In the perfect gardening world we would know exactly how much rain, runoff, sun and wind a garden receives. In reality, we don’t. Dratt.
Even in a garden or garden space we have had for years we may suddenly realize that a large part of the garden drains to one spot, making it quite wet while the rest of the garden is dry. So what do we do? Here is a plan that you may or may not be able to follow to the letter, but in the least it will help you take a critical pre-planting eye to the garden.
Sun study- How much sun does your new garden receive? How many hours and what type of sun- early morning or high noon? It makes a difference!
Water: Does the garden have a slope? Does the water drain to one spot or does it pool in areas here and there?
Roots: Is a tree gobbling up the water? Will you have to water each day even when it rains? A few test digs will let you know how dry the soil is after a rain and a day and then two days after a rain.
Soil quality. The surface may be deceiving. What looks like black, humus-rich soil may be hiding the truth- sterile, debris ridden soil below the surface. Friends of mine are digging in their respective gardens and pulling out all types of cool stiff- broken bricks, piles of sand, cement and driveway blacktop.
No time to study the new garden space? Then practice planting restraint. If you are not completely clear on the characteristics of your garden try adding one of each new plant and see how they fair next year. Better to possibly lose one new Pulmonaria than five or seven new plants!