Key to successful gardening is to
- understand the needs and properties of the plants you want to grow
- the environmental factors that make them thrive or stall
- the properties and life-cycles of potential pests
As gardeners we are constantly learning. Finding out why a particular problem occurs grows our skills. Embrace mistake, it’s a chance to learn, we all went through this.
What plants need
Plants have a set of very basic needs that we have to meet to make sure that they thrive, here are the most important ones:
– supply of oxigen & carbon dioxide
– supply of nitrogen (for legumes)
– ventilation, to control plant surface humidity
– control of temperature
– some plants need a specific germination temperature
-energy supply for photosynthesis
– to much makes sunburn, to little and plants turn leggy
– minimal light hours necessary for for plants to fruit
– over- & under fertilising
– mechanical stability
– soil temperature
– supply of water
– supply of nutrients
– where chemistry happens
– humidity of soil
– humidity of plant surface
– wilting vs. rigid plants
Different plants in different stages of their life can have very specific needs. It’s always good to do a bit of research, to find out about this before trying to grow a plant. Check out the plant portraits on our website to learn more about an individual plant and it’s needs.
What is happening close-by matters
Some plants (like nightshades) release toxins into the soil that make it hard for other plants to survive in their proximity, others love to have a particular other plant around. The knowledge about what works together and which combinations are detrimental is called companion planting. You can learn more about this by checking out the individual plant portraits.
Fruiting plants need pollination. For some plants this can simply happen by wind, others need insects like bees to do this job. Attracting those insects, not killing them by bad pest management and making sure they can reach the flowers by not applying the wrong netting techniques is key to success in growing fruiting plants.
Plant density is another, often overlooked factor influencing the strength of your plants. If plants are grown to densely, they will all have a hard time competing for their basic needs like nutrients, water and sunlight. This will weaken them and will render them an easy target for pests.