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Old 09-02-2010, 01:26 PM
2,063 posts, read 5,972,230 times
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Originally Posted by Padgett2 View Post
Since you are new to gardening at this house, WAIT. You need to know how the drainage is, what plants like a lot of water, which ones hate water and want a dryer bed. You can't mix them two different kinds and have both of them do well. Which ones need a lot of sun, which ones can take some shade and which ones MUST have shade.

Good gardening books are very helpful......if they are written for your particular area. I have one highly reccomended book that gives very helpful advice about protecting plants from snow (we never have any) how to plant in red clay (I have a sandy, dry soil) dry weather plants (our problem is rain and humidity ) In other words, the book may be fine for other areas, but no one warned that it was totally unsuitable for my area. Your library is probably the best place to start looking for books that might suit you.
That is the problem with general gardening books. I can't imagine having all that much in common when it comes to garden plants and soil with someone who is gardening in the desert southwest or up in the mountains in CO. I've gardened in sandy soil and two kinds of clay soil, and several different zones. A few things held true in all of those gardens but each had their own twist.

A year of observation will certainly allow you to see possible problems, as well as allow you to better plan the eventual garden.

Originally Posted by Momotaro View Post
Thanks for even more advice! I like the idea of getting a book about the area, but hard to convince the wife cause I always buy books about things I am looking into haha. This could help me however.
Books with information for your area are the most helpful but general garden books will also help you understand basic garden activity common to all gardens and gardeners. I spent a bit of time at my local library a little while back, because I needed to learn some new ways to approach gardening. I've been at it for decades but now I have a garden in a warmer and more humid climate, with slightly different soil conditions and have found several old standbys no longer do as well for me as they used to. For me some of the garden books for southern gardening were eye opening.

Many libraries do not have very recent books on gardening but even an older book specific to your climate conditions will be helpful. If you find one that is informative you may find you can order an updated version, or more recent books from the same author with less risk. Places like Home Depot also carry a series of books for gardening in regions, often with state specific or part of the state specific calendars of what to do when in your garden. For someone with little gardening experience it is a big help to know not only what to do but when is the best time (or the least harmful time) to do it. You'll find out which plants are better to plant in the fall and which need to be planted in springtime. Those of us with nice long and fairly warm falls usually can do much of our perennial planting in the fall, but if you have a very short and cool fall, and fairly cold winters you may find supplies and temperatures dictate spring planting and replanting.

Good luck!
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