Imagine finding the perfect plant for your yard only to find out it’s not in your growing zone. Heartbroken about the unfortunate news, you go on a search to find something similar. However, you’re having no luck. Nothing looks like that plant or will provide what your little heart desires. Well, what if I told you that the USDA Growing Zones are there to give you an idea of what you can and cannot grow in your zone? What if I also told you I knew a guy that could help you grow the plant that you wanted oh so badly? Well, I would like to introduce you to Microclimate. Microclimate, I would like to introduce you to… um.. [insert your name here please].
What affects Microclimate?
Microclimate is the climate of a very small or restricted area, like courtyards, rooftops, and gardens. Usually, Microclimates climate differs from the climate in the surrounding area. A lot of things can have an effect on Microclimate.
Check out the list below and feel free to share it!
According to Southern Living Plants, the USDA Hardiness Zones provide a general guideline for selecting and growing plants in your region but do not consider the unique features of your landscape. Which is completely true. I mean, how is the USDA supposed to know that your entire yard is filled with trees and slopes? Every plant is not going to thrive the same because of microclimate. Therefore, there are a few tricks and trades that could help you grow certain plants that may not be recommended for your zone. All you have to do is find out how micro climate works and exploit it to your advantage. Which is where I come into play.
How do you manage Microclimate?
You’ve most likely already managed micro climate without even knowing. When you plant a certain plant in an area that gets more shade or gets more sun, means you’ve managed micro climate. Not all parts of your yard are equal. Even if it gets the same amount of sun, doesn’t mean that it’s leveled evenly. Some areas may be prone to more moisture, or some may be closer to pavements and get a little hotter than the rest of your yard. Regardless, you’ve mindlessly created little microclimates; and if you haven’t, here are a few ways to get started.
How to Create Your Own Microclimate
Creating your own micro climate is quite easy.You just have to know how to strategically place them. First, identify the microclimates in your landscape, and then pair them with plants that can capitalize on their unique benefits.
Check out the list below for more great ideas on placement:
It is important to know that some parts of your yard may not be as easy to evaluate. Use these tests to determine which area is best for you and your plants
- Outdoor Thermometer
- Soil test kits
- Moisture Meter
- Sun gauge
- wind gauge