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Thread: microclimates.....drought gardening

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    NC/SC border
    Posts
    14

    microclimates.....drought gardening

    Microclimates...... & dealing with drought


    Hi Ann,
    You have given me advice on Mike's forum & I had to come visit yours.....Love it!

    My problems have to do with microclimates.......

    We have a few acres in an odd spot.......severall zones....6,7a, 7b & 8 overlap or meet here.....We get the heat, humidity & warm nights of the warmer zones & then very late severe freezes.....our January's daily temps may be in the 60's for long enough to convince the plants its spring & they all leaf out & then 3 weeks of 5 degrees......this may happen 2 or 3 times a winter & the plants if not totally defunct are stunted by lack of vigor after such a struggle......

    We use mulches, & protective wraps, water is a premium in an area where wells are going dry, so the protection of water against a freeze is not feasable.......the labor to pull all of these protective together on one night & yank them off the next day is horrendous.....

    So...we are turning to using microclimates.....
    .......putting the warmer natured plants together in protected spots & doing whatever we can to reinforce that particular areas zone 8 character.....

    Next.....the plants that require cold must be sent to their more chilly niche & everything that will reduce the heat must be done...

    Since water is a problem, zeriscaping(sp) is a must........any hints or comments on dry gardening & microclimates would be invaluable to me......thanks

    Sally

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Surrey, British Columbia
    Posts
    14

    microclimates and drought

    Sally--you've hit on 2 major topics for a lot of us. It seems that drought/water restrictions are more and more common almost everywhere. One thing that might be worth looking into is mycorrhizae, a big word that explains why a lot of native plants and desert plants are able to survive without us taking care of them. www.bio-organics.com has some info on these.
    Microclimates are more important where I am in S.W. British Columbia. My zone is similar to yours, and if you're like me you're always trying to sneak in stuff slightly outside of your zone! One factor I run into is the effect of forested areas, as I am right beside one. Apparently the areas under a forest canopy are much protected by the branches above, while areas next to forest suffer from cold air draining down off the top of the trees and into the clear area adjacent. Thus I find frost in our yard, while my neighbour under the trees is protected.
    I envy you having several acres to work with, allowing you to choose different sites depending on what needs the plant has! Good luck and growing --Glen in BC

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