Things to Consider When Buying Plants
Nature Hills Nursery prides itself on offering a wide array of plants to fit any gardener’s needs. Whether you need flower bulbs, annuals, perennials, grasses, ground covers, shrubs, fruit bearing plants, or trees, you will find it all right here. With so many items to choose from, selecting the right plants can get a little overwhelming. Taking a little time to assess the following growing conditions in your planting area will help narrow down your options and help you to select the plant that will do best in your area.
Start by determining the USDA Hardiness Zone for your area. You will want to be sure that the plant, or plants, that you select can handle the winter temperature range for your area.
What kind of soil do you have? Is the soil sandy, clay, loam, or silt? Sandy soils drain quickly and do not hold water well. Clay soils tend to pool water and drain very slowly. Some plants prefer sandy soils, some prefer clay soils, and some prefer loam that contains a sufficient amount of organic matter to regulate water absorption.
Is there a sprinkler or irrigation system that keeps the area moist? This will help you determine if you should select a plant that needs a lot of water, or whether it would be best to stick with ones that are more drought resistant.
Sun exposure is another important factor. Plants that require full sun will need to be planted in an area that receives at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day (during the growing season). Plants that thrive in partial sun will need around 4 to 6 hours, while plants needing partial shade will do best when the exposure is 3 to 5 hours a day. Full shade plants will still need a little sun, generally they do best when there is 1 to 2 hours of sun a day. You will want to keep an eye on how much sun your area gets.
Mature Size of Plants
Space is another thing to consider. Whether you want to plant small perennials or a large shade tree, you will want to make sure that it will fit nicely into your planting space. Make sure that you space your plants out so they have enough room to grow to mature size without getting overcrowded. With larger plants, you might also need to consider height restrictions (over-head power lines, canopies, etc).
Some plants are deciduous (lose their foliage each fall/winter), while others are evergreen (keeping at least some of their foliage all year long). Consider how the plant will look throughout the year, not just during the growing season.
Also consider what pests you have in your area. Are there deer, squirrels, or rabbits present in your area? These animals eat plants, so you may want to select plants that they will ignore (or think of ways to protect the plants in the area). Do you have pets? You may want to make sure that the plants you choose are not poisonous to your animals.
Taking a little time to think these things over before you select a plant will help you select an item that is best suited for your area and your needs.