Having lived in both northern and southern locations in the US, I can vouch for the fact that gardening in these two areas is very different. Growing seasons greatly vary, the types of plants that can tolerate the drastic temps during certain seasons are quite different, and the method used for protecting plants during the winter is very different in both locations. Since I live in the south now, I thought I’d list 5 tips on southern gardening for all you new southern gardeners out there.
5. Have Your Water Source Close to the Garden
There’s nothing more difficult than hauling bucket full after bucket full of water to your plants. I’ve tried this once and not only wore myself slick, but found that I was less likely to give my plants the proper amount of water they needed out of sheer laziness.
4. Find out How Much Sun Your Plants Prefer before Planting Them
I experience very few cloudy days down here in the south. This means I need to pay close attention to my choices when choosing plants for the garden. If the flowers I just chose suggest partial or full shade, then I’d tend to lean more towards a location with full shade. The sun in the south is extremely intense and can burn up a helpless flower in a matter of minutes.
3. Pick Plants That Are Tolerant to Heat and Occasional Drought
Freesia, Sweet Alyssum, Baby Cole Blanket Flower, Red Valerian, Yucca, and Purple Cone Flower are a few examples of plants that do very well in southern weather. Each of these can tolerate dry spells very well.
2. Be Prepared for a Variety of Pests
I remember fighting off the occasional bought of aphids up north, but the war on bugs takes on a whole new meaning down here in the south. Holy bugs! Thankfully there are just as many safe ways to get rid of any type of pest that emerges as there are bugs. You can make your own or go to a garden supply store and pick from the pest control products they have to offer.
1. Choose Flowering Plants That Have a Long Bloom Time
The growing season is very long in the south, so having flowers that are in bloom the entire time will only increase the beauty of your garden. If you have plants with a short bloom time that you simply adore, then mix these in with plants with a longer bloom time. This way you’ll never be without flowers.
If you are new to the south, then you’ll probably benefit from this list of tips more than someone who has lived here all their lives. However, if you are a seasoned southern gardener, what tips would you give to a newbie?
Top Photo Credit: Faded Kodachrome