Balcony to Backyard

archoo16(5b, MO)April 30, 2014

Hi, I have a balcony garden now . I will be moving to a home with a backyard. Any good sources to learn the basics of a backyard garden & lawn care ?

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fagopher(zone 5)

I am new to this zone but I did a lot of gardening in zone 9

When I started I goggled a lot and use forums all the time to get plant names and then researched the plants info online too. Of course practice, and practice also helped.

Books, there are plenty, but nothing beats internet!! If you want to buy books, buy only those who are specialized for your zone.

I lost many plants by trial and error, specially because I always said, I like this plant, even if it is not "exactly for my region", I can make it work... reality is different..

My learned lessons:
- Try to go with what grows in your area
- Do not trust 100% the standard zone mapping. there is something called micro-climate, which is even if you are in zone 5b, you might get cooler temperatures in some areas of the house than others (likely killing anything that does not tolerate less than 5b).
- Do not trust stores. The will sell many great, beautiful plants that might not be appropriate for your zone.
- no matter what you think (i.e. no matter why I might think..) plan for the size of the plant and let it grow. This will save you time and money
- Do not always buy at fancy stores. They are much more expensive and not necessarily better.
- Try to go as native as possible.. Warning note. Not all native plants are nice enough to be part of your garden. An not all native would survive.
- soil, soil, soil... Keep in mind the type of soil you have in different parts of you house, some areas would be wet, some dry, hot/cold, shady/sunny, so plant accordingly.
- Last one.. no matter how much you attracted to a plant you see in the store, do not buy it until you research it and you are sure it fits you... I still fail here

The easiest and most commons recommendation.. look around your property, see what people have and how it looks , go with the same since is proven winner :)

Of course, if you have time and want it, try planting something else, but be prepared to care much for it (time and money)

Regards

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 11:17PM
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fagopher(zone 5)

One more.. Never plant close to the house. Leave enough space for maintenance. Even if you think you have enough.. maybe leave a bit more..

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 11:18PM
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