The British climate is the envy of gardeners the world over. Where else can you grow such a diverse range of plants and revel in the fact that mother nature is on your side with her capacity to provide a healthy supply of rain and sun to keep our gardens in good order?
Well, I guess that is all true but here’s the thing…what happens when the balance swings too far one way or the other?
No problem say the gardeners and they are right, it isn’t problem, as long as we prepare:
Plants need water to survive but they must also have air in the soil and if there is too much water that air will be expelled and the roots will no longer be able to function properly and the plant could drown, so how do we prevent this from happening?
Drainage?……yes drainage is the answer but how do we provide it?
OK let us assume that your garden has a lot of clay in the soil, this can be a good thing because clay soil will hold onto nutrients more successfully than a sandy soil but clay can also form a sump around the root zone of your plant which will slow or stop the soil from losing excess moisture quickly enough.
So before you start planting make sure that you break up the soil to at least the depth of a spade blade and deeper if possible then add some sharp grit or sharp sand to help hold the soil open which will allow the water to drain away.
If you are not sure what type of soil you have why not bring a sample to Tony at Silica Lodge Garden Centre and he will identify it for you.
Tony and his staff will also be able to offer you plants that will do better in soil that is slow to drain so that even if you cannot get all of the excess water away you will still be able to plant something attractive in the site.
If you are growing in containers the rules are slightly different because you are likely to be using a bought compost which will drain very successfully but remember that it is still important that the drainage holes in your pot are open and able to function.
Conversely even when it rains like mad there may not be enough water going into your pots especially if your plant is a very leafy one so always check your pots for moisture…..your beautiful plants are relying on you!
Thats all for now…but watch this space for more garden tips.