Working With Garden Microclimates

Microclimates are conditions, such as temperatures and wind exposure, which vary from spot to spot within a single garden. Identifying microclimates within your garden will help you determine what plants are appropriate for any given spot. You can also create microclimates by regulating the sunlight, shade, moisture, and wind factors for each separate garden or group of plants. Its easier than it seems. You can regulate these factors in order to create ideal growing conditions. This can be achieved by the use of wind barriers, shading umbrellas, extra water, or different types or amounts of compost.

If you’re ready to make an attempt at creating microclimates, you’ll need to create a detailed garden design. For instance, when creating a shade garden with plants which don‘t like winter winds, plant a large shade tree that will grow fast and naturally in your area. Also, plant an evergreen wind barrier to protect your garden from the drying winter winds. You may also protect your garden by planting it next to a garden wall or fence. Fences and wall also provide a garden with a certain amount of shade. Used in combination with large shrubs you’ll able to create a shady garden. Once you have created a shady spot you have created an environment with its own microclimate.

Warm Microclimates

For plants which require warmer temperatures or to give your garden a head start in the spring plant a garden in a sunny spot against a brick wall with a southern exposure. The microclimate against a warm sunny wall will be warmer than the rest of the garden, even during the coldest winter days. In a space such as this, plants which are borderline hardy have a better chance at survival than if planted elsewhere in the garden. Also, however, a warm full sun location can encourage premature new growth on some plants which could damage new shoots if there’s a sudden drop in temperature.

Natural Garden MicroclimateThe canopy of the existing trees can protect plants by reducing their radiant heat loss. In winter, the micro-climate beneath a tree may be several degrees warmer than the surrounding air, this slight difference in temperature can be beneficial to some plants. Also, the tree’s shade during the early morning slows the rate of thaw in spring delaying the emergence of spring bulbs.

Wet Microclimates

If the plant you are trying to grow next requires more moisture in the air than your area provides, installing a fountain or small pond can fix this problem due to the evaporation. It’s an indirect way to provide water to your plants. As an added benefit, usually fountains are quite aesthetically attractive and a great addition to your garden.

To grow a successful garden you should research the needs of every plant that you would like to have in your garden. Find out everything you can about the zone that it flourishes in, and ask yourself how you can emulate that zone within your own backyard. Almost always you can take control of the environment and recreate whatever you wish. Usually all it takes is some planning and strategy.

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