Microclimates

tinael01(10A)January 1, 2013

Just so we are clear - I am not a microclimate expert and there are possibly better resources on the internet - but because microclimates in your garden may mean the difference between success and failure in Florida I want to at least pass on what small amount of wisdom I have on the subjet.

To make use of the microclimates in your garden you must observe it. You should watch the sun move across your garden. You should note where shade and sun fall in each part of the day and in each month of the year. You should note where water pools and where the earth rises and falls. You should note tree roots and roof overhangs and close bodies of water. In short, you must understand the requirements of the plants you are working with and what places in your garden these needs will and will not be met.

1. The Sun

Understand the sun's touch on your garden in different parts of the year. In Summer, the sun is slightly north in the sky. Areas that were in shade during winter may receive full summer sunshine. In Winter, the sun dips low in the south and trees and buildings can cast long shadows over areas that were sunny in August. This is important because the veggetables you plant in full sun in August may be in total shade by November.

It is also important to understand the sun's touch on your garden in different parts of the day. Note where shade falls in different parts of the day. You can take advantage of shade passing over a garden bed during the middle of the day, if sunlight fall on the bed in the morning or afternoon.

2. The Land

Walk through your garden and note the high and low spots in the earth. Walk it again after a rain storm to see if water has pooled in any of the lower areas. Do this on an extra cold morning and note the places that frost lingers. If only some areas are frosty, remember where those are. If certain areas are high and dry, they possibly are your 'baking' spots in Summer.

3. The Wind

to be continued

4. Bodies of Water

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