Landscape Gardening Tips – Soil Testing

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Garden Design Garden Planting Scheme

Now would be a great time to plant up your garden as the soil warms and dries up more. To ensure that our plants thrive rather than merely survive, it is essential to identify the sort of soil we have in our gardens before diving in with our spades.

Soil testing kits are readily available at most garden centres, and have quite reliable results. The pH of the soil in the UK ranges from 3.5 (severely acidic) to 8.5 (strongly alkaline). A 7 on the test indicates neutrality. Here are a few suggested plants you could use depending on your test results:

Soil Testing is Important for Landscape Gardeners

Landscape gardeners really need to know about the texture of the soil.

Whether the soil is made up of clay, sand, or silt, this is a major consideration to take into account before planting around a new garden.

Knowing more about your soil will not only improve the plants chances of survival, but will also save you time and money in the long term, as correctly choosing the right plant for the right place, will eliminate costly replacements.

How to Improve Soil Conditions

Soil conditions can be easily improved by adding mulch and digging in well-rotted organic matter, soil conditions can be quickly and readily improved. Clay soils can also be enhanced by allowing the thick clay clods to be broken down by the winter frosts.

It pays to choose your plants carefully to meet their preferred ideal growing circumstances since plants that love sandy soils will not thrive in heavy clay soils, as their roots are unable to spread out readily and absorb water and nutrients from the soil easily.

How will Lighting effect plants?

The light conditions in your garden should also be taken into consideration before planting. For instance, mature tree’s canopy will create a shaded area to deal with. In addition the extensive root system will inevitably absorb a lot of moisture from the surrounding ground, leaving a rather dry area beneath the canopy. Fences, walls will create shade pockets as well as dry areas in your garden.

Ensure you’ve acknowledged the drainage (for more details, refer to my blog post Drainage Solutions for Waterlogged Gardens); the gradient of the ground, i.e., whether the ground is level or sloping? As the lowest point of the gradient will be wetter, careful consideration must be taken when choosing plants.

Planting next to shaded fencing

One final thought for you to keep in mind is the wind, you may have noticed a tunnelling affect in your garden.

This will easily destroy rose blooms, leaving a carpet of petals on the ground in a very short amount of time.

With careful planning and knowledge of soil conditions, wonderful planting schemes can be easily achieved to enhance your garden, that will provide colour and interest all year around, but will also be environmentally sustainable.

A good landscape gardener will design your garden like this so make sure you know exactly what plants are going where. Best ask for a sketch of the garden which will then indicate this for you.

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