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The Perennial Garden And Soil Chemistry
Are you looking for some inside information on soil Chemistry and your garden? Here's an up-to-date report from soil Chemistry and your garden experts who should know.
The chemistry of the soil is one of the most critical considerations for any gardener, but it can be particularly vital when it comes to gardening with perennials. That is because, whereas annuals provide a fresh start year after year, gardening with perennials means that the plants stay in the ground, and the chemistry of the soil can greatly affect all types of perennials.
It is difficult to overestimate how important proper soil chemistry is, since the soil provides all the nutrients the plants need to grow and thrive.
Most types of perennials are quite hardy, but it is very important to prepare the flower bed properly. A properly prepared bed is the first step to enjoying a healthy garden full of perennials. As with all plants, it is important for all varieties of perennials to have plenty of healthy soil, enough water and the right amount of sunlight.
One of the most common problems with perennials is that of an uneven growth pattern. There are many types of perennials, and they all have different growth rates. It is normal for different types of perennials to grow faster or more slowly, but if identical varieties of perennials show very different growth patterns within different parts of the garden, soil chemistry may be to blame. Many gardeners assume that the same garden plot will have the same chemistry everywhere, but this is not always the case. Soil chemistry can vary even on the same properly, sometimes even within the same garden plot.
Is everything making sense so far? If not, I'm sure that with just a little more reading, all the facts will fall into place.
If you suspect that soil chemistry may be to blame for uneven growth patterns, it is important to have a thorough soil analysis done to either confirm your suspicions or rule them out. A good testing lab can quickly point out problems like an uneven pH level, insufficient organic materials in the soil, or insufficient nutrients. The analysis will also give you a good baseline to go from as you improve the soil with various additives.
The pH level of the soil is an important consideration for the perennial garden. Most varieties of perennials will grow quite well in soils with a pH of 5.5 to 7.0, but some perennials have different requirements. If you do not know which plants will grow best in your soil, be sure to check with your nursery or garden center.
If the pH level is excessively alkaline or excessively acidic, it can be brought back into balance by adding humus. You can easily make your own humus by using a compost bin to break down organic material, or humus can be purchased directly from a garden center or nursery. If the humus is unsuccessful, limestone can be added to make the soil more alkaline, while adding sulfur will help make it more acidic.
After the baseline soil chemistry is known, it will be easier to monitor the quality of the soil going forward. A bed of perennials should be checked for soil chemistry quality anytime a significant change in the quality or number of blooms is noticed. Keeping on top of the quality of your soil, and making changes as needed, is the best way to keep your perennials blooming season after season.
You can't predict when knowing something extra about soil Chemistry and your garden will come in handy. If you learned anything new about soil chemistry pertaining to the perennial garden in this article, you should file the article where you can find it again.
About the Author: B. Keith Johnson is a contributing author for
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