Creating Microclimates to Facilitate Growth

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Many gardeners live in areas where almost anything can grow effortlessly.

Just plant the seeds and water it for a few weeks, and you�ve got a

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beautifully lush plant. But if you live in somewhere like Colorado, you�ll

understand what its like to have a slim selection of plants that naturally

grow. It can be quite a challenge to facilitate the growth of a large

variety of plants, especially when the very world you live in seems to be

rooting against you.

Some people solve this problem by loading up their plants with every type

of chemical and fertilizer known to man. This usually works, but to me it

seems kind of unnatural to rely on man made materials to keep your plants

alive. Also, if I�m growing fruits or vegetables, I don�t feel very

comfortable eating something that is entirely composed of chemicals.

A gardening theory that I have relied on in the past to grow many types of

plants is that of creating a �microclimate� for each type of plant. This

is when you regulate the sunlight, shade, moisture, and wind factors for

each separate plant. It sounds like a challenge, and it is. But you can

regulate these factors in such a way that the plant feels just like it is

in the ideal growing conditions. This can be achieved by the use of wind

barriers, shading umbrellas, extra water, or different types or amounts of

compost.

If you�re ready to make an attempt at creating microclimates, you�ll need

to make a detailed plan in advanced. You should start by finding a large

shade providing bush or tree that will grow fast and naturally in your

area. Just look at some undeveloped plots of land and see what is there.

Most likely it grew on its own without any planting or care. This is what

you want to happen. Usually the growing of one plant can bring about the

growing of another more desirable plant.

If you have a fence in your backyard (you would be surprised at how many

people don�t) then you already have a good amount of shade to work with.

You can start the microclimate process using just the shade of the fence,

combined with (perhaps) a screen or large bush to shade your new plant for

the other half of the day that the fence doesn�t take care of. The fence

is also useful for shading against wind for very fragile plants.

Once you have established the shade, be it natural or unnatural, you have

created a slightly less harsh miniature environment. You must remember

this is a gradual process, and find a new plant to put in the shade of the

other one. Now your choices are a little more open. You don�t have to go

with a rugged plant like the one you did before; you can now choose a

plant that survives in cooler weather.

If the plant you are trying to grow next requires more moisture in the air

than your area provides, installing a fountain or small pond can fix this

problem due to the evaporation. You may think you don�t want to waste

water on a pond or fountain, but it�s all going toward the betterment of

your garden. It�s just like the watering process, only indirect. As an

added benefit, usually fountains are quite aesthetically attractive and a

great addition to your garden.

I can�t explain every stage of the process, because everyone�s goals and

setups are slightly different. But to reach your goal, you should do

research on every plant that you would like to have in your garden. Find

out everything you can about the zone that it flourishes in, and ask

yourself how you can emulate that zone within your own backyard. Almost

always you can take control of the environment and recreate whatever you

wish. Usually all it takes is some planning and strategy.

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