It Is Time To Evaluate Last Season’s Results

Every gardener has some successes and some failures. Some can be accounted for, and others cannot.

Let’s see what some main factors contribute to good or bad results.

Last Season GardenPin

Various Contributing Factors For A Successful Garden

Moisture Level In Your Garden 

Moisture is often the limiting factor. Even though ample rain falls, there are still spots around every garden that do not have enough soil moisture.

Possible reasons for inadequate moisture level:

  1. Areas beneath trees, shrubs, and evergreens may be dry. This is partly due to the roots taking the moisture, but it is often the shedding effect of the overhanging branches.
  1. One or more sides of a building may be much drier than others owing to the prevailing direction from which rain falls.
  1. Excessive soil drainage may dry out one place more than another just a few feet away.
  1. If you use artificial means of watering, it is possible that the sprinkler does not reach all places to the same degree. Test this next year with a few frozen juice cans set every three or four feet from the sprinkler.

These variations in soil moisture should have been very noticeable as you planted the past two months.

Plan to take better care of these dry spots next year.

Desirability Of The Soil

If you bought annual plants last spring, they might have been vigorous ones or so poorly grown that they were hard and woody. These hardened seedlings seldom step out and grow as they should.

As you pulled out annuals this fall, you may have noticed that some of them had hardly rooted out of the original root ball.

This showed that you did not prepare your soil as well as you should. Next time mix more peat moss or other organic material into the soil.

If your plants did not grow as well as your neighbor’s, you might not fertilize as much as he did.

Try putting on a soluble or liquid fertilizer through the sprinkler every two weeks.

Plant’s Growing Conditions

Another possible reason for failure is the lack of adaptability of the plants to the climate.

Many annuals and perennials grow better with cooler nights than most of us have in the summer.

Fraud Plants

Those who have bitten on advertisements for allegedly inexpensive plants have no doubt learned by now that they are the most costly in the end.

It costs money to produce good plants, and no nursery is in business for the fun of it alone.

For example, cheap blue spruce is usually green seedlings since few blue spruce are born blue from seed.

The good ones are grafted, and the percentage of taking of the grafts is not high.

A Great Way To Monitor Your Garden

Most of us have trouble remembering just what we bought and where we planted it.

A garden notebook with a record of every plant or packet of seeds, its price, and where it was purchased and planted should be a must for every gardener.

Then and only then can we be certain about the source and the results we achieved with each plant.

This same record is a big help in making nut seed and plant orders for next year.

Include plenty of weatherproof labels—they are useful when you do not have the record book with you.

44659 by Victor H. Ries