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Select the right site for ornamental plantings
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With the arrival of spring comes the strong urge to renovate or add to the landscape in our yards.

 

Most of the time, our attention is focused on selection of the right plant or variety.

 

Although important, we should remember that matching the site with the plant and ensuring proper site preparation will have a major impact on plant performance.

 

Also, the amount of time we spend on maintenance will be affected by the preparation of the site prior to planting. We all know that our enthusiasm tends to wane in the summer time and none of us like to replant or repair plantings once they are established.

 

An initial step to planting would be to identify the sites targeted for planting.

 

Next, make note of the site location and conditions such as:

 

Amount and timing of sunlight

 

For instance, note if the site is shady for the entire day or if it receives either morning or afternoon sun.

 

 

Soil type

 

Is the soil loose and well drained or is it a heavy clay that holds a lot of water.

 

 

Drainage pattern in the yard

 

Determine if the plant material would be in the middle of water flow during a rain or the recipient of water from your gutters.

 

 

Elevation

 

Is the site a low area that will tend to stay wet long after rainfall or is it a high area that will tend to dry out quickly.

 

If you can describe your site in terms of these and other pertinent facts, then you are ready to either select plants that match the site conditions or to modify the site to match the desired plant.

 

In some cases we cannot modify certain factors, such as the amount of sunlight, and must do our best to select plant varieties that will meet our desire for color, size, etc., and still perform well.

 

For more information, contact the Dawson County Extension Office at (706) 265-2442.

 

Clark Beusse is the Dawson County extension agent. For more information, call (706) 265-2442.

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