If you live in the Central Valley and love plants, then you need to have a garden. As you may know, our San Joaquin Valley is an agricultural powerhouse. A huge chunk of the nation’s fruits and vegetables come from right here in Northern California. And do you know why? Because growing plants here is easier than finding a Warriors fan in the East Bay.
OK, so maybe that’s a little exaggerated, but not by much. The weather is very dry here, the sun shines until 9pm during summer, and the soil is fertile. Bottom line: this is a place for growing.
Building a healthy flower garden can be pretty easy here, as long as you’re smart about it. Here are some helpful dos and don’ts of maintaining a healthy garden:
- DO keep the type of flower in mind
We’re talking about the difference between annuals and perennials. Annuals grow for only one season and then die out, while perennials can bloom over and over again for years. However, that also means they have different care requirements. Annuals must be watered and fertilized all season long; perennials don’t require such constant care.
- DON’T overwater
This is one of the most common mistakes amateur gardeners make. More is not always better, especially when it comes to plants and water. Too much water will drown the plant and overstress it, leaving it weaker and more susceptible to disease. Water infrequently (2-3 times per week) and do it in the morning; this gives the roots time to absorb the liquid, which will then dry up by the late afternoon.
- DO keep the garden separate
We always recommend that the garden have some separation from the lawn, for a few reasons. For starters, this prevents weeds and pests from encroaching on the garden, since they have trouble reaching it. It also aids with draining, especially if you build a raised garden bed. And since your lawn and flowers have different needs, this is also a smart growing tactic.
- DON’T forget the importance of sun
Some plants do better in indirect sunlight, such as certain vegetables; however, flowers love to be in the sun. Therefore, you should ensure your garden gets a good 6-8 hours of sunlight during the growing season. Without sufficient sunlight, you could end up with leafy plants that never sprout flowers.