With Spring roaring into April, it is time to start thinking about planting. In many parts of the country, the old saying that “April Showers Bring May Flowers” is pretty true since plants need water and soil to grow and the increase in temperature from April to May creates improving growing conditions for all sorts of plants. If you want to “geek out” a bit, there is an actual measure for growing called “Heat Units” or “Growing Degree Days” that are used to estimate when crops will mature (this is used regularly in the corn industry – and an article about it from Purdue University can be found here). Essentially, this uses temperature differential to create a metric around how long it takes plants to mature.
But this does not tell the entire story. I mentioned water (April Showers) but have not yet talked about soil and water together, or more importantly soil and moisture saturation. While an earlier post (you can read that post here) talks about most of the factors that impact growing, the focus of this discussion is how to best match moisture saturation and soil to produce the best overall plants. Most ground based gardens are a bit at the mercy of Mother Nature for both soil and water – yes, you can adjust both but wouldn’t it be great if you could start with a completely blank slate (soil) AND manage moisture perfectly?
How can I manage the water and soil mix in my garden?
So, what goes into this marvelous combo platter of water and soil – and how do they “mix”? First, the soil has to be just right – not too light (blows away when dry – potentially exposing sensitive plant material) and not too dense (compacts when wet potentially choking the root systems). For this reason we always recommend using high quality Garden Soil (your choice of brand) over either Top Soil or Potting Soil. We also recommend that peat moss be used as a base material – this will help manage moisture, retain nutrients and does not contain any “extras” that improperly prepared compost may have – to help your soil achieve maximum performance.
Second, moisture helps in three ways – in the air (hydrating a plant’s leaves can help overall health for many plants), in the soil where roots can draw oxygen and nutrients out of the water to create thriving plants. Third, and perhaps most beneficial, is the creation of a moisture rich environment for the roots. Not many ground gardens can do this as it means there would have to essentially be a sink hole beneath your garden and this would not be a good thing. The Eco Garden, however, has a water reservoir designed specifically to create an “Air Gap” between water and the soil – a place for roots to get a supercharged dose of oxygen that accelerates growth, accelerates production and extends the effective growing period for all plants.
Now, a quick note about moisture – too much is just as bad as too little and just a bit more insidious. Most people think that a lot of rain is great for their in ground garden – and sometimes that is true. But, if the ground gets saturated, plants struggle as too much water prevents oxygen transfer/absorption that drier soil has. Additionally, root rot can occur in overly moist soil.
The Eco Garden System drains away excess water and, with our soil moisture sensor and Pumping Station, you can insure that your plants always have the right amount of moisture. You also no longer have to worry about heavy rains – the drain system allows excess moisture to drain into the water reservoir and excess water in the reservoir conveniently drains out of the system. Not only can you reduce water us by 65% but you can also eliminate the number one cause of plant failure – over-watering – all while giving your plants the absolute best environment in which to thrive.
Want to learn more? Check out the Eco Garden Systems brochure for Home Gardeners