Live Long and Prosper Giving Plants What They Need

In This Chapter

^ Letting in enough light ^ Figuring out fertilizer, compost, and mulch ^ Testing for and adjusting pH ^ Getting the right amount of water and air ^ Ensuring plant stability

7ime to get down and dirty! When you properly prepare the foundation of your garden, making sure plants can get what they need, success follows. The formula's as simple as that.

Well, maybe not so simple. Is your soil already in great condition? Do you have just the right amount of soil nutrients and rainfall so your garden can thrive without any help from you? Not likely! For most people, improving the soil they have and taking charge of garden watering are necessities if they really want their plants to thrive. This chapter tells you how to give plants a boost.

Some of the information in this chapter may seem like common sense, but read each section carefully, anyway. I describe some techniques and have tucked in some tips that experienced gardeners use to save plenty of time, grief, and money.

The needs of plants aren't weird or complicated, but you may find that if you omit any of the recommendations in this chapter — either on purpose or unintentionally — trouble can follow. So consider this chapter a bit of a checklist as you get your garden ready for growing! Ready? Here you go. The work you do now can save you a lot of effort later.

Improving a bed or area prior to planting is so much easier than doing so after. Do these tasks early if you can. If you can't, well then, at least make it a practice to dig really fabulous holes for each plant.

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