Every gardener has their own way of doing things. This may be a result of years of growing plants, flowers and vegies and experimentation. They know exactly when to plant their seeds or tubestock, how much to water and when to prune. The gardener may well tap into generations of knowledge through absorbing wisdom from their parents, grandparents or other elders. Or they may well have a group of gardening friends who suggest and pass on tips and ideas.
The experienced gardener then has a range of preferred techniques that they carry out in most years to achieve a successful and beautiful garden.
While adaptable to change, an experienced gardener knows the tried and true methods that bring success. This special knowledge may be based around an in depth understanding of the following key areas.
Climate zone. What grows best in some climates and regions will not grow in others. An obvious statement but one that holds the key in many regions. Knowing which plants and flowers are suitable for the area underpins successful gardening.
Microclimate. Though the experienced gardener understands perfectly whether they exist in a cool, temperate, sub-tropical or tropical region of our country, they would also understand that each garden has a range of microclimates. This may range from dips where cool frosts may collect, to near a brick wall that absorbs the sun's warmth. They would take this into account when planting frost sensitive plants for example.
Type of soil. An experienced gardener will certainly know the type of soil on his or her garden block. Whether it be good friable soil, sandy or clay, different soils are suitable to different plants.
Conditions. Is the garden susceptible to special conditions such as wind, frosts etc.? Knowing this, and how to adapt to these special conditions increases the chances of success in the garden.
Plants that work best. From an in depth understanding of all these factors comes a detailed knowledge of the plants, trees, flowers to grow. What will work and what will usually fail (sometimes through bitter experience!) is the hallmark of an experienced gardener.
The gardener, even after just a few years planting, growing and harvesting, becomes a fount of wisdom of gardening knowledge in their own local region. This knowledge then is, or should be, passed onto the next generation and the one after that.
Gardeners such as yours truly still have their L plates on when it comes to gardening however others, such as my farmer friend Jon, have honed their preferences and views into a coherent gardening philosophy. A truly experienced gardener!
I'd be interested to hear from any gardening readers who incorporate their own tricks and preferences and have developed this into a growing system.