Today is supposed to hit 88! Summer just won't accept defeat.
I wanted to supply a short recap of last week's tour in the Blomquist Garden. We talked a good deal about drought, it's affects on plants, ecosystems and economies, and how we as gardeners can mitigate the effects of drought in our own gardens. One of the things we covered was how to build soil that helps your plants withstand drought conditions. We recently completed a complete reconstruction of an area of bed space within the Blomquist with an eye for just this topic.
First, we removed all existing plant material and heeled it in elsewhere, then we added a custom mix of soil with a high organic material content (mostly composted leaf mulch). Next we added limestone to adjust the pH value to a level that is more hospitable to plant life (we were at pH 5.5 and we are aiming for 6.5-6.7) by adding eighty pounds of lime for every one thousand square feet of soil surface area. Then we added a fungal and bacterial granular inoculant. This introduces beneficial fungi and bacteria into the soil which interact with the plant roots to effectively increase the volume of soil from which the plant can harvest water. In times of drought, having specimens that can more effectively manage their water needs means less watering and healthier plants. Finally, we added our shade to part shade shrubs and perennials, and now we wait till Spring to see our results!
We were over at the State Fairgrounds yesterday sprucing up our native plant garden for the opening of the State Fair this weekend. If you come to enjoy the rides and low-fat food along the midway, check us out. We're just down the hill from the village of yesteryear and not far from the blacksmith shop in the gardening area of the grounds. Just ask for the North Carolina Native Plant Society garden. See you there!