing it too…but understanding this key component will allow your plants a better fighting chance.
Which Plants Get Rainwater and Which Plants Won’t?
The next thing to consider is moisture availability and how your plant will receive the water it needs. Will it be watered by rainfall or is it underneath an overhang? It may be important to consider installing an irrigation system if you are not one to go out and water the plants by hand. Luckily, the months of April and May have been blessed with a string of sunny days followed by a string of rainy ones which is the best time to be planting. Get those plants in the ground before that rain hits and watch them take off in the next couple of weeks.
Know Your Soil Composition
Soil composition could remain one of the most important circumstances affecting plant success. Before planting in a certain area, take a shovel out of the garage or tool shed and put a hole in the ground where plants are to be placed. Squeeze the soil between your thumb and index finger and note how it either compacts or crumbles; this is often referred to as the Ribbon Test. If the soil stays together, this means you may have a high composition of clay and amending the soil as well as adding compost before planting is advisable. It may be a good idea to add compost when planting regardless of clay composition to give your plants a little boost of nutrients when transplanting. Also, be sure to check the pH of your soil with a test kit to see its current status. Certain plants can require differing base and alkaline levels, so, amendments may need to be added to balance out your soil.
Good Luck and Have Fun!
The best thing we could end with here after discussing these key components is a little encouragement. Get out to your local nursery and peruse the many garden sections to find a plant or plants that will suit your garden needs. One can also look online to find plant characteristics that match your particular conditions, but it is advisable to then get out and see it in person while letting a little sunshine grace your presence. We need it just like the plants do! See you out there.