Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gardening Article: High Altitude Gardening Tips

Homes across the States are made more beautiful and serene with gardens. Gardening not only enhances the look of a home; but also gives homeowners a nice hobby to engage in. However, not all gardens are created equal. Each area has unique needs. For instance, homes in Colorado call for different preparation and may not be able to host the same plants as a home on the California Coast. Homes located in high altitude areas may require a bit of studying and preparation in order to produce the lush foliage the gardener is looking for.

A garden in high elevation makes it primed for intense sunlight, low humidity and extreme weather changes. If you live in an area where these conditions are present, don't throw in the towel just yet! Read on to discover some ways to begin and maintain your own garden, even with the unique climate found in high altitude settings.

First and foremost, it is important to understand where your main gardening challenges come from. Many people assume that the temperatures high altitude regions experience in the winter months causes the most problems. But in actuality, the main challenges come from combinations of low humidity, drying winds and physical properties of the soil. There isn't much a gardener can do to change the humidity and winds found in their area, so that leaves you to work with the soil on your property.

The soil present in Colorado, for instance, is heavy clay in most areas, which results in poor aeration that limits root growth, and also limits the plants ability to replenish water loss due to those dry winds. While you might jump to the conclusion that you simply need to water your plants more, this would cause further problems. The thickness of the clay soil mixed with extra amounts of water cuts off oxygen supply to the roots of plants.

One of the best ways to get the garden you really want is to amend the soil before you begin planting. Amending the soil beforehand is far more productive than simply adding fertilizer to the soil already in place. Organic amendments such as compost, peat and manure will breathe life into a new garden. If you plan to grow grass and other perennials, you can amend the soil just once before you set out to grow. For vegetable gardens, you have the opportunity to amend the soil each year.

Amending the soil is very easy. Just mix organic material into the top four to six inches of soil, and also add a two inch layer of organic material over the surface of the soil. Once this is done, you're ready to grow those roses, carrots or other healthy vegetation!

Image courtesy of http://gardenfaerie.blogspot.com.

About the author: Laura W. Jansen is an avid writer who covers many topics related to outdoor living. Gardening, home decorating and outdoor recreation are covered extensively for Boulder CO Real Estate.

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