Determining the Soil Condition in Your Garden

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Many plants grow in all types of soil conditions but there are few varieties so sensitive that in unfavorable conditions they become withered and dead.

There are certain methods used to measure the soil acidity, i.e. pH meter or soil testing kit. The numerical assessment of the soil helps us to measure the alkalinity or acidity of soil. Anything above 7 on the scale will indicate the presence of alkaline soil or chalk it may be. Anything below 7 indicates the presence of acid soil.

Certain plant species like heathers; rhododendrons, kalmias, azaleas, pieris and camellias grow well in acid soil, i.e. below or less than 7 on the measurement scale. Hence, it is important to check your available soil and choose the plants species accordingly. Wet soil for instance, is not suitable for alpine plants, low growing hairy plants, strawberries, some bulbs and border carnations. It is better to choose bog plants for wet soil like colored stemmed dogwoods (Cornus), willows (Salix), hostas, Lobelia cardinalis and astilbes.

Cold Winds: There are plants, which have the tendency to survive the radiation frost in still nights but often give way to cold, chilly winds. The best location to where these plants can survive is along side the south facing wall.

Salt-laden Winds: Air near the sea areas is usually rich in salt contents. So, the gardens near the seas areas are the most affected from this salty air, as it damages the plants. But the nature of the damage can be different from garden to garden depending upon other factors as well. The best way is to have a little experimentation before choosing plants for your garden.

Sun and Shade: Different plants have different specifications and requirements regarding to sunlight and shade. Appropriate sunlight is required by every plant to grow well; however, if the required light is not available to plants, the plant may die or may not show the perfect growth qualities. Different plants have different tolerance level regarding shade and light. Some do well under the light and other grow well under the shade. So, before planning to choose plants for your garden choose the appropriate plants for each area according to the availability of sunlight and shade. Flowery plants may require better light but if you are using plants just for its foliage then light doesn't matter a lot.

Shade from Overhanging Trees: Sunlight and shade is not only the matter but also the dry soil under a tree is also a big problem for growing plants. There are many plants, which do well under any of the shaded area, but they fail to grow right under the shade of a well-grown mature tree. Still there are plants, which can grow under the tree, but for those too you have to take special care of them and proper watering and feeding is always necessary to them.

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This article was published on 2010/09/18