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Working With Your Environment, Rather Than Against It
If you’re in Arizona, the horticultural freedom you have will be a lot different than what’s available in a place like Alabama. If you’re in Wyoming, you’ll have a different climate than in south California. Sometimes there’s an arid climate to contend with, sometimes you’re in a sub-tropical or tropical zone, sometimes you’re in a winter region.
Each of these places will have their own ecological idiosyncrasies, and unless you’ve got a bottomless budget, you’ll want to work within those ecological constraints. This can actually save you a lot of time and effort. Instead of trying to fight the whole climate, you just lean into what’s available where you are.
So the following tips aren’t going to work in one hundred percent of gardening situations. If you’re gardening indoors, that will be different from gardening outdoors. If you’re in Florida, you’ll have more opportunities than if you’re in North Dakota. That said, the following three tips should generally help you make your garden, large or small, look downright excellent.
1. Look Into Wood Chips
Sometimes grass becomes overrun with weeds. Sometimes bushes or trees provide shade while stealing moisture, and grass can’t survive near them. Especially with conifers that drop pine needles, you’ll likely find that right under and right around the tree, grass doesn’t grow well. You can take it to get rid of the needles and the grass will remain, but this is a chore.
So ask yourself: do you really need grass around the base of plants in your garden? In fact, doesn’t this undermine the integrity of what you’re trying to do? With grass, you’ll have more weeds, and you’ll have more microorganisms. However, if you get rid of the grass and put rocks or wood chips down, the problem is gone.
You can starkly contrast plants without having to pay more for irrigation, and the plants will likely do better. Plus, you know any plant that isn’t where you put it is likely a weed, and so can pull it. The question then becomes: wood chips, or rocks? Wood chips are better for a number of reasons, and there’s more than one sort. Some are larger, some have been composted and sieved.
2. Why You May Want To Install A Pond
A pond doesn’t have to be massive. It can be as small as ten square feet. A pond that’s ten feet on a side is a hundred square feet, but it will likely be round—unless you’d prefer it to have square edges. You can dig it into the ground or build it atop the ground and surround it with plants.
Ponds encourage a moist environment and can help more arid areas be conducive to diverse plants. Plus, they look very nice, and you can have fish there. Additionally, they tend to be more affordable than many people realize. Check out what’s available from Aquatic Ponds.
Regardless of how you install the pond, or how much you pay for it, it’s going to make your garden look better. If you plant right around the pond, some of the roots may actually draw nourishment from the little body of water directly as well.
3. Trees Like Cottonwoods Do A Lot
HGTV points out a number of key cottonwood facts worth considering. The trees grow fast, they can multiply themselves easily, they look beautiful, and they grow in even more difficult environments like Wyoming or the Dakotas. The thing is, since they do get very large very fast, and that means their roots stretch out underground.
You don’t want to plant a cottonwood too near the house owing to foundation issues. However, once it’s grown, it can be a great source for shade. So maybe plant three around your garden at strategic points no closer than thirty feet to your house.In a decade, they’ll perfectly “shade” the garden, and with a pond beneath, everything will stay moist and lush. You’ll have a microclimate.
A Garden With A Big Heart
Cottonwoods, wood chips, and ponds do a lot for a garden; whether you’re trying to husband one for aesthetic purposes, or you’re trying to get a small yield that is enough for one family’s needs. These tips may not work for your situation, but at minimum they’re worth considering as you explore what alternatives will maximize your garden’s appeal.
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